The Wide World Of Paid Search

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) hosts PPCChat with another great question set titled “The Wide World Of Paid Search.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: How do you define paid search?

  • Any advertising on the SERPs, whether it’s Google, Bing, etc. – Mike Crimmins (@mikecrimmins)
  • Paying to be shown on the search engine results pages. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • I guess I go with a fairly narrow definition: “Buying ads on a search engine to display to those actively looking for something." – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Placing ads in search engines. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Do you consider Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc search engines? – Matt Umbro
    • I consider those as part of PPC but not paid search. – Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
    • I say that is all Paid Social. – Kirk Williams
    • No, those are paid social in my book. – Melissa Mackey
    • Not unless there’s searching going on. – Steve Gibson
    • Interesting, I consider those platforms to be part of paid search, but semantics. – Matt Umbro
    • I consider them PPC, or Social PPC, but not Paid Search. Need to target keywords or behavior of someone looking for something with an “intent” basis to be Paid Search. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Paid Search is specific to paid SERP placements, PPC & SEM are broader topics. – Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
  • Paid Search is Paid Ads on SERPs based primarily on keyword searches, though sometimes affected by other targeting methods. – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
  • Paid search/SEM are easy definitions. PPC is where it gets trickier. – Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
  • An online advertising campaign that targets web searchers. – James Svoboda
  • Sponsored search results. – Sam Mazaheri (@sammmer)
  • Bidding on specific keywords that then trigger ads based on user search queries. – Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
  • You pay to show ads on search engines, like Google and Bing. – Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
  • Paid search is SERP advertising only, i.e. people looking for things. – Alberto Merola (@AlbertoMerola)
  • Paid Search= People search. Search intent is valuable. Invest to show ads on those searches to drive your desired business goal. – Maddie Cary (@MaddieMarketer)
  • Paid Search = advg. focused on keywords & users with high intent. Active searchers! (not idle browsers). – Mary Hartman (@PPCHartman)
  • Showing ads for specific search queries. PPC includes many forms of advertising. Search is just one. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Paying search engines to show up in the search results. – Ranjan Kashyap (@Ranjan_Kashyap)

Q2: How should paid search/social work with and coexist with other channels such as SEO and email marketing?

  • They all have to work together now to complete the funnel and move the shopper to buyer. – Mike Crimmins
  • They are all just tools to help execute a thought out marketing strategy. Might not need all every time. – Joe Martinez
  • Re-marketing is the biggest area of overlap for those three channels. Keeping consistent messaging across them is crucial. – Andrew McCarthy
  • Uploading & Targeting customer lists brought social and email marketing teams together. – JD Prater (@jdprater)
  • Shouldn’t exclude 1 for the benefit of the other – as SMBs tend to do. All help/compliment each other. – Alberto Merola
  • How they integrate: -Keyword research -Build traffic for remarketing -Retargeting email lists -Test diff CTAs -Test diff LPs. – Erika Schmidt
  • Think ppl convert bc only interact with 1 channel? YOU CRAY. Understand multi-touch pts is half the fun (& challenge) in mktg. – Maddie Cary
  • Paid search and SEO should capture existing interest. Email should build upon initial interest and nurture. – Sam Mazaheri
  • They’re all tools in the toolbox. The fact they’re all online, doesn’t really mean much, IMO. – Steve Gibson
  • In a post-last-click world, figuring this out for each client is essential since visitors often hit +1 src before purchase. This wasn’t meant to be a non-answer, just that I think the formula will shift based upon each client. – Kirk Williams
    • Couldn’t agree more, understanding cross-channel interaction is a huge piece of the puzzle. – Andree McCarthy
  • All part of a broader eco-system, working toward the same goal.each has a role in finding/nurturing prospects. – Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
  • Each channel attracts visitors at different phases of the buying/contact-us process. Utilize some to attract & others to close. – Mark Subel (@marksubel)
  • Data sharing for insights. If it works for organic, it’s probably going to work for paid and vice versa. – Michael Fleming (@SEMFlem)
  • When you can fire on all thrusters, yes! I have only been in small co & it works there. – Matt Graves (@gravymatt)
  • All will work better when coordinated as a collaborative strategy. PPC and SEO teams work together heavily here. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Paid search will always coexist with other channels from which organic traffic comes. I don’t think they will separate. – Ranjan Kashyap
  • You have to ask yourself how you can leverage diff marketing to meet your end goal, then strategize. Don’t just jump in. – Erika Schmidt
  • Use PPC winning ad copy to inform SEO tags and descriptions. – Michael Fleming
  • Alignment of messaging is important across channels too. Don’t advertise a sale to your email list & neglect to promote on ads. – Mary Hartman
  • Test content in PPC, use learnings in other channels. – Melissa Mackey
  • Ideally, you run all of it and it’s all interconnected via the conversion funnel. In reality, clients have limited budgets. – Doug Thomas

