With the bulk of business activities happening online, it is paramount that brands and businesses jump onto the online space for marketing. Paid search marketing is one such online marketing strategy.

It is also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Every PPC agency in London is using its creativity to come up with profound campaigns for brands. Before getting into the fundamentals that encapsulate the advent of a PPC campaign, one should first understand the basics.

Introduction to paid search marketing

PPC or Pay-Per-Click is a marketing model wherein brands pay a fee each time their ad gets clicked by users and visitors. This advertising happens on search engines such as Google and Bing. It can also occur on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Often confused and used interchangeably with SEM or Search Engine Marketing, PPC is a part of SEM. SEM caters to the ease of searching a business or brand website on a search engine; it can either be paid or unpaid. PPC, on the other hand, is paid-only advertising. Additionally, SEM uses search engines. PPC includes video advertising through Youtube and photographic or visual advertising through Instagram.

Fundamentals that govern the advent of paid search marketing

When it comes to search marketing, social media platforms are a vital component. The reason is that users do search for brands and promotional content on these platforms. Hence, the gambit of search marketing works on the premise that any online platform used for searching for information, tool or brand invariably becomes a search engine of sorts. Speaking of fundamentals, the first thing to address is terminologies.

Important Terminologies

Impressions – This is when your ads are displayed. The phenomenon does not indicate that the users have seen your ad, let alone clicked on it. An impression will still count if the ad appears on the search engine, even if visitors scroll past the ad.

Click-Through Rate (CTR) – The metric determines the percentage of impressions clicked upon by users. In simple words, CTR is where the ad is clicked.

Average position – This is the place within the search engine where the brand ad appears. Position #1 is the highest.

Conversion rate – The parameter indicates the percentage of users who initiated further action – making a purchase – after clicking on the ad.

Factors that determine ad placement on search networks

Bidding

Bidding is an essential component for brands looking to get their ads featured on search, including social networks. It can be either manual and automated. The latter is becoming more popular in light of advanced algorithms and advent such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). However, the former is ideal when historical data is unavailable. Bidding can happen at the ad group level or keyword level.

Bidding does not end once the campaign is created and launched. Advertisers and brands have an additional option using a ‘Bid Modifier’. The bid modifier allows businesses to bid up or down based on device, location, time of day and type of audience. When it comes to automated bidding, Google AdWords renders several bidding strategies such as target search page location, Target CPA, Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC) and Target Return On Ad Spend.

Ad Thresholds

The ad threshold includes ad quality, ad position, user signals and attributes, topic and others. Ad quality and ad position are correlated and determined through Search Targeting. It allows brands to reach the users at the right time and the right place; this would be when users actively search for information.

The aspects of user signals and attributes, and topics are concerned with audiences. There are different audience types for search marketing, such as Remarketing, In-market and Life Events. In-market audiences are pre-defined ‘user groups’. They identify through the product or service category filter such as Apparel and Accessories and Beauty Product and Services. Life Event audiences include users undergoing life-changing events such as further education, job change, marriage and others. Remarketing audiences are recurring users who have earlier come into contact with the business.

When it comes to user signals and attributes and topic and intent, display targeting takes precedence through the two main branches – content and audience. Content or contextual targeting focuses on the page or site content.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are crucial for optimizing the paid advertising strategies. They can be either manual or automated. They are an invaluable tool and help augment a competitive edge, improve performance or boost the Click-Through Rate. There are several types of ad extension that businesses can use.

SiteLinks – They direct people to specific pages on the site or account. Sitelinks are typically at the campaign or account level. Brands can use Sitelinks to their LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram accounts.

Structured Snippets – These are generally campaign-specific, wherein companies get to advertise features. For example, structured snippet extensions allow hotel chains to highlight aspects, including fitness clubs and free Wi-Fi. These are ideal for tangibles and features.

Pro Tip: A minimum of three snippets are required for this extension to garner sufficient impact. More so, ensure the snippets closely align with the header.

Location Extensions – These help users find your brick-and-mortar establishment. The extensions reveal the address, contact details and a map marker. They are ideal when users are looking for physical premises such as a retail store. 

And finally …

With the bulk of activities happening online, paid search marketing is inevitable. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is where brands pay a fee each time their ad gets clicked by users. PPC is often confused when SEM or Search Engine Marketing. While SEM only caters to search engines, PPC extends to social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. More so, SEM can be both paid or unpaid. Important terminologies that one must be aware of are the Click Through Rate or CTR, impressions, average position and conversion rate. Several fundamentals govern the advent of paid search advertising, including bidding, ad thresholds, ad extensions and others.

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