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PPC 101: What is Paid Search Marketing?

The digital world is constantly growing, so if your marketing efforts aren’t focused on digital advertising, you’re missing out. Seriously, take a break from the direct mail and hear us out. One of the biggest opportunities for digital advertising is paid search marketing, and it’s something you should consider when creating your marketing plan for 2020

Trying to figure out the ins and outs of paid search can be confusing. Fortunately, our PPC experts at Lifted Logic created a quick guide to help you out.

How paid search marketing works

Paid search is a popular Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising method. Just as the name sounds, you pay a certain amount each time someone clicks your ad. Paid search ads appear at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) before the list of organic results. 

Before you say, “no, that’s not for us,” check this out — based on a study by Google, paid search can increase brand awareness by 80%. When done right, the return you get from a search ad is much greater than how much you paid for the click. You know what that means? Sustainable business growth. 

Bidding process

PPC works based on an auction system to determine your ad placement. But winning the prime spot isn’t solely dependent on how much you bid. 

Wait, wait, wait… What am I bidding on?

Simple: keywords. 

Think about when a person types something into a search engine. That’s a query. When you decide on a keyword, you want to choose words or phrases that will get you on a SERP for your target audience’s search queries. 

The goal is that when someone types something like “where to find marble counters in Kansas City,” your ad for marble counters pops up. 

Bidding is a long process to understand and master. However, 2020 is already bestowing upon us many blessings, including a big one from our friends over at Google. Long story short, the most effective bidding strategy is now all automated by the AdWords algorithm! With a few simple, routine audits on your end, AdWords no longer needs as much maintenance as it did even a year ago.

Ad ranking 

Your #1 goal with PPC is (read: should be) to create an ad that ranks high, meaning you want your ad placed above your competitors. Remember, your bid is only one aspect that contributes to the success of your search ad. For example, if you use Google AdWords, Google uses an algorithm that considers:

  • Ad relevance
  • Ad quality
  • Context of the search
  • Content format 

Ad relevance is based on your quality score, which has its own set of determinants, including: 

  • Historical click-through-rate (CTR)
  • How relevant your ad is to the keyword
  • How relevant your ad is to its landing page

How to Improve Your Google AdWords Quality Score →

Key takeaway: a good bid along with a high quality score is what will help you get the highest ranking possible. 

PPC versus SEO

The biggest difference between PPC and search engine optimization (SEO) is how traffic to your website is generated. Both strategies use keywords to attract potential customers, but SEO is organic, meaning people find your site without you paying for the visit. 

SEO is a technique that requires practice, and it could take some time before you start gaining enough domain authority to rank on the first page of a search engine. PPC bypasses that wait by giving you the opportunity to pay to advertise on SERPs instead of trying to get there organically. 

Don’t get us wrong. Both techniques are crucial for great marketing and increasing web traffic, and we highly recommend using SEO and PPC together to maximize your benefits. 

Lifted Logic has your paid search marketing needs covered

You don’t have to struggle through paid search alone; let Lifted Logic help. We are a premier web design and digital agency in Kansas City focused growing businesses through the power of phenomenal digital marketing. 

Get in touch with our team by calling 816.298.7018 or use our cost calculator tool today!