Paid search. If you’re a part of the marketing/advertising community, chances are you hear these words at least once a day. According to the Internet Advertising Revenue Report, paid search accounted for 50% of total digital revenue in the first half of 2015. So what makes paid search so important and how is it beneficial to your overall marketing strategy?
Paid search is just a piece of your marketing strategy. It cannot stand-alone. To make paid search successful you must make sure all of your marketing tactics are working together.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding how to include paid search in your overall marketing strategy:
- Paid search is a PULL tactic. Not a PUSH tactic.
Think of your email notifications on your phone. You have the option to set it to Push or Pull. When set to “push”, your emails will come to you whether you open your email or not. When set to pull you will only receive your emails when you actively open your email app. Paid search falls into the pull category. Consumers are specifically requesting information about a product or service. They are going to Google, Yahoo or Bing and typing in a word or phrase that they need at that moment. If this “need” happens to be a product or service you provide, you want to be there. And you want to be there first.
A common mistake some companies make is trying to use paid search as a “push” marketing tool. Always remember, you cannot force someone to search for your product.
- You showed up. Now what?
When developing a plan for your paid search campaign, you want to make sure you are providing relevant information for your consumers. If someone searches for your product and clicks on your ad, they’re expecting to see that product. Give the people what they want! When you are developing your keyword lists, know where you’re taking them and provide them with the information they’re wanting.
- “Lots-o-clicks” does not mean “Lots-o-success”.
Make sure you are looking at the big picture here. Are you getting a lot of clicks with a terrible bounce rate? Your landing page could be irrelevant. Keep this up and you’ll get a “Bye, Felicia” from Google due to a poor quality score.
Or are your clicks low but your time-on-site is high? Maybe the user got all the information they needed from that landing page.
This is all to say, do not just look at clicks and click-through-rate as a success measure. Sure, they mean something, but dig into your analytics. Find out what your customer is doing once they get to your site. Think quality over quantity. This will help you determine what your customers are searching, and what keywords are driving the highest conversions.
- Take this data and roll with it.
The beauty of paid search? You can literally see what your customers are searching for. This will help your entire marketing strategy. Have you been running a campaign on Jeep Cherokees when 75% of your customers are searching for and looking at Wranglers? Might be time to re-think that campaign. Utilize your paid search analytics and data to mold your overall marketing campaign into something your consumers are looking for and wanting. This should probably be your first step in developing a paid search strategy.
In summary: Show up when you’re needed, be relevant, know what you’re measuring and utilize the data. The rest is in your hands. Go forward, young Grasshopper.