A Guide to Paid Search and Online Ads
If you’ve been in business for more than a week, you’ve probably had someone approach your business about some sort of paid search advertising. In fact, I know a coffee shop that was hit with 3 advertisers in its first week of business. Crazy, right?
Then again, maybe that’s not so crazy. In 2016 alone, 96% of Google’s revenue was from ad spend. That’s an incredible amount being spent on advertising in just one year.
The pressure on businesses to perform and turn a profit in the shortest amount of time possible is at an all-time high it seems. Everyone is advertising online, and unfortunately in the mad rush to stay up with the competition a lot of marketing dollars go wasted.
It shouldn’t be that way, which is why this guide is here. I want to help you understand the basics of paid search and how it adds value to your overall marketing strategies.
Let me make one thing very clear before we jump in. Paid search does not act as a replacement for good digital marketing strategies. It’s one piece of a larger whole, and you will do well to treat it as such!
Optimize your landing pages.
A good landing page is the backbone of your website’s sales funnel. If you send your new visitors to your homepage or straight to a sale, you’re likely to miss out on an opportunity to build a relationship and nurture people in the awareness stage to a sale.
Landing pages are the ultimate lead generation tool, and every click from paid search ads needs to go to one.
Make sure you can commit to the cost.
Paid search is not a one-and-done kind of operation. Just like everything else in digital marketing, it will take some time to get your ad campaigns right and start seeing solid returns on your investment. Budgeting for 3-6 months (or more) will help ensure that your paid search campaign will succeed.
Nail down your keywords.
Keywords are just as important in paid search as they are in any other aspect of your digital presence. Optimizing your landing pages and ads with the proper keywords will ensure that they appear when and where they need to, which maximizes your investment.
Now, go compete.
Once you’ve set up your website, committed to a budget, and found the right keywords, then it’s time to develop your ads. Write short, applicable sales copy that engages your audience. If applicable, make sure that you include custom, relevant images in your ads that draw the eye and complement your message.
Depending on your platform, be it Google, Facebook, or some other platform, you want to take some time to set proper parameters for your campaign. Demographic and geographic specificity helps make sure your ads are in front of the right audience.
Don’t let paid stand alone.
I know I’m repeating myself here, but it’s worth repeating. Don’t let paid search stand alone! Use paid search to help new customers discover you, or to push people in the consideration phase back to your site. The more effectively you use this tool to complement your digital marketing approach, the more customers you’ll bring through your door!
This is a very simple overview of creating a paid search campaign, but it doesn’t end here. You’ll still need to keep track of how your ads perform and stay vigilant for new opportunities that weren’t obvious upfront. As traffic begins to grow, you’ll have different decisions to make as well. The possibilities to improve are endless, so just remember that it’s a process. You won’t succeed overnight!