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Paid search advertising or Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is an online channel that a wide range of businesses use as part of their inbound marketing strategy. It differs from many other forms of advertising and marketing, especially traditional forms like print and TV were the target audience is often passive to messages and communications.
So, target customers are actively searching for products and services with paid search and your ad is triggered when your keyword choices match up with the search terms that searchers use.
Many paid search benefits are contrasted with search engine optimisation (SEO) which is another form of Search Marketing, that has its own set of challenges and benefits.
The main advantages of paid search advertising are:
1. Advertiser only pays for clicks
One of the big benefits of paid search marketing especially compared to other forms of traditional forms of advertising like TV, print and radio is that you do not pay for the ad to be displayed. So wastage is much lower with paid search because you only pay for click-throughs to your website.
It’s a Cost Per Click (CPC) model, however there are other models like Cost Per Mille (CPM) were you pay a fixed amount for 1000 impressions and Cost Per Action (CPA) where you only pay for actions like conversions on your website, however these two latter models are much less common in paid advertising
2. Is highly targeted
Customers are highly targeted because they are actively searching for products or services that you sell. So, ads can be created that are relevant to searchers and with benefits and features that will lead to a high click through to the website and hopefully purchase or convert.
Keywords are an important part of paid search campaigns in Google Adwords, Bing Ads or other Pay Per Click platform and they are researched and added in the campaigns and should match closely with the ads in those campaigns.
3. Good accountability
Tracking the ROI for every keyword, ad, ad group and campaign is possible when the right tracking system is in place. This is possible with Google Analytics, a free tracking software that includes a wealth of features to measure and analyse performance.
Traffic is predictable with paid search and you can use the available tools to research past volumes for your keywords and get an idea of what volumes to expect. You can also set budget limits to control the amount of traffic you receive and how much you spend.
5. Technically simpler than SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has many factors to consider to achieve high rankings and according to Google, they have 200 signals to rank websites. This requires specialist knowledge to master and constant on-page and off-page optimisation to achieve high rankings.
With paid search on the other hand, the primary focus is on bid amount and quality score, which if implemented and managed effectively can lead to huge success. However, PPC requires specialist knowledge too and as the account grows and you spend more, you may need to bring in more help or develop the skills to manage all aspects of PPC advertising.
Paid search is quick to implement and you can be up and running within 24 hours of setting up your account – and start seeing traffic and sales. SEO on the other hand takes months to manage and for new websites, there is a ‘sandbox effect’ where the site is put on probation before it can start to see any improvements in the search engine results pages.
Paid search is a good channel for controlling messages and highlighting brand values and identity. These can be updated easily too and new offers and brand revitalisation can be updated quickly, unlike other forms of advertising.
Overall, paid search advertising is an effective online channel that leads to fast results and good ROI because of its wealth of features and easy to launch model. If you require help creating and managing your campaigns, please contact me to discuss. I’m a Google Partner that has achieved full adwords certification and I have over 12 years PPC experience.