What is Paid Search?
Paid search is a digital marketing strategy that allows businesses to advertise their products and services on search engines. Paid search ads are about getting your message in front of your audience precisely when they are looking for your products or services on search engines, such as Google or Bing. Reaching an audience that is actively searching for your product or service is what makes Paid Search advertising one of the most profitable digital marketing strategies.
How Does Paid Search Advertising Work?
Search engines like Google and Bing sell digital real estate on their search results pages. Businesses design ads and bid for these ads to appear on specific results pages using keywords. For example, if your business sold organic dog food in Dublin, you could bid on search terms like “dog food Dublin” or “organic dog food Dublin.” By bidding on these keywords, your ads will be displayed for people searching for these phrases.
The main benefit of paid search advertising is that your ads will be displayed to highly engaged and relevant audiences who are already interested in your product or service and are researching it.
Another benefit is that you will only ever have to pay for the clicks your ad receives. This is why choosing relevant keywords and designing appealing ads is essential. If these steps are not done correctly, you may waste your budget with your ads appearing to an irrelevant audience who are not going to convert once they reach your website.
How to Get Started with Paid Search Advertising
If you have a product or service you are trying to promote online, Google Ads is an excellent option. But there are so many different options that yield very different results. If you are getting started on Google Ads search advertising, the main two options you have are Google’s Smart campaigns and traditional search campaigns.
Google Smart campaigns are machine learning-powered search campaigns that allow you to manage your ads with minimal effort. These campaigns are designed for business owners and marketers with little or no knowledge of Google Ads.
The main benefit of these campaigns is that business owners don’t need to invest a lot of time setting up the campaigns and managing them, which is a great option in the short term.
There are, however, many limitations to using Google Smart campaigns.
Smart Campaigns Limit Keywords
Firstly, you have very little control over your Smart campaign. Keywords are one of the most important factors in a successful Google Ads campaign. These keywords are what trigger your ads on specific results pages. On Smart campaigns, Google chooses your keywords, and you have very little control over editing them.
Let’s go back to our example above; if Google chooses to bid on the keyword “dogs Dublin” rather than “dog food Dublin”, your ads will be displayed to an audience looking for dogs – a product you do not offer.
This is likely going to waste a lot of your digital marketing budget. With Smart campaigns, you are also not able to add new keywords. This can become problematic if Google has not chosen one of your most lucrative services as a keyword. For example, if the Dublin dog food company offered a delivery service but didn’t target “dog food delivery Dublin” you will miss out on the opportunity to advertise this lucrative service.
Google Smart campaign keywords are also limited to using broad keyword match types. This means that your ads are less likely to appear to a targeted, high-intent audience and are more likely to show to a broad and less relevant audience. In turn, this is likely to increase your cost per conversion and reduce your return on ad spend.
Smart Campaigns Limit Reporting and Analytics
As a business, we understand it’s important to know your customers and understand their needs. Google Smart ads don’t provide detailed analytics reports, cutting you off from a crucial source of information.
Traditional Google Ads reports provide information on the placements of ads, search queries and audience data. With no access to this data, you are losing insights into your customers, how they shop and their needs.
For example, if the Dublin dogfood company customers were continuously searching for “organic dog treats” this would give the owners insights about developing the product line.
This data is also vital for your digital marketing performance. The data you get with traditional search campaigns allows you to get a better understanding of which keywords and ads best resonate with your target audience.
With this information, you can make informed decisions on improving your campaigns so they get a better return on investment in the future.
Weighing Up Your Options?
When choosing between Google Smart campaigns and traditional responsive search campaigns, you should consider your available resources. While the initial time investment into Google Smart ads is low, you are unlikely to tap into the full potential of the digital marketing platform.
Traditional Google search campaigns are worth investing in if you have the resources. The control over keywords and bids and the detailed audience targeting allow these campaigns to generate more leads, quality traffic and more sales.
Hiring A PPC Agency
Hiring a PPC agency to manage your ads is a fantastic investment when it comes to running Google Ads campaigns. At Sprint Digital, we are a certified Google partner. This certification recognises our team’s advanced knowledge of the Google Ads platform. We keep up to date with the latest trends, strategies and research.
A PPC agency’s expertise in the Google Ads platform ensures your ads, targeting, and reporting will be set up correctly, and you won’t run into problems down the line.
Good PPC agencies take the time to get to know your business, understand your products and services and understand what your customers truly value. This is something machine learning is yet to understand. PPC agencies make your Google Ads campaigns with these quintessential insights in mind. This comes into play when we select keywords to target, design ads, choose relevant ad copy, and target potential customers.
Hiring a PPC agency to manage your Google Ads campaigns will ensure that time is being invested into campaign optimisation. This will ensure that your advertising spend is being invested, where you are getting the best cost per conversion and which will provide you with the best return on advertising spend.
At Sprint Digital, we create bespoke reports with each of our client’s specific goals and objectives included. We also conduct monthly meetings where we review our Paid search results and discuss new campaign ideas and strategies. These reports and meeting create transparency within the agency-client relationship and build trust opportunities to collaborate.