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What is Paid Search?
Paid search is another term for SEM or search engine marketing. You may also hear it called “search advertising,” but make no mistake, it all means the same thing. Paid search is a subset of PPC or pay-per-click advertising. Other forms of advertising that make up PPC are display advertising, social advertising, and retargeting. If the naming and acronyms alone are confusing, wait till you dive into the intricacies of a paid search campaign.
Paid search is a form of paid media to promote your business’s product or service in someone’s search engine results page. What separates paid search from other forms of paid media is the level of targeting you’re afforded. As an advertiser, you have complete control of showing your ad to the people that matter most to your business.
WHAT ARE THE TOP PLATFORMS FOR PAID SEARCH?
Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) are the one-two punch when it comes to paid search. Combined, they own 98 percent of search engine market share in the United States. While most advertisers put all of their paid search budget towards Google, adding Microsoft into the marketing mix will increase the overall brand awareness.
Paid search is an everchanging field, and usually it’s all thanks to Google. The search engine giant is notorious for rolling out algorithms and updates that can make strategies from yesteryear obsolete.
Because of this, constant tweaks to Google Ad campaigns are necessary to not only remain competitive, but to also avoid burning an ad budget. Here is a list of targeting options Google offers to allow you to show your ads to the right people at the right time:
- Custom intent
- Similar audiences
- Remarketing (retargeting)
- Content Keywords
- Display expansion for search
No paid search strategy is complete without Microsoft’s Bing. Even though the majority of people use Google, nearly a third of searches done on PC are done through Bing. Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be because Bing is the default search engine on Windows operated devices, and there’s a lot of them out there. The following are different targeting options you can set through Bing:
- Geographic Location
- Day of the week
- Gender and age