When to Use Paid Search: Making Paid Search Pay For You

Many of our clients are interested in paid search, but question whether it’s worth the effort and cost, and whether it’s right for B2B or just business to consumer. So when should you consider using Paid Search?

1. When You Want More Visitors on Your Site:
Being on page one of any search engine results in increased traffic for your web site. Getting your site listed on page one takes time and requires optimizing for specific words or phrases. Paying for a position on page one accomplishes a similar result faster.

2. When you Want to Attract Customers on Specific Keywords:
Paid Search gives you the ability to pay for position on these less-frequently searched for terms that are farther along the decision and purchase cycle. Again, the “landing page” selection is critical for the success of these campaigns.

3. When the Competition is Doing It:
No one wants a potential customer to engage with their competitors. Paid Search provides the ability to pay for keywords that your competitor might use and intercept that traffic, directing visits to your site rather than your competitors. Tools like Keyword Spy can provide directional insights into the competition’s keyword bids.

4. When you Want a Cost-Effective Way to Test New Marketing:
Paid Search is a cost effective way to test the effectiveness of different marketing messages. In fact, you can consider Paid Search to be the world’s largest (and least expensive) focus group.

However, paid search must be done in conjunction with web site optimization. Site optimization includes search keyword optimization along with tracking and measuring what visitors do on the site. Once you know the likelihood that a site visitor will make a purchase or become a qualified lead, you have an idea of how much you can bid for a visit and still make a profit.

If you don’t track and measure leads and sales resulting from visits, you are likely to waste more money on paid search than you make (we’ve seen it!) Analyzing visitor behavior provides insights into making visits more productive and profitable, for you and your customers or prospects.

Metrist Partners is hosting a free “Paid Search” Breakfast on October 1, 2009, to discuss how and when to use Paid Search to profitably bring more traffic to your web site. For more information email susan@metrist.com or call 847.926.8280

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