When Should You Invest in Paid Search? – Advice for Search Engine Marketing

Not everyone wants to pay to market their product and perhaps not everyone should. It’s a big market out there though, so why wouldn’t you want to get your chunk of it?

  • In just the United States alone Google Display Network, the websites that display Google Adwords Advertisements, reaches around 80% of internet users.
  • Google Adwords, Google’s Digital Advertising Program, allows you to set a budget, see analytics on Adwords performance, and select where/when/how your content is displayed giving you control of your Paid Search.
  • Paid Search offers you the opportunity to learn about users, the way they are search for your, and related, offerings in real time, as well as improve your SEO, Content, and Inbound Marketing Strategy. Don’t just take my word for it, experts agree, too.

Before starting your Google Adwords campaign there are some terms you’re going to want to be familiar with.

Keywords: Words or phrases that your Buyer Personas are likely to search when looking for your product or service. Awareness of frequently used, or under optimized, terms allows Google to display your Ad to users with a matching or close query on a SERP or other site. Find a few hints about the most profitable keywords from this Entrepreneur article.

Placements: This is the ‘where’ of Advertising. Google Allows you to select a preference for the locations your advertisement is displayed. You can select automatic or managed Display options to tailor your preference. For Example: you can designate an ad to display in a specific place on a particular site, prevent the ad from being placed on a particular URL, or allow Google to place the Ad anywhere they deem relevant based on keywords or phrases. Learn how to management these targeted placements here.

Ad Rank: making sure your Ad is displayed in a prominent position (ideally top 3) you will need to know your rank, and therefore how to improve it if it isn’t optimal. Your Ad rank is a combination of your bid ($) and your Quality Score (See below).

Quality Score: A metric calculated by Google Adwords that determines the quality of your ad, selections of keywords, and your actual site.

Campaign: This is what we will be discussing shortly. Your campaign is the strategtic lan that outlines your SEO and Paid Search plan.

Impressions: The number of times your ad is displayed on any platform (website, mobile app). This number helps you understand how many times its being seen and clicked.

Landing Pages: Check out my Blog post “UI/UX Cheat Sheet” for a review.

These 7 terms will be essential in understanding how to design, implement, and measure your Paid Search (Google Adwords Campaign). Now that you have decided, you’ve got to decide your budget, a keyword match strategy, and implement accountability for Google Adwords.

Whats your budget? Google Adwords doesn’t impose a minimum, or maximum, but you should select a budget that matches your intended reach, and ideal outcomes.
Pick a keyword strategy for Google Adwords to display your ad. You have 3 choices: Exact Match, Phrase Match (display ad if search contains the same order of words, and maybe extras), and Broad Match (ad is displayed if search contains ANY of the keywords). These are pretty self explanatory in term of the narrowness of the keyword match, but I suggest a hybrid strategy for maximum effectiveness. Although it may seem obvious to select Broad Match for maximum exposure, this strategy won’t necessary lead to more qualified leads. Some testing might be helpful for determining which strategy to use based on your buyer personas.
Measure your Adword Effectiveness:
Click-Through-Rate (CTR): 1% is a good rule of thumb
Quality Score of Ads: Aim for 5 or higher
Referral and Destination URL: This will show you which landing pages users are directed to once they click on your ad, and where their clicks are coming from.
Track brand Awareness & Equity: Via Impressions (Cost-Per-Click or CPC) (best practices for improving impressions found here, and longer explanation of impression types found here. It is also wise to look at customer Engagement on Social Media Platforms, and geographic reach of display ads.
A Paid Search Campaign is an important aspect of your Inbound Marketing strategy, and equally as valuable as organic search. Remember that QUALITY CONTENT is the meat of both Organic and Paid Search. The best Inbound Marketing strategy will fail without good content to back it up.

If you walk away with anything be sure that you can intelligently talk about PPC, CPC, SERP, SEO, and CTR. Acronyms are the bread and butter of business, so know them or be prepared to look a bit foolish.

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