5 Reasons Small Businesses NEED Search

"What's the point in using Paid Search Marketing?"

I get asked this a lot. Typically followed by "I come up in natural results, so I don't need it”.

Large businesses pour money into Paid Search (SEM; Search Engine Marketing) and it's not because they have too much to spend…well not always! It's because they know its value to their business; although you might come up in natural results for some keywords, you won't appear for all of them and you could be missing out on a lot of traffic to your site.

Here are five reasons why Small Businesses need Paid Search ...

1) Paid Search in addition to Organic Listings (SEO; Natural Listings) drives incremental clicks. Both Google and Nielsen conducted research proving that Paid Search ads deliver 50% incremental clicks to an organic listing in position 1 (Google), and a brand name that appeared in both organic and paid search results received 92% of total clicks, while it attained only a 60% of total clicks when appeared only in organic listings (Nielsen).

2) Search is the first thing most people do when they start researching a purchase. In a recent study, Google found that Search was the first thing 87% of people tested turned to when they had a need to meet. Being present from the beginning of a person's purchase pattern through to the end is incredibly important as "people are at least twice as likely to use search than other online or offline sources such as store visits or social media". If people don't find you when they are searching, they will find someone else instead.

3) By using Paid Search, you have better control over what people see from your brand, and when. Ads allow bespoke messaging by keyword group allowing you to highlight key benefits and product details. You might want to support a marketing campaign during a specific timeframe by adapting your messaging to match it, or promote a fabulous offer, or include your phone number during certain hours of the day. You can do all this and more by simply putting a few rules in place.

4) Paid Search allows an unlimited volume of keywords you can bid on. Whereas SEO tends to focus on a handful of keywords, you can ensure you cover all bases required for your business using Paid Search. There is such a thing as too many keywords however so be smart and selective. Instead, aim to build out the keywords on topics that generate traffic for you as you progress.

5) You can link Paid Search to Google Analytics and gain even more insight into your customer base and target audiences. This enables you to understand the value of each keyword and the value of Paid Search within your marketing mix. The more insights you can obtain about your marketing, the easier you can improve upon it - growing your business more efficiently.

If you'd like to give it a go yourself, setting up SEM can be a little complicated but keeping it simple gets you seen and is easy to manage. See my tips on how to set up your Search activity or get in touch to discuss.