Paid search advertising (also referred to as Pay Per Click or Search Marketing) is defined as “The practice of online advertising, whereby sponsored links are purchased on search engine results pages websites, content sites or blogs”. When we start to discuss strategies pertaining to Search Engine Marketing, it boils down to two main subjects, Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Advertising. The two combined form a powerful way to connect to your internet audience with targeting methods similar to the game of Battleship. Though it may not be for every business, here are 5 major reasons why it has an edge compared to other forms of advertising.
Whether you want to reach potential customers/clients in your neck of the woods or on the opposite side of the world, you can target searchers down to their city level location (although that level of pay per click targeting works better in North America than other parts of the world). Choose to target a radius around a zip code, state, country, or add in regions of interest.
COST & TESTING CAPABILITIES
PPC is a great, low risk way to test certain keywords in order to determine if a full site development is worth your time, energy and money. The cost of Google AdWords is significantly lower than your traditional advertising only costing a few dollars a day depending on your budget and keyword list.
CONTROL & CUSTOMIZATION
The levels of control you have through engines like Google AdWords and Bing/Yahoo AdWords are truly unreal. They allow you to manage things like:
- Cost (Set own bids and pay only when your ads are clicked)
- Location of Searcher
- Day of the week/Time of Day
- Device preference
- Ad Position
- Trigger words (both positive and negative) to elaborate, you’re able to pick the words that trigger what your service/product is closely related to as well as choose the words that you do not want to associate your company with.
What’s great about PPC is you can continually tweak your AdWords. The English language is always changing. Words in the past suddenly can mean something different in the future. So by way of search advertising, your company is allowed to have full control over your campaigns, while testing out initial thoughts to drive traffic and assess consumer/search behavior.
You also have many options for campaign type, whether you choose to use the Google Search Network, targeting with search keywords only, or Google Display Network (GDN), which allows you to purchase ad space on websites with related content to topic you choose, keywords in your keyword list, or even consumer behaviors and interests in their Google settings. If you’re in retail, you can display large, organized images of your products with descriptions at the top of Google Search for maximum exposure. If you’re promoting the physical location of your brick and mortar shop, or maybe even a new app you’ve launched, ad extensions are available to specifically format your ad accordingly.
So in a way, PPC is a lot like the famous board game, Battleship. Let’s say one person at the table is “Company A” while on the other side of the table is “Consumer A” who is not yet a client or consumer of Company A. Company A strategically places their AdWords on their board. Consumer A continually types words or phrases in their search bar to try and make a search “hit” and find relevant information. With the right analysis, Company A finally tweaks its board enough to ensure that potential clients will purposely drive traffic to their site and click on those specific ads. In Battleship, Consumer A sinking Company A’s battleship is not a win for the company, however in PPC, it’s a win for both the consumer and the company. This “battleship-esque” strategy will no doubt help understand consumer behavior, raise brand awareness and increase traffic, thus leading to faster growth and higher sales. So the bottom line here, maybe even the moral of the story (but not literally); play battleship.