Paid Search: A Valuable Research Tool

Anyone in this business knows having the right marketing tools is critical. There are as many as there are apps for your smart phone, and filling your toolbox costs money.

Social listening? There’s a tool for that. Consumer insights? Yep. CRM, CMS, SEO, PPC and all those other acronyms we love to throw around? Those, too.

Digital ToolboxBut when you think about your research tools, do you consider Paid Search?

Paid Search is like the Swiss Army knife of marketing tools. And it won’t cost you an extra penny to use it for research if you’re already using it to generate brand awareness and generate website traffic.

Paid search gathers lots of valuable data, information you can use to better inform your other digital marketing channels.

If you’re already running a Paid Search campaign, why not take advantage of the data you’re collecting? Some of it’s not available anywhere else, it’s specific to your brand and it doesn’t require any additional cost.

Let ‘search term’ data guide you.

“Search term” data used to be accessible for organic searches. But in 2013, Google rolled out an update that encrypted all organic searches, making it impossible for marketers to gain insight into their customers and potential customers by looking at what words they were searching. Suddenly, Google Analytics was showing keyword data as “(not provided)”. For many SEO experts, this was the apocalypse.

But Paid Search helps you get around that dreaded “(not provided)” obstacle. In a Paid Search campaign, you can still see the search terms consumers use to find your ad. This information can guide your content marketing and SEO strategy.

How can you use those search terms?

  • Find out what topics people are interested in and post a relevant blog to your site and on social media. Not only does this help add more keywords to your site, it also makes your information more relevant and can help boost your organic ranking. Win-win-win.
  • Use those search terms to help you identify areas for improvement on your website. Do people search for “sneakers” or “gym shoes” more? How about “job” or “career”? Although these keywords may be extremely similar, if no one uses the search term “career,” then your website headline that says “Start your career here” won’t generate as much traffic as “Start a new job here.” Make sure your website content is relevant to your brand and to your audience.

Of course, the world of digital marketing is ever-changing and Google is constantly changing their algorithms. The best marketing tool you can have is an agency that’s up-to-date on the newest trends and updates and that can turn your data into actionable insights.


Anne Fundakowski makes wearing many hats look easy. She collaborates with every team at Walz Tetrick, with a special emphasis on digital strategy and digital project management. A natural leader, Anne has a knack for improving processes, customer experiences and client results.