Paid search, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a part of search engine marketing (SEM). It's an effective way to drive search traffic your way quickly and consistently. But how does it work? And why should small and midsize businesses (SMBs) be using it?

Here's how a PPC ad works:

  • Someone enters a query into a search engine, such as Bing or Google; the query could be one word, a phrase, or a question.
  • That search engine decides which paid ads will be displayed at the top; that decision is based on a few factors, including ad relevance, landing page value, the cost-per-click (CPC) bid on the keywords used, and the ad position.
  • The search engine then displays a series of paid ads at the top of the search page, followed by organic (nonpaid) results.

Rather than pay a set price to run an ad for a specific length of time, with PPC advertising businesses pay only when someone actually clicks on the ad.

No matter the size of your business, whether it's an online store, a brick and mortar shop, or an enterprise with multiple locations, paid search can help your business become more searchable, visible, and valuable to potential customers.

Here are four reasons you should make paid search an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.

1. You put your brand on broadcast

PPC campaigns help you get your business's name out there, making it more discoverable.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Kenneth Andrew

Kenneth Andrew is the general manager of SMB strategy and sales at Microsoft Advertising, working globally to help SMB customers.

LinkedIn: Kenneth Andrew