When small businesses think of Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, the first thing that comes to mind is often search engine optimization, or SEO. While getting your website to rank organically on the search engine results page (SERPs) is one of the most important online marketing tactics, it’s critical not to overlook the other half of the equation – search engine advertising. Also known as PPC advertising, it’s one of the easiest, quickest, and most cost-effective ways to drive qualified website traffic, and ultimately get more leads for your business. Here are six no-brainer reasons to use search advertising to market your business online.
1. You Can Build On Your Existing SEO Efforts
You’re probably already doing on-page and off-page search engine optimization for your business website — and that’s a great way to help your business get found online. Research shows that 53% of clicks on Google go to the first result on the page, and organic SEO is what can help your business rank there. It’s also true that 75% of consumers don’t scroll past page one of the search results. Now that Google shows fewer organic results, it’s becoming harder than ever to rank on page one, but search advertising can help searchers find your business on that all-important first page.
2. You Can Get Found Immediately in SERPs
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In addition to being an easy remedy to getting visibility for your business on the first page of search engine results, search advertising also delivers immediate results. While optimizing your website to rank higher organically could take weeks, months, or even years — not to mention the expertise needed to optimize it completely and effectively — your search ad can start to appear in the search results very quickly after you set up your campaign and bid on keywords you want to rank for. This enables you to reach searchers long before your SEO efforts may take effect on your organic rank.
3. You Can Target Specific Consumers by Geography & Search Terms
Because search ads allow you to target specific geographic areas and keywords, such as a certain product or service you offer, you can focus your advertising efforts on consumers who are looking for exactly their type of business. This means consumers may be more likely to click on your targeted and optimized text ad rather than a less-specific organic result that may or not be relevant.
4. You Can Try Different Text Ad Messages
Another benefit of using search ads is that it allows you to easily change or test multiple headlines, messages, calls to action, and more to see which performs best with your target audience. You can also run multiple ad groups within one campaign, each with a message that targets a different part of your business. For instance, a dentist may want to run one search ad for braces and another one for teeth whitening within the same campaign. This not only gives you more flexibility in your content, but it also allows you to narrow your audience based on specific products or services they are looking for.
5. You Can Promote Special or Seasonal Offers
In addition to promoting specific products or services, you can also create search ads to promote specials and seasonal offers, like a back-to-school discount on braces. Since you can easily update your ad groups or text ads, you can remove the offer or replace it with another one in just a matter of minutes.
6. You Can Drive Consumers to a Conversion-Optimized Landing Page
Search engine ads are also very effective for driving traffic to campaign-specific landing pages. Running a special for $100 off braces? Create a special landing page that provides details about your offer along with a clear call to action and conversion path. For instance, your landing page might ask potential patients to call your office to schedule an appointment during a specific window of time, which increases the likelihood they will follow through with contacting you. Having an optimized landing page can help you increase conversions from prospects that search for your business online.
We can’t stress enough how a well-written, well-targeted, and well-executed search engine advertising campaign can help you get more customers online. To learn more about ReachLocal’s search advertising service, ReachSearch, or to request a consultation, visit www.reachlocal.com.