6 Reasons to Use Paid Search (even if you're an SEO Superstar)
Typically, organic (unpaid) search accounts for 70% of the clicks on a search results page. The other 30% are click paid listings (known as PPC, pay per click, SEM, search engine marketing, or by the largest provider, Google AdWords).
Even if your organization ranks at the top of Google for the all the important search queries in your category (wouldn’t that be nice!), search engine marketing campaigns can add value to your online marketing in 6 important ways.
1. Add credibility to your organic ranking
Seeing a website listed twice in the top results increases the prominence and authority of your brand. Paid search listings appear in the visual hot spots of the page, so they often get scanned first (and many searchers don’t distinguish between paid and organic listings).
2. Customize the messages your prospects see
You have full control over the messages that reach searchers with SEM, so you can create, test, and easily update your advertisement with special offers or specific calls to action. Plus, top-of-page listings are highlighted and can have links (called Sitelinks in AdWords) to specific pages deeper on your website, enabling prospects to go directly to the information they need, and thus convert faster.
3. Test effective direct response copy
Want to see the effect of a new offer? Try out a new campaign message? Direct web traffic to a new landing page? With search engine optimization, you often have to wait days or weeks to see if you’ve made an impact, but SEM allows you to quickly and easily A/B test new keywords and messaging. You’ll usually see results right away, so you can roll out the winning message across your website.
4. Pre-empt or fend off competitors
With as much as 70% of website traffic originating with search, you’ll need to protect your search real estate. Looking to steal market share? You can even have your ads appear when someone searches for your competitor by name.
5. Respond quickly to trends
By monitoring your search engine marketing and your website analytics, you can be the first to capture traffic from emerging keywords and phrases.
6. Measurable display advertising and retargeting
Search engines offer more than the text-based ads you see next to your search results, and have the capabilities to provide better targeting and tracking than conventional banner ads.
So enhance your online marketing by integrating paid search/SEM: it’s an efficient and cost-effective way to maximize your online presence. (Check out our post next week to learn how to get started.)