Search Advertising: Don’t Just Win the Auction

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According to Google, 91% of people use their phone while in the middle of a task. What does that say about us as consumers? It says mainly two things: 1) We have more internet-ready phones and 2) When we want information, we want it now. Companies like Google, Bing and Yahoo! are well aware of this statistic and are doing everything they can to make sure it’s as easy as possible for consumers like us to get the info we want, fast.

Google recently held a public press event during which they defined what they believe to be the current search engine consumer. The search and technology juggernaut says the modern search consumer either wants to “Know,” “Go,” “Do,” or “Buy.” If there’s one thing I learned in business school, it’s that knowing your consumer is a pivotal part of selling to them.

As advertisers in the digital space, we’re now entering a new era – the era of instant gratification. When we enter terms into search engines like Google, we don’t just expect results, we expect answers. We don’t just expect ideas, we expect solutions. With the majority of internet searches moving to mobile devices, it’s become even more important to users to reach their desired content with as few clicks (or taps) as possible.

My philosophy about search PPC (pay-per-click) advertising has always been about going beyond just “winning the auction” – you have to win the consumer. Account setup and management are crucial. Here are three things Current360 does to stand out from the competition and win consumers for our clients:

  • TLC Don’t just “set it and forget it.” Part of understanding and catering to the ever-evolving consumer is using the plethora of data we’ve collected and taking the time to make the proper adjustments. Looking at search term data, we add negative keywords that would otherwise waste budget, pause keywords that aren’t performing well, even look at day-parting our schedule to extend our budget. Whatever, you just have to be proactive!

  • Ad Extensions So often, I see paid search ads that don’t take advantage of these. Sitelinks, phone numbers, addresses, reviews and callouts reduce the number of taps/clicks users have to make to reach their desired information. These extensions improve your quality score, raise your ad position, lower your cost-per-click and increase ad real estate. Google will reward you for helping them deliver helpful information, Ade Extensions, we learn them, take the time to build them out and update as needed for our clients.

  • “Mobilize”   As searches increasingly favor mobile devices, we’re making sure our ads are mobile-friendly. Creating “mobile-preferred” versions to run alongside your standard versions can help you optimize the performance accordingly. You can increase mobile bid adjustments to tell Google that you place a higher priority on winning the mobile click and the system will automatically pull some of your budget away from desktops and tablets. Finally, making sure our copy is quick and informative is crucial. Your ad will be out of sight with the flick of a thumb if it doesn’t get to the point quickly.

It will be interesting to see how this blog will read a year from now. As the industry and its players change constantly, it’s impossible to publish advice about search advertising that’s not outdated immediately. Take these tips, apply them to your accounts now and you will be well on your way to “winning the moment.” If you’re doing these things already, good for you! Share some of your own advice or recommendations in the comments.

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Photo of Current360 Associate Creative Director Robert Womack

Rob Womack

If there’s anyone who can honestly say, “Been there, done that,” it’s Rob. After traveling the world for seven years in his 20’s, Rob went to LA and started working in film production. Then it was off to New York, where he learned how to program, which eventually brought him back home to Louisville to build websites. At Current360, Rob heads up our in-house production studio, creating all things digital for our clients — videos, commercials, radio spots, and a lot more. 

When he’s at home, Rob likes to create things like homemade kombucha and music.