This article will adress the marketing method of paid search, also known as pay-per-click or cost-per-click. It is a form of digital marketing where search engines allows for companies and advertisers to show their ad in their results pages. The article will start off by addressing what paid paid search is, followed by its perks and finally what to keep in mind regarding the strategy. The focus of this article will be on the pay per click aspect of this method, note that there also exist other payment methods such as cost per impression or cost per acquisition.
What is Paid search?
Paid search is a way of marketing where you can advertise in the sponsored listings of a search engine. The most common way is to then pay the search engine only when someone click on the link. Advertisers bid on keywords related to their service or product to get advantages such as being visible on the first page of search results. Depending on if it is a product or non-product search, the top part of the search engine will display the sponsored ads. The cost of this way of marketing is through clicks, so called cost per click, where the cost varies a lot depending on the market.
Why you should consider paid search
There are several advantages linked to this marketing method:
- Competitive Advantage: As mentioned earlier on, the website is being promoted at the top of the result page of the search engine which gives you a competitive advantage. As the first page of the Google search receives over 90% of the total traffic and the top ranked position receives around 34% of traffic it is of large importance to make sure that your company is well positioned in the search engine.
- Instant results: A perk with marketing through paid search is also that it gives almost instant result, as creating this type of campaign demands very little time and as soon as it is launched – it appears in the section of sponsored results. Compared to the alternative or complementing strategy of organic search mentioned later on. Furthermore, it does not demand an optimised webpage to be presented at the top of the SERP.
- Campaign analysis and optimisation: Paid search also allows for tracking the performance of the ads and campaigns through advanced measurement tools. Compared to other advertising methods where it could be difficult to measure the outcome of the campaign, this way of marketing is very easily evaluated. This as every keyword, budget spent and each ad can be analysed and tracked. This could lead to a more cost efficient marketing strategy in the longer run.
- Subtle ad disclosure: Many times the way that the ads are presented to be sponsored ads are very subtle which could lead to the visitors not realising it is a paid listing, making the risk of searchers willingness to prioritise the organic search less likely.
What to keep in mind
Paid search is not the only way of exceeding in the SERP ranking. Natural or organic search could also help positioning you on the results page. This strategy does not have a cost per click and is considered to generate a more long-term effect than paid search. Creating an optimised website with good content will also gain visibility on all search engines, not only on the ones being chosen for a paid search strategy.
Lastly, the optimal strategy could be argued to be a combination of natural search and paid search. Where the content and website are optimised as well as positioned at the top of the SERP. This would generate a more content visitor and where the top ranking matches the quality of the content.
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