Benefits of Using Paid Search
Paid Search – when managed correctly – has the potential to be highly effective.
- It puts your ad right in front of the user wherever they are. For example, Google ads show up at the top of the search results, and Facebook ads (can) show up right in the user’s feed.
- Unlike SEO, your Google Adwords ads show up immediately. You don’t have to wait until your page gets re indexed. As soon as you launch your campaign, it’s live.
- You can use advanced targeting techniques to ensure that your ads are getting in front of the right people. It’s better to be seen by 100 pre-qualified users, than it is to be seen by 10,000 random people.
- These ads are also very flexible. If you want to make updates or changes to your ad, you can do that pretty quick and – again – the changes show up almost immediately.
- These campaigns can provide real-time data. This allows you to watch how your campaign is performing, and to make tweaks and changes as necessary to maximize your investment.
Keywords are the building blocks of a Paid Search campaign.
It is therefore vital that you understand keywords and how to select profitable keywords when you’re building your ads. Many companies waste thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars on ill-planned Paid Search campaigns.
There are three types of keyword searches that people do – and if you think on it, you’ll see that you do these as well:
- First is the navigational search. In this search, the user types in their intended organization or website along with what they’re searching for. For example, “Mountain Valley Maternity Ward”
- The next type of search is the transactional search. In this search, the user is specifically trying to purchase a product or schedule an appointment. For example: “Schedule consultation with Mountain Valley Maternity Ward”
- The last type of search is the informational search. This is the most common type of search, and this is the type that you’re going to try to capitalize on in your Adwords campaign. An example of an informational search might be “Best maternity ward in Utah”
Informational searches reflect the user’s intent. A user who searches for the features of the best maternity ward does, indeed, want that information, but the end goal for them is to actually have a baby somewhere where they feel safe and comfortable.
If you have an ad that utilizes those keywords, then you need to make sure that you’re doing two things: (1) You’re answering the question they’re asking, and (2) your providing a way for them to meet their goal.
A little further down, I’m going to give you a four-step process for how to create ads based on user intent, but first I want to address the types of “keyword matches”. This is information that you need to know when building your campaign. The way that you configure this can greatly change the profitability.
The types of keyword matches are:
- Exact match. This means that the user has to type in your exact keywords in order to match.
- Phrase match. You’re specifying that you want your keywords to show up in the order you’ve specified, but there can be words before or after as well.
- Broad match. This is a bit more flexible. This allows matching based on related searches and synonyms. Usually this is the default type. Unless you have some experience or a good reason for choosing another matching type, this one is often best.
- Modified match. This is a combination of a broad match and a phrase match. The only reason I don’t recommend this over a broad match is because it’s very possible to show up in completely unrelated searches.
- Negative matches allow you to disable your ad if there are irrelevant matches. For example, let’s say you don’t want to show your ad when the search term includes the word “Worst” or “Bad”. You can include those words as a “negative match”, and your ad will not show up in searches where those keywords are used.
Creating Paid Search Ads Based on User Intent
Now I’ll give you a strategy for creating ads based on the searcher’s intent. This can be done in 4 steps:
- Try to anticipate the questions (i.e. informational searches) that people might have in relation to your product or service. If you’re a Dermatologist, for example, you might have prospects asking “how can I tell if a mole is cancerous?”
- Ask that question yourself. Go into Google and perform that search, and take note of the types of results you get. Likely they will contain other keywords you may not have thought of. Take note of those keywords.
- Research the keywords you’ve found. There are a few different online tools that you can use to do this. I recommend Google Keyword Planner or WordTracker.com. In your research, look for keywords that perform well and don’t have a whole lot of competition.
- Once you’ve decided on a few high-performing, low-competition keywords that are highly-relevant to your product or service, then you want to create your ad campaigns around those. Remember, these are most likely going to be the “long-tail” keywords I talked about in my post on SEO.
Creating Your Paid Search Ad
Once you’ve landed on some good, intent-focused keywords, the next step is deciding how you want to pay for them. There are generally three ways:
- Pay-per-click. This a good option if you’re simply trying to get people to your site. The cost per click can vary, and it can change per demand. You can either set up automated bidding where your account will automatically bid to use the keyword even as price fluctuates. Or, what I recommend (at least until you get the hang of it) is setting up a maximum cost per click. Your account will continue to automatically bid on the keyword until it hits that maximum.
