Paid Search Without Conversion… No thanks

Almost half of the people in the UK do not know that Google makes money from advertising. [Ofcom’s Online Nation paper 2019].

Google started adding advertising to its search engine almost 19 years ago to the day and Ads contributed over 115 Billion Dollars to its revenue in 2018 — around 97% of its total [ Investor Relations]. As any good business should, they are constantly looking for ways to grow this revenue stream and last year there was a big change in the way search results are displayed, with Ads taking up far more of the screen real estate than they used to. For some searches, users are presented with up to four Ads and the map/shopping listings before seeing any other results.

But what does this mean for your business? Firstly, Ads are going to become a must very quickly, balanced with great SEO, to form a well-rounded search strategy. More importantly, though, this strategy needs to focus on conversion and not traffic. Users very quickly click off sites that they don’t see as relevant within the first few seconds. If each of these lightening visits costs upwards of £1.50 it is important to make sure that you have done everything you can to get people to stay, look around and take the next steps.

A quick survey of 20 Google Ads this morning revealed four that simply presented the user with a large Cookie message and no reference to brand or marketing. Let’s be honest, that’s a complete waste of their money and each £1.50 ‘ads’ up. Users should be directed to a meaningful landing page with a defined call to action — importantly, this may well not be the home page and certainly should not be the privacy policy.

At flocc, our band of experts take a marketing first approach to all of our work; focusing on conversion through the right balance of strategy, Landing Pages, CRO, SEO and PPC. We think differently and review our Paid Search strategies to reduce the amount you need to contribute to Google’s profits in order to increase yours. It may not win us any awards from Google, but we feel pretty good about it.

Top Tips for your Paid Search (PPC) campaigns

  • The need for Paid Search is an unfortunate reality, so include it in your overall marketing strategy
  • Set up each of your Ads with care to reduce overall costs and ensure you define your goals. Having professional input at the early stages can be hugely beneficial
  • Ensure that each Ad means something, with users being directed to a dedicated landing page containing a well-defined call to action
  • Test, test and test again!

More details about our integrated digital marketing approach can be found here

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Mark is the Director of flocc, a creative marketing agency in Cambridge and Norwich. Balancing the art and science of marketing for maximum value.