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Is Search Advertising Right for You?

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

Is Search Advertising Right for You?

Red Shark Digital

Digital ads are everywhere. As you check the day’s temps and humidity index on your weather app. On Facebook between a picture of your niece and a video of a fruit bat nibbling a watermelon. While reading the results of the city council election on your local newspaper’s website.

And of course, at the top of the page when you’re Googling things.

When you decide to start investing dollars into the promotion of your business, how do you know where to deliver the ads? There are several factors to consider as you choose which tactic will deliver the best results. At Red Shark Digital, we run display, social media and search advertising in Raleigh for a number of clients that span multiple industries and verticals.

Getting Started in Search Advertising

One of the questions we ask our potential clients right off the bat is “what are your goals?” If you don’t already know the answer to this question, take some time to determine what is most important to you. Brand awareness? Online leads? More transactions? Better social media presence? More first page Google rankings?

You may hold one, or several of these as a goal for your business. There are many ways to achieve them, but you’ll want to place your investment with the goal(s) that hold the highest priority. Search advertising – referring to paid search in platforms like Google Adwords or Bing – is a great option for many clients. We usually recommend this tactic when a client meets several different criteria.

Lead Gen Trumps Brand Awareness

While Adwords or Bing Ads certainly can help with brand awareness, it is not often used as the primary goal. For instance, some retail or fast-food restaurant owners want to see more foot traffic vs. engagement with a website form, as this is what drives revenue that affects their bottom line. They may find greater success using other mediums with more individual interaction and sharing ability, like social media, targeted display or even texting campaigns.

These tactics are located higher in the “funnel,” where consumers aren’t necessarily looking for a product or service at that moment. However, creating top-of-mind brand awareness will make their brand the most likely choice whenever the mood does strike the consumer.

A client more fitting to search advertising would want a specific action to be taken on their website as a result of engaging with the ad.

Your KPIs are Based on Online Leads or Transactions

This may seem like a no-brainer, as most businesses want to see more transactions and leads on their site. But as we previously explained, that’s not the end goal of all customers.

If your business is selling goods through your website, or trying to collect appointment or quote requests, paid search advertising will grab people as they are actively looking for that service. That is why search advertising is considered a “low funnel” tactic, as it tends to deliver the most leads when using a “last click” attribution. In other words, if a prospect had seen other ads previously on Facebook or other websites, but didn’t ask for an appointment until they Googled the service and clicked on your search ad. The search ad is attributed with bringing in the lead, regardless as to if s/he were influenced elsewhere.

You Need to See Visible ROI

Perhaps you understand there is value in other marketing mediums; however, you want to clearly define dollars in and dollars out. Because search advertising is a “low funnel” tactic and often the last touchpoint a customer has before asking for your service or making a purchase, it is easier to measure. You may already be working with lead source automation using your company’s CRM, or you may be manually tracking what sources brought in what leads or sales. At the end of the month, you can calculate:

(Revenue - Cost of goods sold) / Cost of goods sold

This will give you a clear picture of the ROI generated by your search advertising campaign.

Demographic Targeting Isn’t A Top Priority

While you *can* target certain demographics to an extent – like eliminating or raising/lowering bids to individuals who fit within a particular gender/age/income level, there’s always going to be a big chunk of people who fit within the “unknown” category. If you’re really intent on honing in on a specific type of person, you may do better using Facebook or programmatic advertising that uses behavior and/or offline data to serve ads only to people who fit a specific profile.

Targeting in search advertising is going to be more so based on the keywords that people are searching. You can refine the audience over time by using negative keywords, writing your ads to suit your key audience, and again, you can use some of those demographic overlays.

Is Search Advertising for You?

If you’ve read through this and feel like we’re describing your business’ goals, then we’d love to talk with you about what you’d like to achieve and how we can get you there. We’ve worked with businesses ranging from local dentist offices to B2B industrial companies, to automotive dealers – and much more. Whether you are a small business or a corporation looking for some supplemental help, Red Shark Digital has you covered. Contact us to learn more.

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