- Pay per view. In this case you’re paying a cost per 1000 ad views. This option can be helpful if the goal of your campaign is simply to drive brand exposure. I don’t use this a whole lot, to be honest, but that’s not to say it’s not effective.
- Cost per acquisition. I use this one quite a bit. With this option you are required to put a tracking code on your website. And then what happens is that when a person clicks on the ad, moves through your funnel, and eventually makes an appointment, or submits a form – then you pay a certain amount for that conversion action. This will cost you a little bit more, but in my opinion it’s worth it because it ensures that you’re only paying for leads and prospects that make it all the way through your funnel.
Paid Search Ad Content
After you’ve decided what type of campaign you want to run, you can begin working on writing a compelling ad. When you’re writing your ad, you’ll want to focus on emphasizing the benefits, features, discounts, etc. that separate your business from the competition.
Remember that you’re primarily appealing to people’s emotions – so a long list of technical features is probably not going to get the job done. Instead you want to focus on the outcome – how your organization can help the user meet their goal and how they’ll feel once they do.
Your ad should also include a clear call to action. For example, perhaps you want them to compare you against your competition, or you want them to download your ebook, or you want them to book an appointment. Whatever your call to action may be, it needs to be absolutely clear the users what the next step in your process is.
There are four elements of a Facebook ad:
- Image or video. This is what’s going to capture your audience’s attention. It needs to be something bold especially if you’re advertising in the user’s stream. You need to make sure that your ad stands out against all the other content that’s flowing downstream. Your image or video should be able to immediately capture people’s attention. However, it doesn’t even need to be directly related to your offering, as long as you capture people’s attention, and getting them to stop for a second.
- Headline. Your headline should do two things: First, it should qualify your leads, and Second it should inspire them to act. A good, easy way that I’ve found to do this is to ask a question, and offer a solution. If you’re a dentist, for example, you can accompany a picture of a person with a beautiful smile, with the headline “Have you been ignoring your oral health? Sign up for a FREE consultation!”. Not only are you identifying a problematic behavior, but you’re offering a chance at a solution for free.
- Content. There are a few different ways you can format your content. You can do short and sweet – highlighting only one or two primary benefits of your offering. Or you can go long. Generally I recommend going short and sweet, but there are times when something requires a more detailed explanation. Longer form content can also be effective when you have an extremely well-defined and narrow niche. If you’re able to reach people on a very specific issue, then you can use the ad to “discuss”, empathize or educate them. So, like so many things, you ultimately have to decide based on your market and who your patients are.
- Call to Action. This is the little button below your ad. Usually it will say something like “Sign Up”, “Learn More”, “Schedule Now”, etc. You’ll use this opportunity to – in one or two words – invite the audience to move to the next step in the funnel.
Moving on to the best purchase option. In my experience, it’s the cost per acquisition option. By choosing that option you only pay for visitors who convert and so you don’t have to worry about overpaying for a bunch of unqualified leads – especially when you’re first starting out. Comparing your number of clicks to your number of conversions (i.e. your conversion rate) can help you understand how your ad is performing in the beginning.
Finally, I just wanted to share this quick trick-of-the-trade with you. That tool is the Facebook Ad Library. You can visit the Facebook Ad Library and see all the ads that are currently being run. It allows you to search by Advertiser Name, so you can check in on your competition. This is really powerful. You can take a look at what your competitors are doing. If their ads seem to be working, then you can do something similar. If they’re overlooking a specific angle, however, you can do something completely different to set yourself apart.
Paid Search can be an extremely useful and profitable part in your Online Marketing toolbox. Like any useful tool, it requires some knowledge and practice, but once you get it down, it will pay off in dividends.
If there’s anything that you feel like maybe we didn’t go deep enough here, or even overlooked, please feel reach out to us. And, of course, if you feel like we can help you in your online marketing efforts, we would love to hear from you. You can reach us at www.epowet.com/contact or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Paid Search check out our short presentation at https://youtu.be/zGZlnaE75DE