Paid Search Basics

Contributed by Caryl Anne Crowne

Running a successful business using digital media is no longer as simple as selling high-quality products that have a high demand. Understanding basic digital marketing strategies such as Paid Search (also commonly called PPC marketing) is essential to maximizing your online reach with each individual campaign you launch.

With an understanding of Paid Search marketing and how to make it work for you, you will be able to create effective and engaging online campaigns that resonate with your target audience.


A Basic Guide to Paid Search Marketing


Paid Search/Pay-Per-Click Marketing Overview

Paid Search is one of the oldest and most popular methods used to advertise to users online. Using Paid Search marketing is possible via search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing in addition to advertising on third-party websites that are most relevant to your own.

With Paid Search campaigns, bid on each click you receive to avoid overspending any marketing budget you currently have available. Only pay for clicks and visits you receive via each Paid Search campaign you launch to save money while gaining valuable insight into which ad formats are most effective at reaching and appealing to your prospective customers.


Google Ads Paid Search Platform

One of the biggest and most well-known platforms available to launch Paid Search campaigns is Google Ads (now called just Google Ads). Google Ads provides webmasters with the opportunity to launch new Paid Search ad campaigns based on specific keywords and URLs that are most relevant to your own business and the products, services, or content you provide.

You can use Google Ads to create multiple campaigns simultaneously, even if you have a budget set in place. Use A/B testing to create different Paid Search campaigns that showcase various headers, subject lines, CTAs (calls-to-action), images, and promotional graphics to compare them and determine the most effective method of communicating with your intended audience.


Benefits of Paid Search Marketing

Paid Search marketing provides numerous benefits and advantages compared to traditional print media campaign solutions. Some of the most notable advantages of using Paid Search marketing in your next digital campaign include:

  • Working With Your Budget: Launching Paid Search campaigns is possible regardless of the budget you have available. Bid a set amount to pay for each click your URL receives to avoid overspending without placing too much of your budget into just one solo campaign.
  • Keyword Choice: Choose to create Paid Search campaigns based on the most relevant keywords and phrases that match your products or the audience you want to reach.
  • Tracking and Monitoring: Paid Search solutions provide in-depth analytics and data to learn more about the effectiveness of each individual Paid Search campaign you run.
  • Easy to Get Started: Launching Paid Search advertising does not require extensive advertising knowledge or an understanding of programming, making it an ideal marketing tool for those who are new to online marketing.


Researching Keywords and Current Trends

An essential element of launching a successful Paid Search campaign is the ability to select and target the right keywords based on current trends in your market and industry. Conducting keyword and trend research is part of the process when launching Paid Search campaigns to ensure that you reach your intended audience.

Learn more about the popularity of various keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your business and brand with the use of free tools such as Google Trends.


Choosing the Right Type of Ad

There are two main formats of Paid Search ads depending on the platform you intend to use to advertise and the type of promotion that works best for your online audience. PLA, or Product Listing Ads, often include a basic CTA (call-to-action) and an enticing headline to appeal to users browsing search engines and relevant websites.

Image-based Paid Search ads allow more creative freedom, providing a space for an image or professional graphic to help grab the attention of users online. Choosing the right type of ad for your next Paid Search campaign greatly depends on the audience you are targeting and the industry you represent.


Scheduling Ads

Scheduling your Paid Search ads is another way to keep track of the progression of your campaigns without losing the interest of potential visitors and prospective customers. Scheduled ads provide you with complete control over when your ads are visible and when new formats are launched to prevent users from becoming bored with your promotions.


Use Analytics to Compare Paid Search Campaign Results

Using Google Ads, Google Analytics, or a built-in plugin for a content management system such as WordPress, track and monitor the results of each individual Paid Search campaign you launch. Learn which keywords and CTAs work best to engage your audience and which Paid Search campaigns generate leads and revenue.


Calculate ROI for Paid Search Campaigns

Calculate the ROI (Return on Investment) of each individual Paid Search campaign you launch to determine the best platform and location for your Paid Search ads. Calculating the ROI of each Paid Search campaign you run is a way to obtain valuable insight into your current marketing budget and where your money is well spent when creating specific Paid Search ads.

Crafting a marketing plan that results in generated leads and revenue is not always easy, especially if you are new to marketing or managing digital campaigns. With the right Paid Search campaign strategy, you can drastically increase your online reach and ability to attract prospective customers.


Next: Setting Up Your First Paid Search Campaign