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The Value of Paid Search


Internet users are served ads every time they open a web browser. If your ads are going to stand out, you need to know your audience, and you have to reach them in the right place with the right content at the right time.

This kind of laser-focused targeting is possible with paid search ads, which can target people who are already searching for a product or service and are ready to purchase. The powerful analytics available through paid search also allows you to continually optimize your creative, keywords and targeting parameters in order to increase ROI.


What is paid search advertising?

The top and bottom results on a search engine results page (SERP) are actually ads designed to mimic the appearance of the organic results. Advertisers can bid to have their ad featured when specific relevant keywords are searched. Yes, web pages can be optimized to appear higher on SERPs naturally, but it takes time and expertise to master Google’s ever-changing indexing formula. “Pay to play” is easier and faster than relying solely on SEO and helps level the playing field for small or local businesses.

Paid search ads use a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertisers pay a certain amount every time a user clicks on their search listing. The cost per click can vary greatly, from just a few cents to more than $100 in rare cases, depending on competition in the market and the quality of the campaign design. Luckily, you can define the maximum amount you want to spend to ensure that you don’t go over budget.


With paid search as part of your advertising strategy, you can:


  • Appear at the top of Google search results. Most users won’t bother looking past the first page of search results, so this is important. Even though paid search ads are clearly labeled as ads, 46% of internet users can’t readily tell the difference between paid ads and organic links. For all practical purposes, you get the same benefits as a high-ranking organic result, such as increased traffic to your website, which can create more sales, leads and brand awareness for your company. It’s a great investment.
  • Deliver your ads to a more targeted audience. Paid search has always lent itself well to intent-based lead generation, but in recent years, audience targeting capabilities have become even more relevant to demo and behavioral specifications. By customizing your audience segment to reach the people who are most likely to purchase your product or service, you gain more qualified leads.
  • Attract people who are ready to buy. Since they are put in front of people who are already searching for keywords relevant to your product or service, paid search ads tend to draw people who are actively looking to make a purchase rather than people who are still in the awareness or consideration stages. Jumping straight to the “desire” section of the funnel means that half of your job as a marketer is done for you and you see results faster.
  • Use test and learn features. The testing tools incorporated into Paid Search campaign platforms allow you to run experiments with ad copy and landing pages, comparing the results to see what resonates best with your target audience. Once you hit on a winning combination, you can convert your ads at higher rates for a lower cost per acquisition.
  • Follow real-time analytics. One of the biggest advantages of paid search is the wealth of information it tracks. You can follow every step of your ad campaign in minute detail: who clicks your ads, how much time they spend on your site, what kind of device they use, and much more. Of course, in order to turn data into bigger returns, you need to know how to interpret your findings and use them to optimize future ad content or targeting.


Making the most of a paid search campaign does mean actively monitoring your ad performance and refining accordingly. It can be a tricky and time-consuming process. When it’s done right, though, the results are absolutely worth it. Your ads will be lost in a deluge of internet advertising unless you take action to put them in front of the right people at the right time. With its hyper-specific targeting and wealth of analytics, paid search should be a key part of every digital ad campaign.

If you aren’t savvy with analytics and targeting, paid search can still work for you. Paid search professionals, like the experts at Belo + Company, can custom-build your data-based campaign strategy. Whether you need help with a particular part of the process or want to outsource the entire campaign, our team can fill in the gaps, leaving you to reap the results.

Find out what makes Belo + Co one of the top marketing and advertising companies in Dallas.


Krista Roberts
Krista Roberts
Krista is the Paid Search Director at Belo + Co, managing clients across a wide variety of industries. In her free time, Krista loves attending concerts and hanging out with her bunny, Pancakes.