Friday, May 28, 2010

Capturing Qualified Clicks with Paid Search

Last week’s post discussed the importance of keywords and their effect on the visibility of your website in search results. This week we want to focus on paid search advertisements in particular, and ways to improve clicks and conversions. Paid search advertisements are those that appear along the top and on the right side on the search engine results page (SERP). Online ads allow you to reach prospects at the exact moment when they are searching for your type of service or product. When you create an ad using a product like Google AdWords, you control how much you spend for each click, and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This is sometimes referred to as pay-per- click. The elements that make up an ad are the headline, descriptive text, the display URL, and the destination URL.  

When using paid search advertisements, there are several elements that you need to include in the ad to be more effective. First and foremost, you want to make sure that the keyword that you are paying for is actually in the advertisement itself. The keyword should usually be in the headline of the ad and in the description. The ad needs to be compelling enough so that prospects will click on it, and also descriptive enough so that you are not getting unqualified leads on your site. Unwanted traffic on your site will not lead to conversion and you will have to pay every time they click on your ad. The advertisement should also include a call to action with some type of incentive to motivate prospects to click. To many marketers, this may seem like a no brainer. However in a recent study conducted, out of the advertisements that were examined, 66% did not provide a call to action that conveys urgency and a reason to click the given link. [1] An example of an effective advertisement would be as follows: 

If a consumer is looking to purchase a Phillies jersey, your ad should read something like, “Phillies Jerseys for Men, Women and Kids. Save 15% off your Jersey Now”.  This has a clear incentive in the call to action, and it also specifies the product that the website will sell by including the keywords in the ad copy.  

Are you using online ads as part of your marketing strategy?


[1] Internet & Marketing Report. “A 5-pt. test that will improve conversions and clicks”. April 23, 2010

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