Ten quick wins in paid search
Spending money to be visible on search engines can be a very effective, measurable marketing tactic. If your company is still debating whether or not to invest in search engine advertising, here are some scenarios when it can make a lot of sense to dedicate some budget to advertising online.
1. The challenge: you want your brand to have more visibility online.
If your brand isn’t showing up on the first page of search results when customers are searching for your brand, product or service, paid search can get your message onto the first search results page. In order to succeed, you will need to:
• Select the right keywords to align with your customers’ searches
• Budget enough money to be competitive on those keywords
• Write compelling ad copy (offer something of value, and be clear)
• Create landing pages that support your ad and fulfill the promise of the ad
• Be prepared to test the elements of your campaign to get the best return on investment
2. The challenge: you had good search engine visibility but now it has slipped, and you want to recover it.
Perhaps you are in a situation where you were used to seeing your brand prominently ranked in the search engines for searches that were relevant to your industry, but now those rankings have slipped and you need to regain that prominence quickly. If your organic rankings have slipped, it could be due to a number of factors, including changes in the search engine’s algorithm, improvements your competitors have made to their own websites, a redesign of your website that didn’t take SEO into account properly, or greater activity pointing to competitor’s websites (such as press releases, news coverage, social media mentions, contests, new content, and videos).
Improving organic rankings may take some time, and if your online visibility is vital to your business, then paid search is the fastest way to get back on the search results pages in a prominent position, while you do the things that are necessary to repair your organic ranking.
3. The challenge: your reputation has taken a hit.
It can happen. You do an online search for your brand and some of the top results are from bloggers or other sites highlighting a recent public relations disaster, or even a single unhappy customer who is creating a stir. If your company is responding to the challenge in good faith and you want to get your message out there faster, a paid search campaign aimed at addressing the issue head on can be a positive way to get in front of the problem and not only do something about resolving it, but be seen to be doing something about it.
4. The challenge: introduce new products to the market.
If your company is introducing new products, or product lines not previously associated with your brand, a paid search campaign supporting the new product launch can be used to put your message in front of your customers, in addition to the usual marketing channels you use to launch new products. With some effort in your keyword selection, you could also use paid search to put the new product message in front of potential customers who would not have associated your brand with that product.
5. The challenge: expand your reach to new audiences.
Is there a demographic or market that you are currently not reaching? A well-designed paid search campaign can place your ideas in front of entirely new audiences, with the right combination of keywords, messaging, and landing pages.
6. The challenge: promote a contest.
If you go to the effort to run a contest, paid search is an obvious medium to help you spread the word.
7. The challenge: you have created lots of new marketing materials, including videos, and now you need to let people know about it.
Maybe you have decided that content marketing is a good idea, so you have created videos and eBooks and webinars and other useful resources. In addition to promoting these new resources through email and social media, try a paid search campaign. It is easy to measure the results, test your campaign, adjust it, and hone it to be a cost-effective platform for sharing your valuable content.
8. The challenge: promote a one-off sale or event.
The special, limited time offer; paid search campaigns can be fine-tuned to run exactly when and where you need them to be seen. Planning a Black Friday sale? You better make sure your sales event will be easily found online.
9. The challenge: get more clicks from the search engines results page.
Our studies have shown that yes, running a paid ad in addition to having a strong organic placement on a search results page, will likely cannibalize some of your organic clicks. But we’ve also seen that typically a prominent paid search result along with a strong organic search result will net the brand a greater number of total clicks off that page. That’s more clicks for your brand, fewer left for the competition. Our studies have also clearly shown that having both a prominent paid and organic listing together increases brand retention and purchase intent. This is why you sometimes see brands bidding on their own brand name and running a paid search ad for searches on their brand name, even if they already dominate the page with organic listings.
If you have good website analytics in place, you can see the results for yourself. The other advantage of course, is that by bidding on your own brand name, you prevent competitors from taking up that space on the search results page and potentially taking clicks away. It’s about protecting your market share and reassuring customers that your brand is an authority.
10. The challenge: launch a new company or website.
If you are starting something brand new, you likely won’t be showing up organically on the top search results pages right away, but with paid search you can make your presence known right away. As paid search drives more traffic to your website, your compelling value proposition will win new business, bringing more traffic, and supporting your organic search ranking.
90 Days to Quick Wins
When it comes to paid search advertising, we have a few different ways we can help companies get results. For the do-it-yourselfers, we encourage you to download our free Marketing Hero Quickstart eBook. It covers the basics of paid search and conversion optimization. If you need some help to get results moving fast, ask us about our Quickstart Program. It’s a 90-day program that engages us to help you build a winning campaign, get it up and running, measure the results, and report on the progress. Of course, if you are looking for a vendor to really push the envelope of your paid search campaign, we work with some very large clients, managing millions of dollars in annual online spending for them. For a free consultation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-800-277-9997.