One thing we don’t talk about much in our blog, but that we do an awful lot work on, research for and testing in is Paid Search Marketing (more commonly called Pay Per Click advertising). For most this means Google AdWords or Microsoft Search Advertising (Bing and Yahoo!). And there are a number of reasons why we see more new and old businesses interested in learning more about Paid Search and how it can help them.
Paid Search Marketing can be summed up as bidding to have ads for your business show up in search engines when phrases related to your product, service or business are typed into the search box. If your ad is clicked on, you pay a fee to the search engine. If it isn’t clicked on, you pay nothing. [This is a very simplistic explanation of PPC – there are some other variables used, and there are options to set up your ad in a Pay Per Impression model, but for the most part this explanation works.]
Anywhere from 15% to 30% of clicks on a search engine results page are on the paid ads. It will vary by industry and product, as well as intent of the user (informational searches vs transactional searches), but there is definitely traffic to be captured within Paid Search Marketing.
So what are the benefits of Paid Search?
- Immediacy: You can get your ad to show up towards the top of the search engines within minutes.
- Works for small or large budgets: Since you control bids and budgets you can always plan ahead.
- Return on investment: You can set up the campaign so that you make sure you are getting a positive ROI. And if you find that it is not working for you, the option to pause the campaign is always there. No long term commitment.
- Measurements: As a marketer finding good analytics for marketing campaigns is always tough. PPC campaigns offer some of the most in depth measurements you will find, so you will know if a campaign is working.
- Reach: You can have your ad show up for users on both computers and those surfing the web on mobile devices.
- Variety of ad types: As you experiment with different paid search options, you’ll find that you can expand beyond text ads into image ads and even multimedia ads.
- No website, no problem: If you don’t have a website, having your business come up for within organic search is almost impossible. But with a PPC campaign you can develop ads and link them to listings you may have on directory websites.
- Geo Targeting: You can target your ads to specific cities, zip codes, states or countries that you serve. That way you are not spending money for clicks from users who are outside your service area.
So when would a PPC program be something to look into for your business? I would argue that you should test a PPC program out for your business:
- if you have not done so before – start with a small budget to see if you can capture a positive ROI
- if you have a new product or service – while waiting for your SEO to kick in, invest in some PPC to get some immediate traffic
- if you only need to target a specific region – geo taregting allows you to spend resources in just the markets you want to advertise in
- if you are in a highly competitive market and going after high organic rankings may take time, money and resources that you don’t have
- if you are running a time sensitive special or promotion where the results of organic SEO would come after the deadline
Since you control the cost of the bids and can cap your budget, you can always test an ad campaign out to see if it increases business and the ROI is worth it, or tweak the campaign to improve it. And of course, if you need any help setting up a campaign or maintaining one, Mannix Marketing will be happy to offer assistance.
Have you had any experiences with PPC campaigns? Are you willing to give it another try? Why or why not? Let us know.