Paid-search Marketing: Answers to Eight Key Questions
1. What is paid-search marketing?
It consists of placing ads for your products/services on Internet search engines and content sites. These ads typically are small snippets of text linked to your merchandise pages. You pay when someone clicks through to your site from the ad. Cost-per-click (CPC) fees range from 5 cents to several dollars per click, with an industry average near 30 cents.
Leading search-marketing channels include Google, Overture and Inktomi. Additional smaller channels and new large channels are expected to appear soon.
2. What sort of catalogers benefit the most from paid-search marketing?
Catalogers with fair pricing, good Web sites and strong brands do best with paid search. It also favors e-tailers with a tightly focused merchandising strategy, because it increases the odds they’ll win the click and that the click will yield an order.
Consider two recent ads on a Google search for “wine glass.”
Stemware — Free Shipping
Bohemia, Riedel & Ravenscroft. Wine glasses, barware and decanters.
And on www.potterybarn.com:
Pottery Barn Entertaining
Find all your home essentials & easy home updates at Pottery Barn.
Pottery Barn is a great company — I’m a satisfied customer. For this search, however, the lesser-known brand appears more credible. Their URL and focused copy suggests Bestwineglass.com lives and breathes wine glasses. Of these two ads, Bestwineglass.com likely enjoys the higher click-through rate.
Furthermore, a visitor to Bestwineglass.com will find 47 glass options vs. 12 at Pottery Barn. Because of this four-fold advantage in selection, it’s likely Bestwineglass.com enjoys higher conversion on this phrase.
Pottery Barn’s overall merchandising strategy makes sense: broad selection garners more business overall than niche merchandising. But for paid search, merchandising depth beats merchandising breadth.
3. What sort of products sell best at paid search?
Products with sufficient Web search traffic and margin dollars work well in paid-search ads, as do products that can be sold via short text descriptions and products that customers understand.