Q3: How do you broach and justify adding additional platforms to paid search such as Twitter, LinkedIn, etc?

  • Let the client know we want to be on all channels that their prospects use. – Rory Witt (@Rory_Witt)
  • If you are having trouble reaching your target audience in search, paid social is a good option. – Melissa Mackey
  • Bring up the value of reaching additional people who are a qualified target but are not yet searching for client’s service. – Timothy Jensen
  • Big part is making sure we’re able to get the messaging to the right audience no matter what channel they’re on now. – Mike Crimmins
  • Since Twitter and LinkedIn are Social Networks and not Paid Search, I start discussing how their audience uses Social. – James Svoboda
  • Go where the water (your audience) is. Marketing is about earning attention, providing value & eliminating barriers. – Benjamin Page (@Benjamin_Page)
  • Sometimes to increase impression, especially for small/niche clients. – Kyle Crocker
  • Test remarketing first to see if your audience is on those channels. But have the content to back it up. – Joe Martinez
  • You go where the target market is. I’ll often tell prospects they shouldn’t use google search network, or only use it as an extra. – Steve Gibson
  • I talk about how behavioral & demographic targeting are different ways to reach same audience you found via search-mktg. – Glenn Schmelzle (@heyglenns)
  • I’ll talk additional channels once Google and Bing are going smoothly…and then first begin with remarketing in other channels. – Matt Umbro
    • YES remarketing is an easy sell because it’s another mode of nurturing (like email, which most of them are already sold on). – Erin Sagin
    • Think this is dependent on the scope of your agency / deal with the client. I don’t think marketing starts with search. – Sam Owen
      • Marketing starts with identifying client goals and audiences. Channels come from that. – Melissa Mackey
  • I push for testing each channel to compare performance. Esp when it’s a good fit for the vertical. – Sam Mazaheri
  • Big one is when the target audience doesn’t know the product/service exists. – Michael Fleming
  • Depends on client goals. BTB clients using LinkedIn ads, for example. You gotta find the channel that fits branding / audience. – Mary Hartman
  • Analyze the value on the platform & how it will help the client. Tell a story of the audience there & how they can fill a need. – Erika Schmidt
  • Show value of adding channels through behaviour models/success stories. – Alberto Merola
  • If depends upon the type of product and where is targeting audience is. – Ranjan Kashyap

Q4: Can someone excel at 2 online marketing initiatives (i.e.: paid search and SEO)? Why or why not?

