Paid search listings can be a really effective website marketing piece—they’re not for everyone, but for some, they can be the difference between success and failure. The paid search listings are the links and ad text on the right side of the page.
Basically, with paid search listings you’re saying, “I’m willing to pay for a spot to be in front of my customers’ eyes.” It can be largely be equated to placing an ad in the yellow pages. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering paid listings, though.
Will your product’s margin or sales volume cover the cost of the ad? If you end up paying $10 for every person who purchases something after following your ad, but your margin on the product they purchase is only $4, then you’ve just lost money on the sale. You’ve literally paid more to get the customer than the customer spent with you.
Do you have a great offer? In many paid search systems, the more people who find your ad useful, the less you’ll have to pay per person. And, the less you’ll have to pay to get your ad in the best placement. Why? Because search engines want to provide the most relevant content to their searchers, so that their searchers will keep using them instead of the other guy. Hence, they reward you for people following your ad. So, make your paid ad a good one—one worth following. You’ll get more customers and have to pay less per ad.
Is your paid listing going to come up in front of your customers? If your customers don’t use Google for searching, then don’t pay for an ad with Google. If your customers do use some industry-specific search engine, place your ad there instead.
How competitive is your market online? If there are a bunch of other companies paying for ads for the same key phrases you are, it may become too costly to use paid ads. If that’s the case for you, consider less competitive phrases, or spending money on increasing natural search results.