paid search ads
Out of the Blue Blog

Making paid search ads work for your business

In school, we learned about the five W’s (and one H): Who, what, where, when, why and how.  Even though we learned about these W’s and one H in grammar school, this method can—and should still—be used in our adult lives, especially as it relates to our decision-making skills.

Let’s use this method to educate you on how paid search ads can work for your business. First, it’s important to understand what they are and why they can benefit your business.

Pencils ready? Let’s begin. Below, Blue Laser Digital will answer your W’s and one H:

What are paid search ads?

Paid search is one of the most popular digital marketing forms where search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo allow advertisers to show ads on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Paid searches include three components—a headline, display URL and description text—all of which convince users to click and learn more.

What is a text ad?

A text ad is a form of marketing that advertisers can use to promote their product or service on a search engine. Text ads typically use language that labels them as advertisements, so users understand that the links are paid promotions.

How does paid search work?

Paid search works on a pay-per-click model, meaning you don’t pay for the ad unless a user clicks on your ad. If they click on it, you pay.  Additionally, paid search ads bring immediate traffic to your website, whereas organic searches take time to pull your website to the top of the search engine list.

What is an example of a paid search ad?

When you search for something using a search engine, paid search results have the word “ad” before the listing.

This paid search moves a business’ listing to the top of the page and works to drive traffic to their website.

What are the types of paid search ads?

The most important thing to remember—and consider—when it comes to paid search ads is that there are many different types of ads that fall under the “paid search” umbrella:

Traditional Search Ads

When most people think of paid search advertising, the first thing that comes to mind is Google SERPs and the ads that appear at the top and bottom of these pages. These are Traditional Search Ads and are probably the most common type of search ad. They are based on keyword bidding, so whoever bids the highest on any particular keyword gets to place their ad at the top of the page, with the second-highest bid below them, and so on.

Generally, on any given SERP, the top three listings are reserved for search ads, followed by organic listings, with some spaces at the bottom of the page reserved more ads. Google makes up the largest share of this ad space, but Bing and Yahoo have paid search ads too.

Search ad example

Shopping Ads

Shopping Ads are very similar to traditional search ads, as they are based on keyword bidding, but instead of serving up a text ad, they serve up a product listing. You can find these on Google’s Shopping pages and some SERPs; Amazon uses shopping ads, too. Bidding works the same as traditional search ads where the highest bidder gets the best placement.

Shopping ad example

Local Search Ads

Local Search Ads are paid ads within map apps and business listing services like Google.

Again, the idea is similar to traditional search ads where customers bid on spots Google’s Local Three Pack, the window displaying businesses related to your search query. These spaces can get pretty competitive as there are only three spots for business listings, with usually only one spot reserved for paid advertisement. Local Search Ads can be very beneficial for businesses that depend on in-store traffic.

Local Search ad example

Gmail Sponsored Ads

Gmail ads are slightly different from traditional search ads, as they are based on Affinity Audience, Audience Demographics, In-Market Audiences and Customer Match.

These ads appear like any other email, but they are indicated by the “ad” tag on the email. Google charges the advertiser each time someone clicks on the email to open it.

This only scratches the surface of paid ads, as there are many other types (Native Ads, Sponsored Content, Remarketing, IP Targeting, Geofencing, etc.).

An important factor for a customer to consider is what they are selling, and who they are selling to. If you have eCommerce goods, then shopping ads are a must, but if you are a local law firm, Local Search and Traditional Search are probably the way to go.

Gmail ad example

Why should I use paid search ads?

Paid search ads not only target specific locations (local, regional, national and global), but they also target specific types of consumers and measure every aspect of your campaign. And don’t let the word “paid” fool you; these ads are budget-friendly, and you can set limits to how much you want to spend on them. In other words, search engines will not spend more than you clearly state.

What are the benefits of paid search advertising?

Let’s break this answer down in the most intuitive of ways:

  • Enhanced and immediate visibility of your website;   
  • Measurable increase in traffic to your website;
  • Increased interest from prospects to your business and its services; and
  • Detailed real-time and analytics, e.g., demographics, geographics, what pages users are visiting on your site, and how much time they spend on your site.

Okay, pencils down.

Take a deep breath.

You did it!

Now you know all you need to know about paid search ads. Need help with the process and implementation of these ads? Not to worry; Blue Laser Digital can help. Let’s get started.

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