What makes paid search a great advertising channel to find new customers?
Unlike traditional advertising channels, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is not about showing your ads to as many people as possible, it is about being in front of the right person as they are actively searching for your product. Whatever your business goals are, from brand awareness to ecommerce, paid search will deliver the results you are looking for.
Paid search works in parallel with search engine optimization (SEO). AdWords is Google’s PPC channel. Advertisers bid for a spot in the sponsored ads that show up above and beside search engine results. They then pay only when someone clicks on their ad. Even with a great SEO strategy, it is likely that your competition is bidding on your products or even your brand and showing up in sponsored ads on the search results page whether you are or are not. All of your branding campaigns could be working in their favor.
If you are not already considering paid search, here are three reasons why paid search is such a great channel:
The Right Person, Place & Time
Media channels do not go away, they evolve. Think of how people used the yellow pages. If you needed a plumber, you opened the big yellow book and there they were. That ad was right in front of you when you wanted it. On the flipside, you had to see ads for everything else until you found the right page. Paid search has options that let you choose who will see your ad and when they will see it. Targeting a 10-mile radius around your store can be great, but this just scratches the surface of your targeting options in PPC.
What if someone visited your website to learn about your product but was not ready to purchase? Instead of those people forgetting about you, with PPC, you can serve them an ad and potentially catch them when they are further down the buying funnel. Maybe you want to give a special deal to people who were customers a long time ago, but you have not seen them in a while. The level of customization that PPC can provide is partly what makes PPC so successful.
Unique Ad Messaging
One of the largest benefits of paid search is the ability to control your message. Many people do not want to pay for ad space on Google because they have a great organic strategy. But unlike organic search results, PPC allows you to control the message to your consumer. Sometimes, this is as simple as using regional dialects. This helps provide a great user experience, which is a big factor in how search engines rank your ad and the cost you pay per click, but the biggest benefit is to the advertiser.
No traditional media channel provides the flexibility in messaging that paid search does. Late last year, Google gave advertisers the power to create custom dynamic ads that can show the time remaining in a promotion.
Previously, the ads would look like the one below. What you show could vary but the ad would be static:
With the customizer, you can have the ad change dynamically to show how much time is left:
The idea behind these ads is to create a sense of urgency for the consumer. What we have seen is that the custom ads get clicked on more often, increasing your opportunity to acquire new customers.
Fast Results You Can Use in Other Channels
To get started in paid search, you just set up a few ads and pick the keywords you want to target and you can start seeing results that day — although you should know that new campaigns have a growth cycle and may hit maturity months down the road. There are some things you can begin testing on day one. For example, you can run multiple headlines at the same time and see which drives the most traffic to your site. As your ad evolves into this ideally perfect ad, you will learn what kind of language your consumers respond to and you can then apply those learnings to other channels.
Google also lets you see what people are actually searching for that is triggering your ads. This can be as simple as calling a “heater” a “boiler” or the soda example earlier. The knowledge of how your consumer base is looking for your product or service is invaluable and hard to come by with most media.
Paid search is not a standalone channel you can set and forget. It has the ability to target consumers at every stage in the buying process. Monitoring how people are searching for your business and testing how those people interact with your ads should be a never-ending process that influences every other channel you’re using.