Navigating the world of paid search advertising can be confusing. Maybe your business previously focused on search engine optimization (SEO). Now, you have decided to increase your marketing budget to include paid search. Perhaps you are using paid search but your campaigns are expensive and ineffective. Using paid search (also known as pay-per-click or PPC) can be like learning a new language. But, paid search can be a powerful way of advertising to drive traffic to your website or mobile app and increase your sales.Get started on the right foot with paid search by checking out these five videos. Click To Tweet
The basics of paid search
An introduction to the basics of paid search is in order before you launch into any campaigns. For an excellent overview of the basics, check out Digital Garage’s YouTube video. As the video notes, paid search ads often blend in with organic searches. In fact, good paid ads will look similar to their neighboring organic search results. The words the customer types into the search engine is the question being asked. Good paid ads should answer the question.
Ensure that your paid ads are relevant to the question being asked. Search engines (like Google, Bing and Yahoo!) prioritize relevant content. If you have good content, you will be able to get better placement on the keywords you are paying for. The combination of your bid price and quality content drives ad placement.
With paid search, advertisers compete for clicks. Paid search is an auction. The higher your bid amount and the more relevant of your ad copy, the more likely you are to get the click. Keep in mind that with paid search, you only pay when your ad gets a click.
PPC works for multiple business models
This Simplilearn video covers all things pay-per-click on different platforms. PPC can be a very cost-effective way of advertising, since you do not pay until the customer shows interest in your ad. However, you must master the art and science of PPC. You can earn valuable traffic with text, display or video search ads. Simplilearn explains how to use auction-based paid search to reach your growth goals.
This video suggests that there are several paid search options. However, Google dominates search engine market share. Google owns more than 90% of the market and the next largest player (Microsoft’s Bing) has less than 2.5% share. This means that Google Ads should be a first stop in paid search engine advertising. However, it is worth noting that Bing’s customer base skews older than Google’s and is, for the most part, a different audience. Any advertisers looking for additional reach should consider the Bing platform.
It is important to recognize that the basic tenets of paid search apply to real-time auctions for advertising on shopping platforms (such as Amazon and Etsy) as well. Consider the branding opportunities of placing ads on these platforms. You will catch shoppers doing research and those actively looking to make a purchase.
Differences between SEO and PPC
In this video, marketing guru Neil Patel tells you all you need to know about the pros and cons of organic search (search engine optimization or SEO) and paid search. PPC has the advantage of targeting a specific audience directly. Among other parameters, you can choose time of day, device type and location with paid search, which can be beneficial if you are a small business who wants to reach out to your local community. Additional targeting parameters make PPC a better tool for target marketing to specific audiences.
SEO has the benefit of being a lower cost digital marketing tool than PPC. It is a tool that can be implemented with sweat equity. Most business owners can create their own content and build SEO on their website over time. But “over time” can turn into a year or more, depending on the pace of content development. If you are looking for more immediate traffic to your website, PPC may be a better option. In the long run, to market as effectively and efficiently as possible, you should use a combination of SEO and PPC.
Trends in search engine marketing
The most popular trends in paid search are outlined in this Surfside PPC video. Although the video was published more than a year prior to the publishing of this article, it has many essential tips and tactics that will likely continue to trend in the near future. The video covers trends in product ads, smart bidding, audience targeting, visual search, attribution modeling and goal-based campaigns. The video highlights how to have multiple campaigns depending on the nature of your marketing goals and how to use audience and keyword targeting. To get a better understanding of where the market is headed, it is helpful to look at what top advertisers and paid search experts are doing. These trends can be useful in developing your own paid search campaigns.
The trend that is noticeably absent from the video is voice search. Given the proliferation of voice-activated personal digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home since the last holiday season, voice search has become more accessible in the home. As the AI improves on theses devices, consumers will use more complex and longer-tailed search terms to find the products and services they seek.
Introduction to Google Ads
Structuring Google Ads campaigns that include the right keywords, ad groups and advertising copy takes both skill and art. The first step to creating effective campaigns should happen away from the Ads platform. First, outline who you will target, what they are searching for and how your product solves their problem. This information will help you build a robust list of search terms using a keyword search tool. (Tip: Google has a free one within Google Ads.)
In Travis Marziani’s video, he explains how Google Ads work and how you can use the online advertising platform for your business. Google Ads’ results appear at the top of a search page above the organic results. Your ad is displayed based on keywords, how much you are willing to bid per click and, as discussed previously, the quality of your ad copy. Marziani discusses the economics of paid search as well.
You have many options to make your ads targeted toward a specific audience. Using long-tailed keywords and split test ad copy can help you further refine your ad performance. When using Google Ads, you want to make sure that the ad’s structure will get as many people as possible to click your ad.
Beyond the basics of pay-per-click
When you are ready to move beyond the basics of Google Ads, consider the training tools that Google makes available on Skillshop. Develop effective search, display, video or shopping ads with these tools. There are also training modules available to help you measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. If you are ambitious, Google offers a certification module for Google Ads. You can earn an expert designation with this module.
If you are new to paid search, these videos will give you a solid foundation from which to build. Seasoned marketing professionals can find important takeaways from these videos as well. With a thorough understanding of content of all five videos, you will be on your way to becoming an expert in paid search.