Paid search advertising has become a staple of internet marketing, with many businesses heavily investing in this opportunity. But what is paid search advertising? What can a business do with it?
WHAT IS PAID SEARCH ADVERTISING?
Paid search advertising is commonly referred to as CPC (cost-per-click) or PPC (paid-per-click) ads. These are the ads that show in the top 3 spots of search results and on the right side of the search engine. The most widely used method of PPC advertising is through Google, and referred to as Google Adwords. These ads can also appear on websites that are part of the display network, such as Google Maps, Blogger, YouTube and other websites that contain Google AdSense or DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
The main feature of PPC is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The cost of a click can vary widely depending on how competitive the keyword is and other factors, ranging from as low as $0.86 for the restaurant industry to $35.00 in the automotive industry. Businesses are able to set a budget that they feel comfortable with for their ad campaign, and there is no minimum spending requirement. Campaigns can even be paused at any time, if a business is not seeing favorable results or another issue arises. Many businesses are unsure of a reasonable budget for their campaign, but $2000 per month is a good place to start. From here, a campaign can be adjusted based on the cost of clicks and the traffic generated from the campaign.
The Difference in SEO and Paid Search Advertising
Since they are both related to search engine results, what is the difference between SEO and Paid Search? The main difference involves how the two function at a basic level. SEO, referring to search engine optimization, involves optimizing a website to rank among organic results for a search term. With Adwords and other PPC management services, businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ad. Paid advertising also allows businesses to reach clients in a more customized and targeted way. Adwords campaigns can be adjusted and customized to show ads under specific circumstances, which allows businesses to target customers at optimal times, locations, etc.
Paid search advertising allows you to decide when your ad will appear in search results based on:
- The day of the week, or the time of day
- What device a person is using to search, including targeting mobile devices
- Geographical location, based on zip code, city, state, and even country
- The language a browser is set to display
Through setting up a well targeted Adwords campaign, you can make the most of your advertising dollars and only target customers that will provide the most benefit to your business. This makes PPC a great way to promote special deals or discounts, raise brand awareness for your business, and reach potential clients.
Where do your ads show?
- Desktop, tablets, and mobile devices with full browsers
- On Google search partners like youtube, Google maps and blogger
- Google Adsense publisher sites
- DoubleClick Ad Exchange
Common Adwords Myths
A very common misunderstanding about Adwords involves its relationship with organic results. Although ads are displayed alongside organic results, they have no impact on those results whatsoever. In other words, no amount of investment into Google Adwords will affect a business’s rankings among organic results. So SEO and Adwords campaigns are two completely separate efforts that do not overlap. Boosting organic search rankings can only be done with SEO efforts, but Adwords can increase brand awareness and other secondary benefits that can bring a big boost to your business.
In short, paid search advertising allows a level of customization not offered by organic search results. When used effectively, PPC campaigns can be a great way to reach potential clients and help your business grow.