Is Paid Search Engine Marketing Right for Your Business?

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Digital Marketing Specialist
Dec 8, 2020

When planning your overall digital marketing strategy, you may be hesitant to pour money into paid ads. But we’re here to encourage you to consider including paid search engine marketing in your marketing mix. 

You may be surprised to find out about the options available to support your goals, ways to reach your target market, how you can experiment to optimize your ad strategy and how fast you will see quantifiable results compared to other marketing methods. Our digital marketing team is here to give you the low-down on paid search. 

What are the Benefits of Search Engine Marketing?

Paid search engine marketing often comes in the form of Google Search Ads (think: those top search results in Google that say “Ad” next to them). They look like regular search results but have actually been carefully crafted to encourage conversions.

These can help you get the right message in front of the right people at the right time. Take a look at how else paid ads can help your business:

Works for a Range of Goals

If you have a new business or product, or need to quickly expand awareness of your brand or reach a target audience, paid ads are for you. A paid search campaign can be adapted to your business goals no matter the industry you are in. 

We’ve run ads for clients in retail with multiple showrooms, for an e-commerce company selling their products online, for not-for-profit companies looking to recruit people for their programs and for hospitals looking to make their services known.

Sometimes the goal is to sell products, but ads can be optimized for other purposes, like lead generation, consideration or brand awareness. This can look like getting leads to provide contact info so companies can follow up, driving traffic to your website so potential customers can browse (with a potential for retargeting) or getting your ad in front of customers to improve brand recognition so they think of you when they are ready to buy.

Faster Results

As opposed to organic search results, SEM allows you to jump ahead in line and put your information on the search engine results pages (SERPs) by using paid ads. 95 percent of people will click on a link on that first SERP.

Search engine optimization helps move your organic search result upwards in ranking, but it can still be challenging to have your company show on the first page of results, especially if the keywords are very competitive. This is where ads can fill that gap and make sure your company is represented on that SERP.

Supports a Larger Marketing Strategy

The best marketing approach is omnichannel, considering both organic and paid strategies to increase your business’s chances of reaching potential customers. 

Say you have a promotion in your stores. Traditionally, businesses might send out a direct mail piece to announce the sale. But even with a targeted approach, you can’t guarantee who’s looking at that, when they’re looking at it, and when (or if) they followed up on the promotion. However, tying in a direct mail piece with a paid search campaign can give your promotion leverage, precision and trackability.

Trying to get more clients in the door by sharing your services on social media? That can work fine for the audience who is already following you but it might bypass a large group of potential clients who are looking for your type of services on Google already. A paid SEM campaign can bring in those warmer leads to your site and introduce them to your business. 

Targeted Approach

Did you also know that using paid ads lets you choose who sees your ad when they search online? Here are some ways to target your audience:

  • Geographic targeting
  • Audiences who are interested in topics or have purchase history
  • Demographics: gender/age/income/education

Search engines like Google are always updating algorithms and adding new features to search, but with Integrity’s digital marketing team consulting you, we will stay ahead of trends and can pivot to meet any new opportunities.

Optimized Spending

Depending on which paid ads platform you use, there are different ways to optimize how the platform spends your ad dollars. These are called bid strategies, which are set up to help you reach the business goal you have in mind. 

Whether you want to get your name and logo to be more recognizable and top of mind, want to encourage people to explore your products and services or make a purchase, there is a bid strategy for each step of the sales process.

  • Brand awareness through optimizing for impressions
  • Consideration through optimizing for clicks
  • Lead Generation for optimizing for conversions

How Can We Measure Paid Ads’ Effectiveness?

It would be great if we could use a Magic 8 Ball and see into the future, but the truth is we have to run real tests to get the answer. We can estimate the value of a search marketing campaign in just a few hours, but nothing beats running real campaigns. 

With all the factors that go into the success of a campaign, testing means you can determine what works best for your company and product. Everything from time of day ads are run, landing page testing or ad copy testing, we can adjust the levers to find the customized set up that works best for you. 

A/B testing of ad copy compares performance of one ad against another, with various calls to action, offers, or turns of phrase to determine which is most successful in a search engine marketing campaign.

Once you have your keywords, we’ll better match your ads to your keywords so the ads are more relevant to a user’s search. In search engine marketing, specificity is key. Ad groups are created around specific products or services to match the keywords. Choosing the best keywords per ad group makes sure that your paid ads are serving to the correct audience.

How Much Should I Budget for Paid Search Ads?

So the next step is to determine a budget, set goals and run the campaigns for a short time. With these smaller test campaigns, we can determine if paid search ads can even be profitable for your business, and if so, how much money we can spend and still be profitable.

We’re often asked by clients of all sizes to estimate a search engine marketing (SEM) plan with the question, “How much should I spend on search marketing?”

This is actually an easy question, though if you’re looking for a specific dollar amount, you won’t like our answer, which we give to any business:

Spend as much as you can spend … as long as it’s profitable.

For instance, if I could make $1.10 back for every dollar I spent on SEM, I would want to spend $10 million dollars a day or more. 

But our approach is more strategic than just throwing your budget at a wall and hoping something sticks. The real work comes when determining the size of the opportunity that is profitable for your business. We need to know how much profit you make from a lead or a sale. Then we want to see how much we can pay for each search term, and finally, how many of the people searching for these terms will convert into leads.

How Long Do I Need to Run Ads?

Generally, we like to run test campaigns for three months. This will give us the minimum amount of data to find the best keywords, create the best ads and design the best pages for users to visit (landing pages). 

When the first three months of a campaign are done, we always recommend one of three options:

  1. Keep the campaigns running, because they are profitable and are near the maximum you can spend and still be profitable.
  2. Increase your spend, because we believe we can make even more money.
  3. Stop running the campaigns, because we can’t get the price low enough to make a profit.

At the end of the day, we only care about one thing: making our clients happy and successful. 


Ready to start converting customers with search engine marketing? Our Google-certified digital marketing team is ready and waiting. Let's get started.

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