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CPC 101: A Crash Course In Paid Search

A lot of businesses get scared when they contemplate entering the world of Paid Search. And we can’t really blame them because it is an element on online marketing that is often talked about and recommended, yet the details are almost never fully disclosed.

Between the acronyms (CPC, PPC), the budgets, the long lists of keywords, and all the little features you can turn on and off within a Paid Search platform like Google AdWords, it’s no wonder that many businesses hesitate on creating their own campaigns.

However, you’re about to receive a crash course in Paid Search. You might not become a master of AdWords instantly, but you’ll understand the basics – enough to boost your confidence and embark you on a journey of powerful business development.

What Is Paid Search?

Paid Search is a one-stop elevator to the top of a Google search page. When you create a Paid Search campaign, there isn’t the same waiting game like there is with organic SEO methods. Instead, when a user searches for something that’s right up your company’s alley, Google will display your advertisement right at the top of the page.   

Perform a Google search for just about anything. See the yellow box that lists three websites in blue text? That’s an advertisement created by other companies and distributed through Google’s AdWords platform. Those ads are always there, tempting users to click through to the website. It’s good for businesses, like yours, because it provides the opportunity for more visibility and more conversions.

Each ad has a fee associated with it and every time a user clicks on the ad, Google collects that fee. If the ad isn’t clicked on, there is no charge to you and Google doesn’t collect. It will continue showing your advertisement for related searches until your bid amount, or the budget you have defined, has been reached.

Paid Search Works Even When It Doesn’t Work

Think about traditional advertising. When you open up a newspaper or magazine, you can be bombarded with all sorts of ads relevant to the medium. But you don’t “click” on them right then and there, or in other words, they don’t persuade you to grab your car keys, drive to the nearest Nordstrom, and pick up that new cologne right away.

But that ad does leave an “impression,” or a thought in the back of your mind about that particular product or service. So next time you do find yourself at Nordstrom, you might be more likely to check out that cologne, anyway. 

Paid Search works the same way. Even if a user doesn’t automatically click on your ad the second they see it, they are more likely to be reminded about you in the future. The best part is that you don’t pay for an impression, only for a click!

Four Ingredients For A Successful Paid Search Campaign

Now that you know what Paid Search actually is, you might be wondering you can create a successful campaign of your own. Below, we’ve outlined the four elements of a well-managed, well-optimized Paid Search campaign: 

  • A High Quality Score:A clear advertisement that is closely related to your landing page. The overall health of your site is also a factor. If all your ducks are in a row, your ad will gain position and be shown more often.
  • Specific Targeting:General ads don’t sell much. Creating specific ads that target specific areas of your business helps Google place your ads better and helps you sell more.
  • Transparency: Ads convert well when they say what they mean and mean what they say. Users like to know who they’re dealing with upfront, and Google wants to make sure their users are happy.
  • Tracking:Paid Search campaigns require constant monitoring and testing. Keep your ads relevant and converting, otherwise you’ll lose money and visibility.

The Conclusion

Traditional advertising, like radio ads or newspaper ads, have always been a great way of reaching the populous. But how can you measure the reach, or even the success of those ads?

Unfortunately, you can’t. A newspaper might be able to tell you their circulation but they can’t tell you how many people will call you up because they saw your ad in their newspaper. Paid Search has changed all of that! Not only can you see how many people your ad is reaching, but you can correlate that reach to your ad’s success. If that’s not a sure-fire marketing strategy, than we don’t know what is! 

About Author

Pete Wise blogs for RumbleLink and is also the Colorado PPC expert. He enjoys demistifying the mysterious world of PPC for his clients in order to help them reach online marketing success. Learn more about RumbleLink on the website or via the RumbleLink Facebook page.

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