Value of buying search ads
Should I pay for search ads?
Having your company's website appear at the top of a list of Internet search results is effective, free exposure for your business.
And with many options for tweaking your website to help it get that top spot naturally, paying for the small ads on a results page can seem superfluous.
But successfully crafting your website to make it appear on a search page can be time consuming.
Paid search marketing, on the other hand, is a direct approach that requires minimal website optimization and puts your business up along the top search results for a fee.
There are many good reasons to consider bolstering a robust search-engine optimization program with a program of paying for the ads that appear in a shaded box at the top or just to the right of search results.
Paid searches allow businesses to reach customers when they are searching for specific information or particular products to buy. It also allows small businesses to compete directly with large businesses for the same customers.
Other benefits are that paid search campaigns are:
·Affordable. A search campaign can be initiated with any size budget and it can be capped at any amount: Once the limit is reached, the ads no longer appear. Plus, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your link.
·Targeted. Allows companies to target specific phrases, locations or keywords that are relevant to their business.
·Trackable. Paid search is highly trackable, allowing the effectiveness of a campaign to be measured with great accuracy.
·Instantly gratifying. Unlike search engine optimization, a paid search campaign can start generating traffic immediately.
One way to determine if you should buy ads is to do a search using general terms that you hope will produce your company's website. If one of your competitors appears above you, a paid search ad can help you leapfrog them to the top.
Or if you want to solidify your top ranking, a paid ad can reinforce the impression that your business is No. 1 in its field.
Perrin Patterson and Palmer Brown are on the digital advertising team at Lancaster Newspapers.
WebSmart is a weekly digital marketing column geared toward local small businesses. Questions may be sent to email@example.com.