If you just read the first part of this multi-part blog, you will now start reading about paid search, the second of three faces of search marketing. Those who have not had the opportunity of reading the first part, the discussion centered on introducing search marketing and taking a closer look at organic search, which is the broadest and most widely utilized form of search marketing.
In a nutshell, organic search enhances a site’s web reputation and increases its rankings by optimizing the website for content relevance and industry-related keywords as well as building quality links towards the site.
Face #2: Paid Search
Unlike organic search marketing, business websites that rely on paid search depends on promoting their sites using sponsored listings, as reiterated by Econsultancy in their Paid Search Best Practice Guide. More commonly known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, but also called many other things such as cost-per-click, sponsored listings, paid for placement, and cost-per-impression. Nevertheless, paid search is something that not all businesses want to venture into yet.
Major search engines themselves offer paid marketing services, the most popular being Google AdWords, although
Yahoo! and Bing also offer PPC services. A search engine’s conventional sponsored results is usually just a section of the main search engine results page (SERP). It is common to find PPC ads at the very top, with a lightly colored background to differentiate the paid ads from the organic results. Some paid ads are at either sides of the page, but seldom at the very bottom.
The terms of payment varies per PPC service provider, some pay for each individual click (PPC), while some pay for every thousandth appearance of the promotion on a SERP, which is called a cost-per-impression. The former might be best for companies that want sales revenue, while the latter is ideal for brand promotion.
According to Google’s Traffic Search Overview, organic search drives more traffic to a site than paid search, but there seems to be a notable difference in terms of the quality of traffic that these two methods are getting. It was mentioned there how an organic search is very likely to drive 20-30 times more visitors than a paid search, but these people only view less pages and double the bounce rate of visitors derived from a paid search. It also indicates that consumers who land on a website through paid marketing are more likely to be high-value customers, pointing out the idea that investing in paid marketing may actually bring a higher revenue.
This however, can still be contested. The wiser thing to do would be to test these methods and see which delivers more. Gather data within a specific timeframe where you used paid search ads and compare them with the times you don’t run the ads.
Bottom line is, use paid search if you have the budget. It’s the faster way to the top if you have sufficient financial resources. Paid ads have a special place at the top of SERPs, so you get more exposure for your website. To get a chance of a click-through through organic methods, you have to at least get into the top 5 or visitors are likely to ignore your site.
The next obvious advantage for paid search is that it is so much easier to track the performance of your marketing strategy. Each keyword and cent can be easily monitored, so your return-on-investment can be accurately measured. This also goes for testing your future campaigns as well.
Learn about local search, the third face of search marketing and find out why, other than organic and paid, you should also incorporate local search into your marketing plan.