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Benefits of Paid Search

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Why use paid search?

So now that we know broadly what paid search is, let's look at why we might use it and I mean the why and the understanding of how to deploy paid search as part of your digital media mix, is essential to getting the best out of the channel.

Business objectives

Like everything we do in any kind of organization, we always begin with our business objective. What is it ultimately that we want to do?

What is it that we want our consumers to do? Is it buy online? Is it download a brochure? Is it make contact? Is it just visit the website? What exactly is our business objective and how can we translate that into search? So, when we begin with that, we can start building our keywords list, and so on around that.

Quick access to market

It gives us immediate access to a market because based on that consumer journey, people have a need state, they have a need state that needs to be resolved, and that's what's called intent. And if they have intent, they are essentially saying, "I'm here ready to be spoken to."

They've asked a question to Google and you will give them an answer back in the form of a search ad.

Mobile position #1

Mobile positioning is always very important.

Leverage buyer intent

I can't emphasize this enough. Intent is the key difference here and the most powerful aspect of search marketing.

Organic optimization

Now, search marketing is paid search and organic search. And again, we have mentioned that sometimes there are gaps in organic search, which paid search can fill, and that's organic optimization.

Advertising features

I've also mentioned things like site links and other stuff that differentiate paid search from organic search. And these are the advertising features and advertising enhancements from everything from tracking to site links to different, and just I suppose, improvements of the search experience to make consumers more likely to click on the ad.


That will feed into things like our ad rank, which is a formula we'll discuss later, and because there was a major change to ad rank that has to be considered beyond the original formula that Google had released a number of years ago. As I said, it takes time to optimize for organic. With paid search, it's almost instantaneous.

Time-sensitive promotions

You can make a copy change in paid search campaign, and it can be there in 25 minutes. So, if you have a time-sensitive promotion –such as “Offer ends Sunday!” or “Offer ends at 2 p.m.” – you can make that copy change to your campaigns, and it will be there live for the consumer, when they have a need state, when they go to Google and look for whatever it is they desire, your offer will be there.

So, the time-sensitive nature of paid search is a very powerful consideration that we must have in the back of our mind, when we're approaching any search campaign

Compete in the marketplace

Everyone's doing it. Everyone is on paid search. All your competitors are there. So, if you're not there, you're essentially losing the most qualified traffic.

Again, these are people looking for your product, and if your competitors are there and you're not there, the people who are looking for your product are going to your competitors. So, you have to be there. Now, there are ways to optimize this and that's what we'll talk about in the optimization stage a little later on.

Key benefits

What are the key benefits of paid search?

  • Relevance: It's relevant to what the person is looking for. Can you resolve the need state? Can you give them the product, service that they desire at that particular moment?
  • Timing: We've talked about the timeliness and the ability to, I suppose, very quickly adapt and change, whether it's keyword lists, ad copy or how much you want to spend each day.
  • Qualified visitor: The qualified visitor is something that should always be in your head when we're doing any kind of search activity, because they're coming to you. It's not like you're putting an ad out there and the consumer decides to engage with it or not. They're actually coming to you, so they're a qualified visitor. They're saying, "I'm interested," and all you have to do is deliver on the promise that your search ad is saying on your website.
  • Control: You have the control, of course, to change your landing page, to change your website, to change your ad copy, to change in which you want to spend to change the keywords and all of the different moving parts within a search campaign. So, that kind of control, again, it's instantaneous in many ways.
  • Visibility: If it's an error latency, it's relatively okay in advertising terms. It's pretty instantaneous if you could think of, say, trying to change a TV ad or a radio script, which would need a rewrite, sent to the production house, sent off to the different media organizations and then deployed, you can pretty much change search from your phone, there as you're doing it. So, that gives you the visibility that you do need.
  • Measurability: The metrics that are associated with search, gives you the accountability that you spent X, you got Y, and that kind of measurement brings it alive, and that measurement justifies the investment. It justifies the investment in time and resource and media spent. And it just allows you to build on what you've done in the past to accelerate what you want to do in the future.
  • Mobile micro-moments: Micro-moments are a mobile-specific development within the search world. So, have you ever had that time when you just thought to yourself, “I wonder what that is?” Or, “I'd like to go.” Or, “I'd like to buy,” or “I'd want to know.” Indeed, these are the moments that you have, that in the past because of device limitations, you would have to go back to your computer, turn it on, and so on, just to find out the answer to these burning questions. Because we have smartphones and 4G or whatever internet access, mobile internet, you can just take up your phone and just go, "I want to go." So if you, as a brand owner are there to insert your brand message in the, "I need," "I want" moment of a micro-moment, it's a very powerful, very emotive need state that you can be front of mind. As a tactic for your mobile optimization, it does really bring to life one of the benefits and one of the more recent developments in how consumers use paid search.
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Please note that the module slides are designed to work in collaboration with the module transcript document. It is recommended that you use both resources simultaneously.

Digital Marketing Resources:

Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful. While relevant to this module, you will not be assessed on this content.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library


    Paid Search (PPC) with Google Ads
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