  • Yes, but probably only if they don’t exercise a good work/life balance. – Michael Fleming
  • A unicorn can. Hopefully your agency has a generalist with solid knowledge and a specialist in each specific area
  • To avoid any Lost John Locke’s popping up, I will politically say “it’s *nearly* impossible to go deep on both SEO & PPC." – Kirk Williams
  • As someone who manages all online marketing, I’d certainly like to think so. Digital ain’t that f’in hard to stay in one channel. – Doug Thomas
  • I hope so. I started in SEO, do 50% paid search and 49% paid social now. – Mike Crimmins
  • Sure. But SEO and PPC are two very different skill sets – one focused on people, the other on an algo. – Steve Gibson
    • Both algo-based though. Algo in paid is bidding & QS to reduce CPC as much as possible. – Doug Thomas
  • Yes, particularly if they really understand the audience. Knowing your target gives a framework for understanding the tools. – Kyle Crocker
  • Absolutely, but there will be situations where they’ll need to call on domain experts for more support. – Sam Mazaheri
  • Paid Search, SEO, Display, Email, Organic Social, Rep Management, etc — not that different that it’s “impossible” to execute well. – Doug Thomas
  • One providing multiple mktg initiatives can be done but quality suffers as the client list grows. Also hard to keep up on news. – Mary Hartman
  • If the passion is there for both channels it’s possible. Takes lots of effort. I did SEO a few times. Never want to do it again. – Joe Martinez
    • Ditto – get me away from SEO…too much left up to Google. – Matt Umbro
  • I think so, but beyond 2-3 you’ll start being stretched too thin. There are similarities, but the channels r still very unique. – Sean Murphy (@PPC_Sean)
  • Yes for Paid Search & SEO, or Paid Search & Paid Social. Much Harder for SEO + Paid Search + Paid Social. – James Svoboda
  • Extremely hard to keep up to date in two disciplines online. You’ll always have a bias where you excel “more” in one. – Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
  • You can get close, but ultimately you will have to give up sub skills in SEO or PPC, like CRO for PPC. – Erika Schmidt
  • Definitely possible, but you also need to be aware of your limitations and realize when it’s time to call in reinforcements. – Andrew McCarthy
  • The lines blur when SEO = PR-type content development & content is promoted through Paid. You need a stellar team to execute. – Mary Hartman
  • I think there is always 1-2 that someone is better at… after it gets a bit tough to be as in depth IMO. – Alberto Merola

Q5: How do you clearly prove to clients that branding paid search initiatives are worthwhile?

  • Turn off their brand ads for a month at their request. Turn it back on the next. – Doug Thomas
  • How brand can make up for poor SEO. Compeition that are biding on their name. The study that shows ppl more likely to click. Etc. – Mike Crimmins
  • Show them a SERP where their competitor is bidding on their brand. Nuff said. – Melissa Mackey
  • There are loads of support articles already out there to share with clients, feels like this debate ended 10+ years ago. For those who don’t trust the articles though, often we’ll run a 3-4 week incremental click study to demonstrate. – Andrew McCarthy
  • Actually, this question was more about advertising in Twitter, FB, etc and showing these values to the bottom line. For example, how can breaking even in Facebook Ads help overall marketing initaitives? – Matt Umbro
  • Explain the benefits, then test it by turning it off/on. Best way I know how. – Sam Mazaheri
  • Search only reaches ppl who already know they have a need. Social etc. generates need/demand. – Melissa Mackey
  • Incremental conversions concept. Brand lift correlation. Demonstrate competitor bidding on brand (defense!). – Benjamin Page
  • Show them a screen cap with competitor in #1 position for search ad & ask how many they think clicked the ad? – Alberto Merola
  • Create Channel Groupings in Analytics of your branded keywords. Show how they help other channels. – Joe Martinez
  • Demonstrate social worth through attribution / conversion path reporting that digs deep. Show the whole picture. – Mary Hartman
  • A good RLSA campaign with social audiences can help. – Michael Fleming

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More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
• Andrew McCarthy (@AmccartPPC)
• Benjamin Page (@Benjamin_Page)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
• Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
• Glenn Schmelzle (@heyglenns)
• JD Prater (@jdprater)
• Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
• Maddie Cary (@MaddieMarketer)
• Mark Subel (@marksubel)
• Mary Hartman (@PPCHartman)
• Matt Graves (@gravymatt)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michael Fleming (@SEMFlem)
• Mike Crimmins (@mikecrimmins)
• Ranjan Kashyap (@Ranjan_Kashyap)
• Rory Witt (@Rory_Witt)
• Sam Mazaheri (@sammmer)
• Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
• Sean Murphy (@PPC_Sean)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

The Wide World of Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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