What is Paid Search in Digital Marketing? Explained in Brief

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What is Paid Search in Digital Marketing

Know the Basics of Paid Search in Digital Marketing

Unlike organic search, paid search is an online marketing channel in which search engines permit businesses to show their ads in SERPs. Google leads the market share in paid search, by some distance, with its Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) program. Search engines like Bing and Yahoo! also have platforms on which the users can advertise.

The most popular paid search model is the pay-per-click (PPC) model in which you only pay when a prospective customer clicks on your ad. Other lesser known paid search models are cost per mile (CPM), cost per thousand impressions (CPA) and cost per action / acquisition (CPA).

In this tutorial we will cover all the basics of this search type.

How Paid Search Works?

In the beginning, you create an ad campaign with the search engine. This is not an ad campaign that delivers those jazzy ads for TV and OTT channels. It’s more pragmatic, in which advertisers get only a few words to play with.

Once the ad campaign has been created, the search engines verify and approve it based on several predefined rules and guidelines. The ad campaign creation process also includes setting up a few ads. Ads only show up after the search engines approve them.

Once you start utilizing the ad campaign, you can create more ads, get them approved, and manage them as part of your day-to-day paid search operations.

Although you only pay the search engines when a prospective buyer clicks on your ad, you need to set an upfront amount per ad in the beginning itself.

How to Identify Paid Search Results?

Paid Ads appear when the user is already looking for something relevant. Whenever, a user feeds a search query, these ads appear above or below the organic results, usually three above and three below.

Although paid search results can take different forms, they are mainly categorized under the following heads:

Text-based Ads: The most common form of search ads is text-based ads that appear with the symbol “Ad” before their title.

Shopping Ads: These Ads have images with text. They work almost like text-based ads but are considerably lower or expense as compared to the text based ads.

For including additional information, you can add extensions in these ads. For instance, to add more links to your ad you can include Sitelink extension to your ad. Or if you wish to ad a phone number, you can include call extension.

What Do These Ads Cost?

As we’ve mentioned in the beginning of this reference piece, paid ads work on a very intuitive model. Usually the advertisers pay per click, however in some cases they pay per impression as well. Costs may vary according to type of competition, age of campaign, quality of ads and the content in the underlying URLs.

Costs may also vary if the businesses run the paid search campaigns in-house or hire an online marketing agency to do the activities on their behalf.

Does All This Really Work?

Definitely! Paid search is an extremely profitable channel to generate leads.However, to make it work for your business, you need to setup the underlying campaign as per guidelines, manage it well, and maintain its quality quotient with an eye for detail.

Although during initial days or weeks, it may cost your business significant bit to get the ad campaign on track; in the long run costs reduce and return on investment increases.

Basics of Paid Search: Conclusion

As per various researches, ads have 50% more chances to be viewed than organic results. This is mainly because of their placement on SERPs. So, with millions of users searching for relevant information, every second, it’s essential for businesses to utilize the power and capabilities of this marketing channel to their benefit.