One of the greatest things about the internet is that it gives users access to answers for nearly every question they have. Accessing information is as simple as navigating to a search engine and typing in an inquiry – really, any inquiry.
It’s this ease of use that has made search one of the most reliable digital advertising channels. Every search that consumers conduct can be considered signals of intent, giving advertisers a massive opportunity to put their brand names and websites in front of potential customers. This is why search engines are some of the most powerful marketing tools every created.
When it comes to search, one of the easiest ways to stand out is through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which allows advertisers to bid on certain search terms or “keywords,” so that sponsored listings will show up at the top of the results pages when users search for those terms. As the name indicates, the advertisers only pay the bid prices when consumers clicks on the ads.
It’s this combination that makes PPC both so popular and so powerful. The ads appear at the top of the pages in the moments when consumers exhibit true signals of intent. If they are searching for products, they may not necessarily be ready to make those purchases, but they certainly are looking for information. Advertisers whose ads appear at the top of the pages are in prime position to be the first pages that the consumers visit. Combined with the fact that advertisers only pay when consumers click the links and land on their pages, PPC is a clear no-brainer.
As with any kind of digital marketing, there are strategic ways of approaching PPC. Small and mid-sized businesses will need to determine which keywords are most relevant to their businesses and how much they want to pay to reach consumers searching for those terms. Some keywords can prove quite expensive, due to heavy competition. Local and SMB advertisers need to be aware of that. But there are also strategic layers that they can work to their advantage, including local targeting — helping to hone in on searches by consumers who are less likely to interact with their businesses.
Meanwhile, innovation is cracking open a whole new world of opportunity for PPC and nothing has made a bigger impact than mobile devices. The search ad market is forecast to grow by $19 billion by 2022 and mobile will account for 69% of that growth — $13.1 billion – according to Forrester research. The same research found that 57% of U.S. online users conducted searches on their mobile phones once a week, compared to 80% on desktops or laptop computers. Clearly, mobile search still has room to grow.
One huge reason mobile is expected to skyrocket is that consumers are now conducting searches on the go, while they are shopping or looking for places to eat. They are often taking immediate action after the results of these searches, creating a great opportunity for businesses that are nearby. These “near me” searches will likely define the mobile search segment over the next few years.
But there are even newer developments worth monitoring. The rise of interactive home assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have kick-started a rise in voice search, portending a world of new PPC possibilities. As Search Engine Land points out, it’s too soon for voice search ad campaigns, but this is certainly a consumer behavior worth monitoring.
Regardless of what shape search technology and PPC ad campaigns take, Sound Publishing will remain at the forefront, offering PPC services to advertisers of all sizes, from multinational corporations to one-person small businesses. Our trained team can easily help advertisers get search PPC campaigns up and running and advise them on bid strategies to ensure that they are reaching consumers efficiently and economically. It’s simply a matter of advertisers deciding to which pages they’d like to drive traffic and determining budgets.