April 20, 2017

Battle Of The Results Page: Paid Search Secrets

A 2013 Chitika report stated that results on the first page of Google Search get 91.5 per cent of Google Traffic. And nothing much has changed since. If you’re not ranking among those top results, you’re vastly reducing the amount of traffic (and subsequent conversions) you may get.

Paid search is one of the most dynamic fields in marketing, as PPC and SEO teams are kept on their toes by Google rankings, changing algorithms and varying CPAs across platforms. From ads at the top of search results to sponsored posts in social news feeds, pay per click can often be seen as a quick-win when it comes to generating website traffic. But with keyword bidding costs varying greatly depending on the desirability of the term, PPC spend can differ with industry, product or audience. And as for SEO, whether it’s spent on keyword research, link building or the internal structure of your site, an optimised strategy could make the difference between your site getting ten or ten thousand visitors each day.

We conducted a survey of 136 of our summit delegates, to find out what their biggest questions were regarding this most dynamic field of marketing, and what trends our experts foresee on the horizon.

On-Site Vs Off-Site

Ben Magee, Digital Strategist at Liberty Marketing, explains how off-site SEO is a vital consideration to any SEO team’s plan: “Off-site and on-site go hand-in-hand in any well thought-out SEO strategy. Building great links is pointless without a clearly defined and well-informed keyword strategy, and vice-versa. In order to understand the digital marketplace that you are trying to make ground in, it is essential to review and spot opportunities in both areas. In some instances, a website will be littered with quick win keyword areas and new pages that can be created, whilst in others there will be weak pages that are primed to be strengthened through link building. The important thing is to clearly understand what it is that you are trying to achieve, and leverage the tactic which provides the best opportunity to reach your goal.”

Listen To Your Customers

But how can marketers understand the value of SEO on their site, and assess what’s working well and what isn’t? “We have to start with current customers.” Explains Stephen Kenwright, Director of Paid Search, Branded3. “You don’t deserve more customers if you aren’t properly servicing the ones you already have, so we must assess our most important pages when we start and optimise those for relevant keywords, rather than finding keywords and optimising relevant pages. From there, engagement metrics are a good indicator – time on site, bounce rate, the user journey up to that point – it’s easy enough to figure where organic search has featured in that process.”

A Whole New World

When considering results pages, Google remains, of course, at the top in terms of reach. But is there a world beyond google for PPC? Olly West, Marketing Manager at WebBox Digital, is keen to sing the praises of some alternatives. “Talking purely search engines, Bing cannot be discounted. Their market share is slowly growing, especially with the Cortana Voice Search feature of Windows 10.” He explains. “You can even upload your campaigns straight from Google Adwords too, so it’s quick to setup. Aside from search engines, PPC advertising is available on a series of other platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It’s all about picking which platforms are right for you. Each platform attracts a different audience, at a different stage of the purchase cycle, so consider your audience carefully before jumping into any advertising. If you are selling a book for example, Amazon Ads could be the solution for you, whereas if you are increasing brand awareness, Facebook’s solution could be right up your street.”

Every Nook And Cranny

Some marketers, such as those from B2B brands, sometimes struggle to achieve the reach they require in such a saturated market. So how can PPC help to solve this problem? “Having a presence on search engines is more important than ever and can provide exposure to niche markets, helping your customers to find you.” Explains West. “If you are advertising in a crowded market you are going to have more people competing for advertising space. Competition increases required click prices and makes it harder to rank your adverts high up on the first page. You can’t really afford not to be present on search engines – if you are not there your competitors are.”

The ever-changing nature of paid search means that there is always more to learn! Join us at the Figaro Digital Marketing Summit on 18 May to hear even more expert speakers discuss the latest trends, tips and tricks to make your paid search budget go further, and generate the traffic your brand deserves. Register your interest here.