You probably haven’t heard this expression since you were about 13 years old during some incessant peer pressure to conform, but when it comes to paid search advertising, “everybody’s doing it.” And for good reason.
It’s no secret that paid search can be one of the most effective, efficient and measurable advertising mediums out there. If it were a secret, Google certainly wouldn’t be the empire that it is, since about 90% of their net revenue comes from search advertising.
The reason that paid search advertising has grown exponentially, and why marketing budgets previously allocated toward traditional media are shifting more toward this medium, is that you have a unique opportunity to target specific niches who are in an active search to find what you have to offer.
When managed effectively, the inherent flexibility and measurability of paid search allows advertisers to continuously improve upon efficiency and performance. Let me give you an example of how this channel can allow you to make better use of your marketing dollars over time.
Let’s say I’m an online retailer that sells trendy women’s footwear. In addition to my two retail stores in southern California, I sell all of my product online and distribute throughout the U.S. and Canada. For shipping, however, I’m forced to charge more for Canadian customers.
I’ve been running a paid search campaign for about 4 months now. I’ve been pushing all of my product, and I’m targeting all of the U.S. and Canada. I find that I’m getting very few orders from Canada, as well as the Midwestern and Southern regions of the U.S. On top of that, it’s apparent that I’m missing out on a lot of orders because of my limited budget and exposure.
After sufficient testing, I’ve decided to refine my focus. I’m now going to geo-target my campaign to focus on select metros in the East and West, and I’m going to only push 3 of my 5 product lines which correspond with the metros, markets and climates I’m targeting.
After just a couple of weeks, I’ve found that I’m now capturing a much greater impression share for the smaller set of keywords I’m targeting. In addition, conversion rates and sales corresponding with my paid search efforts have grown significantly. I continue to refine my campaign over the course of the next several months, and based on the data, insight and ROI generated through paid search, I feel I’m ready to begin expanding my online marketing efforts.
As you can see, when it comes to determining the best strategy for reaching your specific audience throughout all mediums, whether online or off, few channels can compete with paid search. It’s a channel which offers advertisers a unique ability to optimize their efforts on the fly, and quickly determine how best to both appeal to and capture new customers at the right time, and in the right location.
Given this flexibility, paid search advertising can serve as an invaluable catalyst to formulate other online marketing strategies for channels that are less flexible, less measurable, and which require a more significant investment in time and resources to establish a footing.
While it’s undeniably important to establish a presence in multiple channels over the long term, for many organizations, initiating a phased online marketing approach with paid search is a wise move that can provide the intelligence needed to make informed marketing decisions down the road. the road.