Search advertising is a marketing technique that involves placing digital advertisements inside search engine results. Companies that run search advertising campaigns pay a small fee each time someone clicks on one of their ads. Having the ability to bid on keywords, so ads appear when people are looking for a specific product or service, is a powerful tool for today’s business advertisers.


In this article, we’re discussing how search advertising works and diving into the technical industry terms you’re most likely to hear from ‘in the know’ marketers.



What is Search Advertising and Why is it Important?


Broadly speaking, search advertising is a method of using ads that show up when an internet user searches for specific keywords or phrases while looking for a product or service. 


The beauty of search advertising is that your brand is creating advertisements based on keywords that potential consumers are searching for, so your ads represent whatever a customer intended to research, particularly when ads are optimized for local intent. In our experience, this is a frequent way that multi-location brands choose to advertise, because they know they can achieve greater reach with a keyword-based strategy. 


Search advertising can be applied across various channels. Because it is based on keyword combinations, the success of the advertisement depends on how much budget is being allocated to keyword targeting. 


Before you start selecting keywords to trigger your search ads, you must understand how to measure the success of those keywords in your search advertising efforts. Here are some tactics and metrics related to search advertising that all successful digital marketers must master before implementing a campaign. 



Tips for Measuring the Success of Your Advertising Campaigns 


  • Negative Keywords 

A negative keyword is a word or phrase that allows your brand to filter out who your ads will be displayed to on search engine results pages (SERPs). Negative keywords are an essential part of any search advertising campaign. After you have decided that a term is irrelevant to your campaign, you can add that term as a negative keyword. When you implement negative keywords in your search advertising campaigns, irrelevant impressions will drop and your click-through rate (CTR) will increase.


  • Long-Tail Keywords 


Long-tail keywords are specific keyword phrases that consumers are more likely to search for as they get further down the purchase funnel. These niche keywords usually consist of two to five words specific to your business. With shorter general keywords, competition to get the highest bid is fierce and you may not be attracting the correct audience. Since long-tail keywords are more targeted, they will draw less traffic to your website. However, the traffic that these keywords do bring in will be more closely aligned with the services you offer. 


  • CPC (Cost-Per-Click)


In the CPC payment model, advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their advertisement. Success with CPC advertising depends on two things: Your “bid” (the amount you are willing to pay if someone clicks your ad) and your actual ad price (what you’re paying as a result of the ad auction). 


In Google AdWords, CPC is calculated by taking the competitor below your position’s ad rank, divided by your quality score. Understanding how CPC is calculated is important, because it helps determine the value of the engagements your ad makes and it shows whether the ad was targeted enough to engage those users who chose to click. The goal with CPC advertising is to get the lowest, most efficient price possible. 


  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click) 


PPC is a metric that measures the cost paid to a host website when a searcher, a) likes or needs a brand’s product or service, and b) clicks the local ad. One important aspect of PPC in search advertising is the need for brands to protect their branded terms. A study found that if a brand is not targeting its branded keywords, it can lose between 10,000 and 60,000 visitors per month to competitors bidding on their branded terms. 


  • CTR (Click-Through-Rate) 


In search advertising, CTR is defined as the ratio of clicks to impressions. In most cases, the higher the CTR the more effective your search advertisement. Use this example provided by Google to help calculate your CTR


  • Contextualization 


By using the most targeted keywords appropriate for your search advertising campaign, your multi-location brand has the opportunity to dominate the competition and drive value to consumers. The effectiveness of contextualization is dependent on the quality and quantity of data that you utilize. Online reviews, user engagement histories, and other localized marketing strategies can help you accurately target keywords to become locally relevant.



Get Started Developing A Winning Search Strategy 


Nearly one-third of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses daily, and 60 percent of consumers do so at least once a week. We understand how critical it is for multi-location brands to develop relevant and targeted location-driven advertising strategies. In order to succeed with localized search advertising, your multi-location business must hit the right people at the right time and utilize keywords to make it onto the first page of search results.


With today’s technology, it’s possible to create localized search advertising campaigns for national brands at scale, and SOCi is here to help. SOCi has a variety of local search tools that can help your multi-location business build a strong local search strategy and dominate the competition. To learn more about SOCi’s localized marketing and advertising solutions for multi-location businesses, click here.

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