Michael Coppola, CEO & Co-Founder of search marketing agency PATH Interactive, was a pioneer in internet marketing and has over 15 years of traditional and online marketing experience. Today, in the second part of our conversation, Michael discusses how paid search can be an effective part of your marketing strategy.
The Benefits of a Paid Search Strategy
Yesterday, we spoke about the advantages of optimizing a campaign for search. While an SEO strategy creates a solid overall foundation for your brand’s visibility and presence online, paid search allows you to precisely target consumers as they’re nearing their moment of purchase or at the critical point when the value proposition for your company exists. Investing in a paid media buy can quickly provide a lift in brand visibility and sales. Paid search campaigns generally target “transactional” keywords (“buy xyz,” “affordable xyz”) as opposed to informational ones (“what is xyz?”). However, depending on the brand and budget, more informational keywords may be targeted as well.
The flexibility of a paid keyword search campaign allows you to show your ad to only those people who search for specific keywords. But even more precisely, paid search also allows you to target based on the geographic location of consumers, the type of device on which they’re searching and other specific attributes. These advanced targeting options allow you to zero in on customers and maximize the return on your advertising spend. A keyword-based paid search campaign is a great tactic that can be supplemented by display advertising and other initiatives.
Striking a Balance
Implementing a search engine optimization strategy can create a gradual increase in your brand visibility, and this lift often sustains itself for a long time. A paid search campaign can boost your visibility and sales almost immediately, but may be expensive if keywords are mis-targeted or mostly informational. In the case of both paid search and SEO, the goal is to engage consumers along their path to purchase—but the primary difference between the two is where on that path the engagement takes place.