Paid search marketing is a growing area of web based marketing, with more and more companies looking to utilise it, particularly because of the control it offers in various areas.

What is Paid Search?

Put simply, it’s a search marketing tool where companies pay each time someone clicks on their advert.

You may have heard it called various different names – Paid Search, PPC, Pay per Click Search, Cost per Click Search – and you may have heard of a few of the more popular paid search tools, such as Google AdWords and Bing AdCenter.

Paid Search revolves around keywords. Following on from a stage of keyword research, companies create campaigns, grouping their keywords into relevant adgroups. Ads are then created to display to search users. Companies then determine how much they are prepared to pay for each ad click, and how much they are prepared to spend each day.

The ads then display until that budget runs out.

It sounds expensive to pay every time someone clicks …

If all a company does is open a campaign, flood it with keywords, create an ad and switch on, then it can be expensive. Very expensive, in some cases. However, there is no need for it to be expensive.

Most paid search tools provide a significant number of settings and features, allowing you to control most aspects of your campaign. Most also provide indepth reporting, allowing you to see exactly what is or is not happening, allowing you to refine and optimise further.

Control your costs!

Most paid search platforms allow you to control and manage two key costs:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): How much you’re prepared to pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
  • Daily Budget: How much you’re prepared to spend each day.

If you only want to spend a maximum of 20p per click, and only want to spend £2 per day, then that’s all you’ll pay. Importantly, there is no commitment to how long your campaign runs. If you want to stop spending right now, you can.

Control your keywords!

Unlike organic search, most Paid Search platforms allow you to control exactly which keyword searches your ads appear for. They do this via match types, where you can bid on exact, phrase and broad match versions of your desired keywords. Importantly, you can also state which keywords your ads should not appear for.

Keyword control is important. While complete control over keywords can take time, poor keyword management and targeting can result in clicks for irrelevant search terms, and all clicks cost money, whether relevant or not.

Control Ad schedules!

Confident that most of your leads are generated Tuesday to Thursday? Then only show your ads on those days. Most paid search platforms allow a level of control over scheduling. Not everyone is searching online 24/7, and everyone is certainly not searching for your products or service 24/7. Scheduling allows you to ensure you’re ads are showing only at the most relevant times, making your budget last longer.

Control Performance!

Paid search requires ongoing refinement. If your campaign is tracking properly, you should constantly be learning about potential improvements – negative keywords, high bounce rate keywords, individual ad performance, best times and so on. Paid Search tools provide a wealth of data to help you improve, allowing you to control ongoing performance. If you do nothing with it, performance will be poor. If you continually monitor and refine, performance will improve.

Already using a paid search marketing platform?

If you’re confident all is well with your account, that you are doing all that you can to improve click quality, lower costs and increase leads, then congratulations! If, however, you think you need a second opinion, then get in touch.