Paid Search: Your First Step Toward Digital Success and a Critical Advertising Strategy

In 2015 the average adult spent 5.6 hours of time per day with digital media, a steady increase of 30 minutes per year since 2010. People are online looking for phone numbers, directions, pricing comparisons, peer recommendations, product information and more. If your company doesn’t show up in the results for keyword searches, how will they find you?

Paid Search Will Help

  • 89% of consumers start the purchase process on search engines
  • 5 billion searches happen on Google daily
  • 80% of searches are for local information
  • 78% of mobile local searches result in offline purchases

Not taking advantage of paid search today is like opting out of the phone book in 1982. Unimaginable. Making certain your brand is on all major search engines and directories is vital to covering relevant searches on the web and maximizing your brand exposure. Users can be retargeted for days and weeks after their initial keyword search, so they continue to see your ads. You can even categorize right down to search type.

So how does search work? First, a consumer uses their desktop or, more likely their mobile device to search a phrase though a search engine or directory. Engines and directories use a special algorithm to display the most relevant ads in the sponsored part of the results page. From there, a consumer chooses to visit (or not visit) your website after viewing your ad.

Several components affect the performance of search ads, including keywords, bids, geotargeting, relevance and quality. Finding the right keywords—the terms you select to help match search phrases with your ads—is essential to campaign success. Ambiguous keywords can reach the wrong audience and waste budget. Geotargets are also of high importance, because they match consumers with results relevant in their geographical area, driving local store sales as well as online sales.

While all these factors are significant, perhaps the single most defining factor for campaign performance is the quality of your website once the potential customer visits. Paid search can drive millions of people to your website, but if the site doesn’t include the right information, your point—and your sale—will be lost … they’ll bounce. Your website is your online storefront, and it must accurately represent your brand and offering. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly, has dynamic content and accurately depicts your brand.

After potential customers hit your site, it doesn’t stop there. Search is an effective gateway to many types of deeper interaction with your audiences. You can foster a specific conversion with them, like a purchase, a call, a form submission or another type of engagement. It’s a great place to test new products, play around with keyword conversion results or promote one-time-only events. With a low cost of entry and real-time results, paid search can effectively support and test the success of your other marketing channels.

Paid search is one of the most efficient ways to start competing within the competitive digital world. You can reach consumers at the right time, in the right place, for the right price. And, since it’s infinitely measurable, you can access real-time analytics, test innovation, update messaging quickly and optimize for future results.

So if you’re on the fence about paid search or just haven’t given it much consideration until now, consider how a paid search campaign can benefit your brand—even if you’re already a successful business. Being in the same space as the people you want to reach is the simplest and most effective way of getting your brand in front of them. But don’t just take my word for it … search it!