How to Become a Pro at Paid Search Marketing [2020 Guide]

You can always tell how useful something is when a product name becomes a verb. Look at Google. It entered the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb in 2006.

Not only is Google the most popular search engine, but it’s also a great place to run paid adverts. People turn to the platform for all manner of queries.

It’s not just Google. Amazon started running paid search ads in 2008. Yet it’s also not easy to get your ads right on these two huge platforms. You’ve got a lot of competition.

Need some paid search marketing help? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

What Is Paid Search Marketing?

Paid search advertising has different names but they all boil down to the same thing. It’s most common alternate name is PPC, or pay-per-click, advertising.

This tells you how it works. You pay the host of your ad every time someone clicks on it.

Yet while all paid search is PPC, not all PPC is paid search. Facebook ads also operate on the same principle. You only pay if people click on your ad.

In this article, we’re focused on the paid search option. So the host of your ad might be Google or Amazon. You create your ad by targeting keywords your customers might use.

It doesn’t matter how many times customers see your ad. You only pay when someone clicks on it.

Paid search works well for local businesses. That’s because a person searching for a roofer near them needs their services. The conversion rates can be much higher.

What Are the Benefits of Paid Search Advertising?

The biggest benefit is that you’re finding customers when they’re looking for information. Depending on the keywords, they could be actively trying to buy a solution to a problem.

Let’s compare that with social media advertising to see the real benefit. If you run your ad on Facebook, who is likely to see it? A person scrolling their news feed who may just be killing time.

On a different day, they may be your ideal customer. Yet the time they see your ad? They might not even know they need your solution.

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By contrast, to appear in paid search results, someone must be searching for something. That makes them more likely to click and ultimately buy.

The other benefit is that you only pay when a user clicks. If you get your targeting right, then only potential customers will click on the ad.

Compare that to traditional advertising where you have no idea how many people ever see the ad. This makes it easier to track and test your campaigns.

Why Is Paid Search Advertising So Hard?

Much as you target keywords in organic SEO, you need keywords for your ads. These determine when your ads show up.

Yet it’s not as simple as them showing up when someone enters the keywords into Google. You’re bidding in an auction and your ad only appears if you win that auction.

No one knows how these auctions work because the platforms don’t want advertisers to game the system.

That said, we can still give you some pointers. The algorithm will compare how relevant your ad is to the search query. Does it include things users search for?

To fix that, you need to focus on two things: which keywords to target, and the ad copy.

Choosing Keywords

Start off with keyword research. List the keywords you think users might use for your products.

Find out the search volume on those keywords. Map that against the CPC rate. This will give you a list of the most popular keywords.

Use long-tail keywords too. Your keyword might be ‘sunglasses’ but a long-tail version might be ‘sunglasses for women’ or ‘designer sunglasses for men’.

Long-tail keywords give you the chance to target less competitive but more relevant keywords. For example, ‘sunglasses’ is far too broad. Getting more specific, like adding ‘designer’ or ‘for men’, focuses the keyword.

Reverse-engineer a list of keywords your competitors use. Compare their Google ads against their landing pages for suggestions.

Once you have a list of contender keywords, run an A/B test. Use the same ad copy but swap out the keywords to see which one performs best.

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Ad Copy

Speaking of ad copy, you don’t have much space to make your point. You need to sell the benefit without using images or videos. Crafting targeted copy is the most effective strategy.

Write a compelling headline that grabs—and keeps—attention. Then use the description line to show the benefit of your offer. Keep in mind why they’re searching and speak to that need.

You can also A/B test your ad copy, along with the time and location you target.

Use the Paid Search Advertising Shortcut

There are two ways to make paid search easier for yourself. First, develop an organic SEO strategy and social media presence.

This means users have more chances to connect with you before they see your ad. The more familiar they are with your product, the higher the chance they’ll click your ad.

Each encounter between a customer and your brand is called a ‘touchpoint’. It can take seven touchpoints to make a sale.

If those customers have seen your brand in the organic results and on social media? They’re more likely to click on your paid ad when they’re ready to buy.

Second, get help with your paid advertising. This can cut your advertising costs and boost your success rates.

Finding Paid Search Marketing Help

Look for ad agencies that specialize in PPC. They’ll know how to optimize your ads for the best results. Agencies also know how to interpret campaign data to get you the best conversions.

Find agencies with experience in media buying. They’ll know the right platforms for you to target with your ads.

You’ll save a lot of time and money letting experts handle your ads for you. 

Hire Experts

You could spend weeks, if not months, trying to optimize your paid search ads. It involves testing hundreds of combinations of keywords, targets, and headlines.

Or you can turn to paid search marketing help to get results more quickly. 

Check out our SEO articles for more tips and tricks to supercharge your marketing.