Articles in The 'Paid Search' Tag

August 19 2010

Are Your Pay Per Click Ads Competitive?

by Marni Weinberg

A large percentage of websites utilize Search Engine Marketing as a major component of their overall advertising initiatives. Even amidst an economic climate where budgets are stretched ultra thin, paid search is on the rise. According to a recent CNET article, “Paid search is the Web’s latest sector bouncing back from the recession.”

While it is encouraging to see more dollars being spent online, the importance of the message within the ads should certainly not be forgotten. You want to make sure your ads are competitive; Pay per Click Ads are an effective way to drive visitors to your website to (depending on your business model) either buy a product, request a demo, fill out an online form, request a brochure, etc.

Unless your business is uniquely niche, I would bet there are countless others trying to drive the very same visitors to their websites to do the very same thing you are. To complicate matters, the character limitations set forth by the engines can be enough to make you bang your head against a wall! You essentially have to find a way to say what you want to say as creatively as possible, but with very few characters. Trust me, this is no easy task. The key is to make your ad copy eye catching, with incentives to make searchers click on your ad.  This can be accomplished by investing the necessary time to create compelling ad copy that will showcase your positives. Some examples can include:

  • The Use Of Coupon Codes
  • Free Shipping/Returns
  • Fast Delivery
  • Free Gift With Purchase
  • Low Price Guarantee
  • Percentage Off With Coupon Code
  • Free Demo
  • Free Webinar
  • Official Site
  • Authentic/Genuine Products

The use of buzz words to create a sense of urgency is also an excellent tool to grab the attention of a searcher. Examples include:

  • Now (Shop Now, Buy Now, Click Now, Order Now, etc.)
  • Limited Time Offer
  • The Use Of An Expiration Date (Valid through 8/31/10)

If you are an Online Retailer it helps to boast components like:

  • Huge Inventory/collection
  • Full Line of XXXXX in all sizes
  • Great Deals

Don’t forget to create a minimum of three (yes three) ads within each ad group and allow your ads to rotate. Eventually you should have *enough data to determine which ad performs the best overall.

*The use of an analytics platform is strongly suggested.

June 15 2010

Make Your Paid Ads Pop!

by Marni Weinberg

Let’s face it. The Online Marketing arena is a competitive one. Everyone who’s anyone has a product or service to sell and they all seem to make it sound as though their site is the best one to click on. Why would a consumer choose YOU over the countless others? If you don’t have an immediate (and compelling) answer to that question, well then shame on you! It is critical when creating a paid search initiative that your Ad Copy reflects – in as creative a way as possible – why searchers should click on your ads, rather than your competitors.

Ad Copy can be tricky, in that the engines only permit a very limited amount of characters, including spaces and punctuation. Example: 25 in the First Line; 35 in the Second; 35 in the Third Line. Not a lot of space to say what you want to say, is it? So where should you start?

How about making a list of all of the benefits of ordering from your website? These are the things you will want to include in your Ad Copy. Some of these benefits may include the following:

  • Low Price Guarantee & Percentage Discounts (up to 50% off, etc.)
  • Free Shipping & Returns
  • 24 Hour Customer Service
  • Free Samples With Purchase
  • Serving Customers Nationwide
  • Special Promotions or Discounts

You will also want to use calls to action, in an effort to generate a sense of urgency such as:

  • Limited Time Offer or Limited Supplies Available
  • Offer Ends Soon
  • The word “now” speaks volumes and is quite powerful: Buy Now, Shop Now, Call Now, Order Now, Click Now, Visit Now, Discover Now, etc.

Remember, your ads are competing with all of the others out there. Which incentives or offerings would entice you to want to click on your ad?

March 23 2010

Bidding on Branding

by Emily MacNair

It is often that I get a question about why a company should bid on branding keywords when they rank well organically for those terms. While we have covered this topic in the past, it is always good to revisit common questions or concerns.

First, if you have a lot of competition online and don’t bid on your branding terms, you’re opening the door for competitors to bid on your branding and have a compelling ad sitting right next to your organic listing (that is if your website ranks for your brand when searched, which I hope is the case).

If there is a lot of search volume for your branding terms, imagine how many visitors you would be able to get if you had an additional presence (your ad) on the search engine results page along with your organic listing? Bidding on these keywords can certainly help you to capitalize on the volume of searchers. There are numerous tools available to determine approximate search volumes for keywords, including branding terms.

One thing that has always held true with paid search is that you have the ability to offer a tailored message, and test that message over time. Through your paid search ads, you are able to try different calls to action to determine the most effective message for your searchers. You are also able to drive visitors to specific landing pages from your ads, which can be different pages than those that rank organically for the same terms (often your homepage ranks for these keywords).

Search is evolving, and the results can be personalized based on users’ search history, and even more recently, real-time results are being incorporated into organic listings. What does this mean for your online marketing? Having paid listings can help to reserve your spot prominently on the search results pages for your company’s name.

Lastly, there are many steps in buying cycles depending on your industry. It is common to see that once searchers have completed their research, they will revisit their company or brand of choice, often by searching for that brand or company’s name. When you have a presence both organically and within the sponsored listings, you are able to ensure even more visibility for your company with a tailored message than if you were to just rely on your organic listing. Branding keywords are also typically not expensive, and therefore, through your branding keywords you are able to capture those searchers when they are ready to buy at a lower cost.

So the next time that you are debating whether or not you should bid on your branding keywords, consider the points above.

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