One of the most important decisions you’ll make when owning or operating a business is determining how you want to market your products and services. Marketing and advertising is an entire field in of itself. Mastering can seem daunting. That’s why prioritization and focus are important. You need your advertising dollars to work hard for you.
Search advertising is one of, if not the most, ROI-focused direct response advertising channel available. Maybe you have heard about it but are unfamiliar with what it is and how it works.
Search advertising if offered through Google AdWords, Bing Advertising and Gemini (Yahoo!). These ad networks display ads in search results on PPC (Pay Per Click) cost model. Ads are shown for free and advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad resulting in a website visit or in certain cases, a phone call.
Search advertising enables businesses to reach potential new customers every day at a price they are willing to pay. Okay you say, but what really is search advertising? And how does it work?
Let’s have a closer look.
The Basics – What is Search Advertising?
When you have a question throughout your day to day routine: “how do I get from here to the high school?”, “how tall was Abraham Lincoln?” and so on, chances are that you use a search engine to find the answer. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are fast, easy to use, and efficient. They provide speedy answers to help you keep moving about your business. Likewise, when someone needs a product or service, they are likely to head online to find a solution to their need. Every day, at any given time, there could be millions of users on the web looking for the products or services your business provides. If you want to tap into that gigantic potential market, you’ll need to invest in search ads.
You’ve undoubtedly seen search ads during your own inquiries on Google. They’re the links which say “paid result” and “ad” next to them. Unlike the organic results in the middle and bottom of the page, which cannot be manipulated, businesses can and do pay to have their product or service appear near the top, where they are more likely to be viewed, clicked and lead to a sale. This unit of performance, the click, is the heart of search advertising.
How Search Advertising Works
So how does a user looking for your product wind up seeing your ad? How do Google and Bing know whether or not your ad will be relevant to a user’s search query? Through the use of keywords. Imagine, as the name suggests, that keywords are “keys” and your ad is some sort of locked door. Your ad will not show unless Google feels that the user’s query matches with the pre-generated list of keywords you have designated for that ad. This is called an “impression”. Better still, you will only be charged for each impression if a user actually follows through and clicks on your ad. The locked door is not opened, the ad is not shown, unless Google believes that this user’s query and your business have some relevance to each other.
As you get more savvy with search advertising, you can target your ads by several different metrics to refine your audience further. Unlike radio, print, television, and other mediums, with online search advertising, you have a great deal of control over what type of person sees your ad. Laser focused advertising tends to be more successful than its “shotgun spread” counterparts. For more information, see our Paid Search Overview.
How to Get Started with Search Advertising?
So by now you’re sitting at the edge of your seat, rearing to go and get started with online search marketing. How do you even begin? First, create a Google AdWords or Bing Ads account, or both, depending on the scope and goal of your campaign. This is easy to do, and absolutely worth the investment of your time, energy, and capital. Small amounts of money for clicks can lead to potentially tremendous returns once you learn the ropes. If you want/need help get started, then by all means, Contact Us 😉
Search advertising is an effective, efficient way to reach potential customers where they are and when they need your products and services. By utilizing a carefully selected list of keywords to determine which queries are relevant to your business.
Search advertising puts your advertising dollars to work by ensuring that your ads are shown to users who are more likely to result in leads and sales. All it takes to get started is the creation of an AdWords, Bing Ads or Gemini account. So, what are you waiting for?