A Beginners Guide To Paid Search Marketing - What You Need To Know
Updated: Apr 4
Paid search marketing can help you reach out to a larger audience than traditional marketing methods. With paid search marketing, you can target a specific group of people who share the same interests, demographic, and age…and once you do, this audience can be nurtured with more organic methods.
However, as technology evolves, this marketing strategy becomes increasingly more complicated. Those who aren’t in the marketing field can quickly get overwhelmed by all the new information they’re bombarded with, but luckily, some basics don’t change so often.
This article will find the basics of small business digital marketing and all the information you need to know. You’ll learn more about what paid search marketing is, the popular jargon surrounding this topic, and the benefits of creating a paid digital plan for your small business.
A Brief History On Paid Search Marketing
Before the internet and social media, marketing was pretty simple - you could place an ad in your local newspaper, radio, or TV channel. Audiences consumed media and advertising from a few main platforms. Today, there are endless possibilities for targeting a certain type of audience. This makes marketing much more efficient than it was before.
In October of 2000, Google launched the AdWords system, but the advertisers were charged on a cost-per-impression (CPM) system. The pay-per-click or PPC system was introduced by Google in 2002. Even today, it’s the most popular choice for online advertising.
Today, every search engine has its PPC system, but it doesn’t stop there. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media providers have a similar system that helps businesses drive traffic to their websites or eCommerce stores.
What Is Paid Search Marketing?
Unlike traditional marketing, small business digital marketing is a cost-effective type of marketing that allows you to target a specific type of audience that’s already searching for products or services similar to yours.
When a certain keyword is entered in a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, a list of relevant results will appear. Certain keywords can trigger millions of results, and ranking your website organically for certain keywords can take time. That’s where paid search marketing comes in.
As an example, imagine looking for a car repair service in Miami. The first thing most people would do is search for “Auto repair in Miami”, right? Here are the results you’d get:
The first four results, which take almost the entire laptop screen, are ads from companies that invested in paid search marketing. The keywords we entered into the Google Search bar indicated that we’re looking for services they’re offering in a specific area. If you searched for a “hair salon in Chicago,” you wouldn’t get these results.
Paid Search Marketing VS Organic SEO
There’s a constant discussion about whether creating a paid digital plan for your business is better compared to organic SEO. Both have certain advantages, but it all comes down to your end goals.
When it comes to paid search marketing, you’ll see results almost instantly if the ads were done right. You’ll need to bid for positioning your website for a certain set of keywords, but the good thing is that your website will become visible quickly. The downside to paid search marketing is that it doesn’t guarantee sales, only visits to your website.
Organic SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that will put your website as one of the top results on search engines for a certain set of keywords. It requires a lot of time and dedication, but your website will remain visible as long as it offers relevant and valuable information.
The main factor is the quality of the image or text advertised when it comes to price. The better the quality of the ad, the less you’ll be charged per click. On the other hand, organic SEO requires paying an agency to take care of SEO activities or assigning an in-house team.
Depending on the people's abilities running these SEO activities, it can be a more affordable alternative to creating a paid digital plan for your business, but it takes more time before you can see the returns of your investment.
The Advantages Of Creating a Paid Digital Plan For Your Business
There are many benefits of small business digital marketing, and it’s used by millions of companies across the globe. Here are some of the most notable benefits.
Quickly Gain Visibility
Ranking any type of website organically takes a lot of time, so businesses that are just getting started with their digital marketing plan need quick exposure to a large number of people. Paid search marketing offers quick visibility to a large number of people looking for exactly the things you’re offering. In a number of days, your website will be visited by hundreds of people looking for information about a certain subject or looking to buy a certain product or service.
Reach Your Ideal Buyers
Aside from reaching a large number of people, one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that you’ll be able to target a specific audience searching for the products or services you’re offering. This makes paid search marketing extremely cost-effective because every person your ad reaches is interested in the product or service you’re advertising.
Imagine having to remove a small stain from a carpet. A cleaner stream would be much more effective than spraying the cleaner on the small stain, but across a whole foot in diameter, right? It’s the same with marketing. The “stream” is paid search marketing targeting only the “stain” or your ideal buyers in this metaphor.
Easily Track How The Ads Are Working
One of the things people love most about creating a paid plan for their business is tracking how each ad is working in real-time. As soon as the campaign is set up and the first visitors click on your website link, you’ll be able to see how long they’ve been on the website, whether they put in an order for a specific product, sent you an email, or dialed your phone number.
As seen in the image above, a paid search marketing dashboard usually includes several metrics that will show relevant information regarding your goals. In any paid search marketing campaign, total cost, the number of impressions, conversions, and clicks are the most important.
Paid Search Marketing Vocabulary
Creating a paid digital plan for your business doesn’t seem too complicated in theory, but some phrases can easily confuse people looking into this type of marketing. Here are some of the most popular phrases you need to know.
Click-through-rate or CTR for short is one of the most important metrics when it comes to small business digital marketing. It shows the percentage of people who clicked on your ad instead of the number of times it appeared in search results.
One of the metrics you’ll find on your analytics page is CPC or cost-per-click. This metric equals the amount of money the advertiser needs to pay the search engine per click.
Another important metric is impressions. This metric shows the number of times your advertisement appeared in search queries. It doesn’t mean anyone clicked it, just that it was shown to the person searching for a specific thing.
Each marketing campaign has an ultimate goal - this can range from visiting your website to subscribing to a newsletter, downloading your e-book, or making a purchase on your online store. A conversion is when the visitor completes a certain activity - your campaign goal.
A keyword is a certain word or phrase used to display a certain ad. For example, if you own a car service, your keyword should be “car service,” “car maintenance,” or something similar. The keyword has to make sense and be closely related to the product or service you’re offering.
When you completely set up your paid search marketing campaign, the last step is adding a landing page for your ad. The landing page is a specific URL that takes the visitor from the search engine ad to your website, or better yet, a specific page on your website.
Amended and co-written by the expert paid search copywriter Jovan Glišić. Special thanks to him!
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