Sound Investment: Paid Search

By Adam Landrum | Aug 25, 2008

Paid Search, typically known as Pay-per-click, is probably one of the best investments you can make. Paid Search typically shows up on the top or right-hand side of search results. These are “ads” that businesses buy on a per-click basis. An example is below:

Other forms of Paid Search include contextual advertising, banners, video and almost any form of media you can think of. You can simply pay to show up in search results or on certain websites.

Here are 6 reasons Paid Search is such a great investment:

1. Target

You can target who sees your ad. It’s like buying a billboard, but only those who are prospects can see your ad as they drive down the street.

2. Efficiency

You only pay when somebody actually clicks. Your ad can be seen a thousand times, but if nobody clicks, you pay nothing. It’s your website’s job to “convert” the prospect once they click through to your web site.

3. Tracking

You can track the results, from Click-thrus (a percentage of actual clicks / impressions) and conversions (a percentage of those who took action / number of clicks). Therefore, if you spent $500 on Paid Search and you received two new clients from the efforts, you know that you spent $250 per client. You can determine quickly if the investment is worth it or not.

4. Budget

You’re in control of your budget. You tell Google, (or whoever your Paid Search provider is) how much you want to spend per month. They’ll tell you how much traffic they’ll send you and then you can decide if you want to participate. They pace the traffic over the month (or send the clicks all up front, as fast as they’ll come) and then turn your ad off so you don’t go over budget.

5. Fine-tune

You can run multiple ads for the same campaign and see which ones are the most effective. You can turn off an under-performing ad at any time. Fine-tuning the effectiveness of your message is entirely up to you.

6. Beyond Search

You can also place your ads on websites that target users by demographics. Advertise on web sites such as CNN or Martha Stewart.

Convinced this is a great investment? This is how you get started:

1. Setup a Google Adwords Account.

2. Click the Start Now Button.

3. Choose the Starter addition, and input your telephone number.

4. And you should be off…Google will walk you through a myriad of other options to build your campaign, write your ad, select your keywords and more.

For all of the details, see Google’s guide.

And of course for any further assistance, let Merge help you.

This will be one of the best investments you ever make, and I hope you end up making it!

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