Paid Search: Thoughts from a (Former) Unbeliever

Hello, my name is Betsy, and I used to not believe in the value of a paid search strategy.

“Real traffic” and “real leads” only came through respectable “real placements” earned via organic search. I left the creation of the ads and the strategy behind the keywords, campaigns and bids to a team focused on paid media, while I focused my professional attentions on driving traffic through websites, social profiles and mobile experiences. To me, buying search ad space was just another iteration of the much-maligned banner ad – great for padding the pockets of the search engines, but no one else was really seeing any benefit.

And I’m here today to say that I was wrong.

To continually maximize your success and help drive your bottom line, it’s critical to view your digital presence as an integrated unit consisting of both paid and unpaid components, dictated by your audience’s preferences and behaviors.

Find the Right Blend

Your audience doesn’t care about personal opinions about “real” strategies. And in the end, your audience is the key. Even if you’re not speaking to them through their preferred avenues, you can bet that your competitors are right there.

Paid search offers the ability to be hyper-targeted with your spend. With the right analytics, you can determine what keywords are driving leads to your site, and which of those are converting, and adjust your spend accordingly. While you can’t always rewrite your website content on the fly (nevermind the fact that search engine spiders won’t update that quickly anyway), you can quickly reallocate budget to your most profitable keywords. If your audience takes advantage of the top-served ads, investing time and budget in a paid search plan is invaluable.

A paid search approach also offers the ability to incorporate remarketing – delivering your ads back to people who have already shown some level of interest in your company. Pre-qualified leads, anyone?

At the same time, optimizing your website for search engine success can have a great impact on your placement in organic results. You can research your strengths, assess your weaknesses, and diligently track your competitors’ performance; but in the end, you can only affect changes on your own site. If they’re being as attentive as you, your competitors are also in a constant state of optimization. Coupled with the fact that search engine’s algorithms are almost as secret as the formula for Coca-Cola – and changing frequently – staying on the first page of results is a definite challenge. But if that’s where your audience is coming from, then you need to make every effort to be there.

Partner Up!

The final component of success (at least for this post) comes from having a team in your corner that has the experience to help you find the right digital media mix – the one that’s tailored to your customers and their unique behaviors.

Maybe you’re still searching for that right team. Flying Cork can help you take a 360-degree view of your customers and pinpoint the digital and interactive mix that will help you find your audience’s sweet spot.

Let’s pop the cork and find out more – contact us!