What is Paid Search?
There are two different types of search engine results; paid and organic. Organic search results are ranked based on how naturally successful a website is, which is determined by search engine algorithms. Whereas, paid search involved paying a fee in order to have your website displayed higher up in the search engine rankings when a user searches for a specific keyword or phrase.
Whilst both organic and paid search results appear in the search engine rankings, they are displayed on different locations on the page. These locations vary according to which search search engine is being used, but they generally appear at the top of the page or towards the right hand side of the page.
The above image shows an example of where the paid search results appear in comparison to the organic search results on Google.
According to research, a 70% of users click on the organic search results, whereas only 30% of users are likely to click on paid links. However, this doesn’t suggest that paid links aren’t beneficial to your business. It can really benefit your business if your website is not ranking very well organically, and it can help enhance your business’ online presence.
Why Pay to Advertise?
Highly Targeted Advertising: Search engine advertising allow your adverts to be highly targeted, tailoring them to the specific needs of a consumer based on their search query, current location and time of day. Since the search query is based on the consumers personal requirements, Search Engine Advertising is a much less intrusive form of advertising, compared to banner advertisements or pop-up adverts.
Fast Results: Search Engine Advertising can produce results much faster than SEO. It can help you achieve a higher search engine ranking in a very short period of time. Unlike the amount of time it would take to acquire a desirable ranking in the organic search results by optimising your website’s content and technical set up.
Control over Cost: Another benefit of Search Engine Advertising is that it allows to have have complete control over the cost. You are able to set a daily budget for your advertisement and use either a PPC (pay per click) or PPI (pay per impression) payment method. As well as this, it is very simple to just switch your advertisement on and off.
Detailed Analytics: Search Engine Advertising platforms also provide analytics reports, which are detailed and easy to understand. They can give you insight into data such as number of impressions, number of clicks, cost, click through rate (CTR) and average position. This will help give you an understanding of how successful your advertisement has been.
PPC and PPI
There are two different ways that the fee you pay for search engine advertising can be determined: PPI and PPC.
PPC stands for pay per click, which means you are only paying for your ad when someone clicks on it. This method of only paying for the actual traffic that is directed to your site would be beneficial for business whose aim is to get more people on their site. PPC is also effective for building up brand awareness, as not only does the customer become aware of your brand but they also will interact with it.
PPI stands for pay per impression, which means you are paying for your ad whenever anyone sees it. This could be a user just rolling over the ad with their mouse, not interacting with it. This would would be useful for businesses who are looking to build up brand awareness and can help your brand to reach both new and returning customers and create a lasting impact.
An important aspect within search engine advertising is researching and deciding which keywords you are going to use. There are several important factors to consider when making these decisions about keywords.
Keyword relevance: Keywords and phrases should be specific and relevant to your business. You can do this by ensuring that the keywords you use are tie in with the keywords in your website.
Keyword competitiveness and popularity: Make sure you research into the competitiveness and popularity of the keywords you wish to use; there are lots of tools available online to find out this information, for example Google Adwords Keyword Tool. As well as this, you should search your keywords or phrases in search engines in order to see what the current top ranking results are. Having an understanding of who your competition is will help you determine how difficult it would be to get a top ranking for that particular keyword or phrase. Also, if there are lots of ads at the top of a search, it indicates that it is a high valued keyword or phrase.
Words that the audience might use: Make sure that when deciding your keywords, you consider how your target audience search. Think about the different words and phrases that they would type into a search engine and use this as a basis for the keywords that you choose.
Specific keywords: It is important that you avoid using keywords that are too generic. Whilst single keywords can generate lots of traffic, you may not attract users who are interested in your product or service, which could reflect negatively on your business. Making your keywords much more specific and targeted by using two or three word phrases will help you target people who are looking for business like yours.