June 14, 2019
The world of digital marketing never rests; rather, it is in a constant state of evolution. That's why sophisticated marketers know that they have to stay one step ahead–or at a minimum stay relevant. The end result is that many marketers dabble in a bit of this and that in order to determine what is working now, and while we agree that it is important to test out different strategies, we have noticed that some of the marketing strategy fundamentals seem to be falling by the wayside. A perfect example of this is paid search. Some brands seem to be ignoring paid search in the pursuit of other mediums such as social advertising, and while we at Think Media agree that social advertising should be part of the marketing mix, paid search is still the most effective way to drive conversions.
For the doubters among us, the statistics speak for themselves. To start with, most businesses make $2 for every dollar spent in advertising on Google. According to Unbounce, pay-per-click visitors are 50% more likely to purchase than an organic visitor. Moreover, Wordstream data suggests that when someone is looking to buy a product, paid ads get 65% of all clicks. All of which amounts to some pretty compelling reasons to jump into paid search. These stats don’t even speak to the increased brand awareness that occurs via a greater search presence or the positive impact in regards to other ad campaigns and channels.
The truth is that paid search is a critical tactic in terms of driving qualified traffic to your business. This applies to virtually all brands, whether you have a website that drives people to brick-and-mortar stores such as Walmart or to an online storefront. This is particularly true if your brand has an ecommerce store. In this case, paid search is a must because search exposure will be one of the primary ways your brand captures sales and qualified leads. It's also a great asset for increasing your brand’s visibility to new visitors or people who aren’t familiar with your brand.
If you’re a relatively new brand paid search is perhaps even more important, because gaining visibility organically has become increasingly challenging. After all, the first page of a Google search result is limited real estate largely dominated by established brands–and 95% of internet users don’t go beyond the first page of search results. That means that your brand needs to use paid search to take advantage of first page search results. Beyond that, it takes months before search engine optimization really starts to pay dividends, whereas paid search offers immediate returns.
With that said, paid search isn’t child’s play. It requires an expert to set up, monitor and continually optimize your brand’s ad campaigns. The search landscape is increasingly competitive and budgets can quickly get eaten up with little positive outcome. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can hire a junior person and have them learn as they go. Your brand needs and deserves an expert to be effective, and experts tend to come at a high cost. However, in this instance (and as always), you get what you pay for. Make sure that you’re vetting and hiring seasoned professionals with a track record of success. If you can’t find a person with these qualifications, look to hire a firm with this specific expertise. Paid search can give your business a quantum leap–just because it isn’t sexy or flashy doesn’t mean that it isn’t tried and true.
Shahla Hebets is the founder of Think Media Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy firm. Think Media creates smart, relevant, and authentic digital marketing, social media and ecommerce strategies that drive revenue for health and wellness brands.
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