How to Get Started with Paid Search – 13 Tips

How to Get Started with Paid Search – 13 Tips     

More commonly referred to as pay-per-click (PPC), paid search is the buying/bidding of ad space on SERPS (search engine results page) based on keywords of interest. Paid search seamlessly integrates with diverse campaign types and bridges gaps left by SEO thereby activating new marketing combinations that boost ROI.

Given its efficacy, it is not a wonder that paid search is the crux of many enterprises’ marketing strategies and the top income earner for Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Below are 13 tips on how to get started and make the most out of paid search.

Choose a search engine

Google takes the lion’s share of online search traffic followed by Bing and then Yahoo. In effect, Google’s paid search rates tend to be higher than Bing’s, and Yahoo’s rates tend to be lesser than both Bing’s and Google’s for most keywords. For maximum ROI, go for either Bing or Google. But it you are on a tight budget, stick to Bing.

Create an account

To launch a campaign, you first have to set up your account. If you already have a Gmail account, all you have to do is visit the AdWords site. If you prefer Bing, visit the Bing Ads site to get signed up.

The process is simple and straightforward and prompts will guide you all the way. Both Bing and Google use almost similar paid search platforms, but AdWords is a bit more complex and feature laden.

Create a campaign

Once done with setting up your account, commence campaign set up. One of the things you will need is your ideal CPC (cost per click). Calculate it by determining what percentage of your profit you are willing to share with Google for every conversion given the average conversion rate (often 5%).

Focus on keywords you rank poorly in

Paid search is a good short term strategy to gain traffic as you invest in SEO which is free and more long term. As you continually work on SEO, use paid search to cover the keywords you perform poorly in.

If, for instance, your offering is among the first three results for “men’s shoes” but the last result for “children’s shoes”; your paid search should focus on “children’s shoes.”


Your maximum cost per click should guide you in determining the budget. A well-calculated budget will ensure you do not go overboard with ad spend without due consideration of your financial situation.

That said, the bigger your budget, the better. However, it is advisable to start small to minimize risks of losing large sums in case you make a mistake. If your budget is constricting, there exists strategies of getting the most out of paid search on a tight budget.

Identify keywords

Keywords are the foundation of a paid marketing. Lack of in-depth keyword research will lead to a poor ROI and even losses. Use Google Keyword Planner and other third party tools to get keyword ideas that may apply to your case. Only choose keywords with significant traffic levels.

Select low competition keywords

The more traffic a keyword attracts, the more competitive its bids meaning that you will pay higher rates. Thus, go for keywords with substantial traffic but average to low competition.

Though hard to locate, they are worth the effort. Long tail keywords often work best. Third party tools can help you find high-yielding, low-competition keywords.

Spy on the competition

In paid search, knowing what your competitors are up to is absolutely necessary. Not only will you get strategy insight and keyword ideas, but you will also be able to outbid them in keywords of interest.

Tools such as Spyfu and Google Keyword Planner can help you spy on the competition so as to refine your approach


To boost the efficacy of your campaign, make it as targeted as possible. Identify the people most likely to be interested in your offerings and leverage the targeting options given. Specify the location radius, browser used, type of handset, plus any other relevant demographic.

Create a high-quality ad

After selecting your targeting options, create a high quality, clean-cut ad that will entice viewers and increase the click through rate. Your ad copy should be concise, and relevant. Preferably, it should highlight your value proposition and include a call-to-action.

Your quality score

Depending on the quality of your ad, its efficacy, relevance, your adherence to best use guidelines plus other specifics, Google will calculate your quality score. The higher your quality score, the lesser the rates Google will charge you and vice versa. Aim for a quality score of 7 and above.

Leverage phrase match

After creating your ad and saving it, you will be able to access your dashboard. Once there, go to the campaign page and change the match type to phrase match as opposed to broad match. This will ensure that your ad shows only for closely matching search queries. Also, familiarize yourself with other dashboard settings.

Monitoring and evaluation

Continually monitor the status of your campaign and make due changes to improve its effectiveness. Make use of negative keywords to ensure ads do not show for commercially irrelevant keywords. Additionally, continue researching to find convenient keyword alternatives you can use.

Paid search is detailed, and it calls for commitment to perfect campaign management. If the learning curve proves insurmountable, outsource the work to paid search professionals after considering the financial implications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.