Digital Marketing

Making the Most of Paid Search Results

If you’re wondering what the difference between them is, think of it as similar to buying a commercial on television. Running a commercial during the biggest sporting event of the year is going to be much more expensive than running it at 3 a.m. on a local station. The same is true for buying an ad on Google versus buying an ad on one of the less‐trafficked search engines.

Price also depends on the popularity of the keyword being bid on. Your best bet for the widest reach when you’re getting started with PPC ads is to advertise on one of the three larger engines. Keep in mind that for the most visibility possible, you should probably advertise on as many as you can. In the following sections, we break PPC ads down for you in terms of how to buy on each of the engines, how much you’ll be paying, and who is going to see your ad.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords (http://www.google.com/adwords/) is Google’s paid search program. It lets you create your own ads, choose your keywords, set your maximum bid price, and specify a budget. If you’re having trouble creating ads, Google has a feature to help you create and target your ads.

It then matches your ads to the right audience within its network, and you pay only when your ad is clicked. How much you pay varies greatly depending on the keyword because competition drives the bid price. For instance, a keyword like mesothelioma, the cancer caused by asbestos, runs about $56 per click. Lawyers love this one because a case could arguably net them hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it’s worth getting the one case per hundred clicks, and multiple competitors drive the price up through bidding wars.

Signing up for Google AdWords

You can create an AdWords account for free, choosing a maximum cost‐per‐ click (how much you are willing to pay when your ad is clicked) ranging from one cent on up.

Google also has stringent editorial guidelines designed to ensure ad effectiveness and discourage spam. Many payment options are available, including automatic and manual payments (via credit or debit card) and monthly invoicing, which requires a credit line.

Placement options

With Google AdWords, you have three placement options available to you. The most common is for your ads to appear on Google search engine results pages based on a keyword trigger. The second option allows your site to show up in the search results pages of Google’s distribution partners like AOL and Ask.com.

Bing Ads

Signing up for Bing Ads is free. You pay only when someone clicks your ad, with cost‐per‐click bids starting as low as $0.01/click. You can import your search campaign by uploading spreadsheets, or you can even import campaigns from Google AdWords

Placement options

Bing Ads allows you to target your ads based on user demographics, such as gender, marital status, age, and so forth. On top of that, Bing Ads allows you to run your ads on specific days of the week or certain times of day. If you have an ad that targets teenagers, for example, you can choose to have your ad run after 3 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends in order to achieve higher visibility. Like Google, Bing Ads shows search ads in Bing search results. In addition, Bing Ads, much like AdWords, allows advertisers to show Display ads, which show on websites that are opted into the Bing/ Yahoo Network.

Last word

Bing is the latest engine to have done studies proving that audiences exposed to both search and display ads together deliver a greater positive brand lift (that is, user recall and positive associations with the brand) than either type of campaign can yield on its own.

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