Paid Search Marketing
Paid search marketing, otherwise known as pay per click (PPC), allows you to capture customers while they are actively seeking out what your company offers. So whether they are ready to purchase or still in the research phase, you can bring them to your website and sell them from there.
Pay per click advertising is bought on a cost per click (CPC) model where you only pay whenever someone clicks on your ad. These ads are primarily purchased on and served via the search engines, but there are also a number of second-tier search platforms. While Google drives 60% of all web searches, Bing and Yahoo are at a combined 35% and growing.
Beyond displaying your ads on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices to drive traffic directly to your website, some search engines also offer app install ads. These specialized tools can send your audience directly to either Google Play or the iTunes App Store to download your app, or show pay per call ads on mobile devices that allow the user to call you directly, bypassing your website entirely. They can also serve product listing ads, which are image-based and shown through a product feed.
Paid Search Platforms
Pay per click text ads served on Google and their partner sites are bought through Google AdWords. Because studies consistently show that Google is the most used search engine, we often start here to because creating PPC strategies for our clients. Depending on performance, traffic levels and budgets we will assess running on other channels like Bing or Yahoo. Currently Bing and Yahoo both use Google results to back fill many of their results.
Often overlooked, Bing ads can be a great alternative or extension to your advertising on Google. Being less competitive and offering access to a different demographic, Bing often times can be more profitable than Google. In the past, Bing had been serving ads on both Bing and Yahoo sites, but recently that has been changing to Yahoo serving many of their own ads, especially on mobile devices. There are also some banned categories on Google that are still available on Bing.
As the Yahoo Gemini platform continues to expand, the company seeks to stand out by taking over control of it's paid search ads from Bing. It is also set to start service for Google ads as well. While desktop devices will be a mix of Yahoo direct ads, Bing, and Google ads as per their agreement, mobile devices will shift entirely through Yahoo Gemini.
With more than half of all product searches starting on Amazon if you are already selling products on their platform, we highly recommend expanding into paid advertising through Amazon. With a higher purchase intent and trust factor than Google because you are buying directly through Amazon versus your own website, we typically see a higher return on ad spend than any other platform.
The Relay Approach To Paid Search
With the right mix of highly relevant keywords, compelling text ads, and an engaging landing page, paid search can be an incredibly profitable advertising channel when managed properly. At Relay Paid Media, we know that time spent on an account by an experienced paid search manager is essential to a successful campaign. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a "set it and forget it" advertising medium. As Google, Bing, and Yahoo increase the complexity of their platforms and the algorithms behind determining which ads to serve it is becoming ever more important to have an experienced team managing your accounts.
What we do at Relay Paid Media is start with a solid foundation. Often neglected, a proper account setup is essential to an effective paid search campaign. Sure, this is a simple process if we are starting an account from scratch -- but what if we are taking over an existing account? That's where we come in as the experts. With so many unknowns to the quality score algorithms, we take a slow methodical approach to restructuring an account so that we are able to set the campaign up for long term success. We spend the majority of our time deep in analytics, whether you bring us a full website tracking platform like Google Analytics, or conversion data tracked through the search engine pixels. Our team examines every aspect of the platforms' determining data points -- like which are top-performing keywords; where the optimal bids should be (through testing); and even which ad copy and landing page combinations are performing the best. On a regular basis, we are analyzing the data, developing lessons learned, implementing them and then building up new data for continued optimizations. During this entire process we are reporting back to you -- the client -- on a weekly basis.
Where We See Others Fail
There are three primary reasons why we see our competitors' paid search campaigns fail time and time again. The first is due to having an inexperienced paid search manager on an account. Second, loading down an inexperienced paid search manager with too many clients can cause him or her to become overwhelmed and not have the necessary time to fully optimize and drive the performance of each account. And last but not least, setting the wrong expectations with the client from day one.
Why are we better? Well first of all, the lead on all our paid search accounts has been managing paid search campaigns for over 10 years. This means that any and all work done by our lower-level managers and specialists is consistently guided and evaluated by this senior role. Next, we keep a small client list relative to our staff size so that we can focus more time and energy on each client. And finally, we always set expectations up front. Do we really think we can improve your account? We'll tell you, even if the answer is no. Do we think we can hit your goals? We'll tell you if we think they are too low or too high and explain why we think we can or cannot hit them up front. It all ads up to no unpleasant surprises along the way -- something we're pretty proud of.
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