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Paid Search Advertising: The top 6 ways to drive traffic and sales with paid online ads

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Paid search can seem a little scary. After all, it requires spending money and you want to be sure it’s worth it. This article will review the reasons we often recommend paid search campaigns to our clients and also, where you can use them. Everyone knows Google. But they’re not the only place where you can gain some traction from paid search ads.

First, paid search advertising goes by a few names. It’s probably most commonly referred to as PPC ads or Pay Per Click. But it can also be called sponsored ads, cost per click marketing or just paid ads.

It can seem a little confusing at first, but it’s fairly straightforward once you get started. Essentially, you come up with short, text ads, relevant to your products with good search terms – or terms you think your customers would use when searching for your products. Then you place them on one of the PPC providers, like Google. When someone does a search with those terms, your ad should show up on the “promoted” side of the search page. If someone clicks on your ad, you’re charged a designated amount.

These kinds of ads not only drive traffic to your site, but if they’re targeted, they can drive customers directly to a certain product you’re trying to sell.

They also help get your name out there. If your store doesn’t show up in organic search (non-paid), paying for your store to show up anyway can really help you. This is a great way to attract customers who may not have heard of your business yet.

Not only that, by testing a variety of ads, you’re also doing SEO research. You can take note of the ads that work the best for you and get a good idea of the kind of keywords you need to be using on your site.

You can also control how much you spend. You can set limits – if you only want to spend $10 a day, for example, you can set that. Once you hit that amount, your ads will stop showing for that day. So if you’re worried about sticking to a budget, there are tools in place to make sure your campaigns don’t charge you more than you expect.

Now let’s take a look at some of the top places to use paid ads:

  • 1. PPC
    • Google, Bing, Yahoo. No PPC list would be complete without the big 3 in search. Google remains, by far, the top search engine. Most people turn to Google when searching for products or services so if you’re going to start using paid search ads, it’s a good idea to put some of your money with Google. But that doesn’t mean Bing and Yahoo should be ignored. They’re still major players and you can benefit from advertising with them.
  • 2. Product Listing Ads or PLAs:
    • Google, Bing, Yahoo.These are similar to PPC ads in how they’ll appear in search results. But rather than being text-based, they also show images of products and list prices. It’s almost looks like a product page result, but it shows similar products from multiple vendors. These ads are a step above traditional PPC ads because it gives you the opportunity to show off a product BEFORE a customer ever gets to your page. It allows people to comparison shop right from their search results without visiting multiple sites. If you have the better price or product, someone can see that right from their search page and go straight to your site.
  • 3. Google Publisher/AdSense: You can also create “AdSense” ads that will be placed on other websites, like blogs. Those websites make a little money every time someone clicks your ad. You get the benefit of extra exposure on other websites and also the chance that someone will click your ad and visit your site, too.
  • 4. Google Retargeting: Have you ever searched for a product, only to see ads for that product show up on other pages you visit for the next few days? That’s retargeting and you can do the same thing with your ads.
  • 5. Facebook PPC: Facebook can be a great place to advertise because you’re able to target people in a lot of different ways: age, gender, location, school, by job or business and even personal interests. Many people on Facebook make a lot of their personal information available and for businesses, it’s like free marketing research. For PPC, it can help you run a very targeted campaign.
  • 6. Other – like Shopping.com or Nextag.com Depending on your target audience, you may want to try other shopping-related sites like shopping.com or nextag.com. These are search engines dedicated to shopping online and finding the best price. They’re not as popular as Google but they are targeting online shoppers. So using their paid ads is definitely something to consider.

Paid ads can be a great way to boost traffic to your site and increase your sales. If you’d like to learn more or get some help setting up this kind of campaign, email or give us a call anytime.

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