A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Paid Search Advertising

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Paid Search Advertising


When you Google keywords related to your business, does your company appear as one of the first search results? If it doesn’t, your business’s website may be missing out on a lot of traffic. Sites that appear on the first page of search engine results receive nearly 95% of all web traffic. That means that if your site isn’t on that first page, your audience may miss it.

But using paid search advertising can help you there.


What is Paid Search Advertising?


Most of the results on the search engine results page are organic; they didn’t pay to be on that page, they just rank well according to Google’s algorithm. But the first and last results on the page are paid advertisements, although they look like the other organic results.

For Google, those ads are purchased using Google AdWords. The price of these ads depends on the daily budget you set and the keywords you pick for your ad. For some of the popular keywords you’ll have to pay more. Other keywords are less expensive, but may not be what your customers are using in their searches.

Search engines like Bing and Yahoo also offer paid ad campaigns. Set up a campaign in a matter of minutes to start establishing a strong online presence.


Terms to Know


Here are a few terms to help you better understand how paid search advertising works.

CPC: Cost-per-click


This is how much you are willing to bid or pay for your ads. Industries with lots of competition may need a larger campaign budget to accommodate for needing to bid higher on popular keywords.


CPI: Cost-per-impression


In a CPI campaign you pay for an ad when it appears in the search results, regardless of if someone clicks on the ad or not. You may also see it called CPM, or cost per thousand impressions. Generally, this is the number of impressions for which you pay.


PPC: Pay-per-click


If you use PPC ads in your campaign, then you pay for the ads after a certain amount of people click on them. Most advertisers choose PPC over CPM because you only pay once potential customers show some actual interest. It’s often a better indicator for conversions.


SEM: Search engine marketing


This is the marketing strategy that uses paid search advertising to increase a brand’s visibility.


SEO: Search engine optimization


Sites looking to appear higher in search results without paying for ads will try to improve their SEO. High-ranking organic results are these sites with good SEO. They contain relevant content and keywords for the search query in question.


SERP: Search engine results page


This is where your ads will appear. Depending on the type of ads you choose, they may appear in the text listings or alongside as product listing ads (PLAs).


Why Use Paid Search Advertising?


It can take a while to improve your Google ranking organically. Improving your site’s SEO will be huge for helping your business to be discovered, but don’t expect it to happen overnight. It will take time to do adequate research, implement the best keywords into your website copy and then see them have an effect on search engine results. Other elements that factor into Google’s algorithm, like mobile-responsiveness, may take more time and help from a web developer to fix.

One benefit to paid search advertising is that it improves your brand’s online visibility fast. Rather than try to battle it out with competitors for an organic spot on the first results page, you can set up a paid ad campaign and get there in no time.

Those people who see your ad are also more likely to convert into customers. Paid search ads are targeted for queries that will lead to conversions. They appear for those consumers who are actually in the market to make a purchase, meaning those shoppers will be more keen to click on your ads. What will make your ads even more effective is if they direct users to a specific landing page targeted for that product or service instead of just your homepage.

So if you want to increase your brand’s visibility and conversion rates (what business doesn’t?), then paid search advertising may be for you.

When you need help with your paid search advertising, contact us at Skoshe! Our experienced team will help make your brand more visible online so customers can find it easily.