How Beneficial is Paid Search?

February 21, 2012

PAID SEARCH

Paid search advertising—known as Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns—are a fast way to gain visibility in search engines. PPC lets you boost visibility on the search results, shopping results and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs). Even beyond generating site traffic, your PPC ads should help convert visitors to paying customers by qualifying the traffic. PPC advertising gives an instant return. By establishing target metrics from the outset of the campaign, you are able to turn your advertising from an expense into an investment.

THE OPPORTUNITY

The opportunity is very strong; however PPC ads are the most mature of all online marketing channels. After all, Google generates roughly $140 Billion in revenue each year and 97% comes from pa id search advertisers. So the market is mature, expensive and capped. However, since the market is so established, it is easy to establish realistic goals for your ROI. Also, paid search is the only real way to generate significant online exposure for your business in a short period of time. If you are in the midst of a big promotion for a new product or making a season promotion, paid search is likely the most lucrative marketing opportunity.

INVESTMENT

Paid search is expensive. Google charges you for every user who clicks-through the ad and lands on your website. (Hence the term “Pay Per Click”).

RISK

Paid search is the riskiest of all online marketing channels. A lot of companies lose money with paid search because they don’t have a data-driven, comprehensive PPC strategy. Your company pays for each click to your website NOT each sale. So if you’re getting click-throughs but not conversion you are potentially losing lots of money. Also, paid search DOES NOT CREATE AN ORGANIC FOOTPRINT! As soon as you stop/can’t afford paid search, your online visibility drops substantially.

RETURN

While paid search is risky, the ROI can be tremendous if you have a good strategy in place. While organic search offers 9 TIMES THE ROI than paid search offers, over the long-term, the short-term gain is amazing. But you need a PPC team that has experience going after the best keywords, creating ad-copy and landing pages that sell, and analyzes the results for optimization. If you have such a team, the immediate ROI is unmatched.

TRACKING

Because paid search ads generate Google’s revenue, the search giant has created a suite of tools to help companies track their investment so they keep spending. Google Analytics helps you analyze your PPC advertising and all website traffic. Other tools such as Mongoose Metrics provide conversion tracking so you can see what is driving traffic to your site, why customers are converting and why some are leaving before buying.

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