How to drive traffic to your website traffic: Google and Bing Ads
Buying ads on a search engine is one of the most common ways to drive traffic to your website. Google and Bing are the most common search engines.
The search below shows a Google search for “car insurance.” You might not know this, but the listings in yellow and on the right-hand side are ads. The companies (GEICO, Progressive) pay to be listed when people search for car insurance.
Search engine marketing is a huge business -- in fact, advertising makes up 96 percent of Google’s $37.9 billion in revenue last year.
Search engine marketing is a great idea because it allows you to be right in front of the customer when they are searching for information about you, or your product, service or competition. If you are doing research for car insurance, for example, you’re going to go to Google and search for things like “best car insurance” or “car insurance reviews.” There’s a good chance you aren’t looking for a specific brand, but looking for solutions to your problems.
While it could take years to rank up in natural search engine results, search engine marketing allows you to pay for a higher listing.
Search engine marketing is also a complicated business. There are entire books devoted to search engine marketing, but here’s the quick version of how Google Ads work:
- The advertisers decides to run ads on Google. The advertiser will decide what keywords (or search terms) they want to advertise for. While this seems simple, there can be thousands of keywords that an advertiser buys (think of all the products that Amazon sells).
- The advertiser pays for each click on the ad. If a Google searcher sees an ad and does not click on it, the advertiser is not charged.
- If the user clicks on an ad, the advertiser is charged. The cost per click (CPC) is based upon several factors - the biggest being competiton. The more competitive the keyword, the higher the price.
- For example, “car insurance” is very expensive (about $38 a click). “Fort Worth Advertising Agency” is about $5 a click. There’s obviously more competition for car insurance than ad agencies in Fort Worth.
- The advertiser can target the ads in many ways:
- Geographically (down to the city level)
- By Price
- According to a user’s device (Mobile Phone, Tablet, Computer)
Search engine marketing isn’t without its drawbacks. It’s complicated and needs to be continually optimized. We’ve talked to many clients that started a campaign and didn’t have the time or resources to continually monitor it. The results reflected the effort. Monitoring an online campaign is crucial to success. Prices change, new competitors pop up and the way people search changes.
Search Engine Marketing is a great way to drive guaranteed traffic to your site. Just remember you pay for it, so it pays to monitor and optimize it.
Continue reading: How to Drive Traffic to Your Website: Retargeting
View all: "Driving More Traffic to Your Website" blog series