Are paid search results becoming more trusted?

October 2, 2006

Paid search is a highly effective way of getting more people to your site and converting them to sales. The beauty of paid search is that through careful selection of keywords and optimisation of bid limits you can aim your adverts at people at varying points in their purchasing journey. By exploring the metrics and intelligence you gain from running a paid search campaign you can uncover your customers searching habits giving you a really good insight into how they find your products.

We’ve experienced huge growth in our paid search campaign, but when you delve into the figures you realise that you can be double counting sales from other sources (affiliates, banners, organic search) a lot of the time. This is all good however and as long as you are treating your online marketing activities as a cost of sale (and you’re coming within your target limit) then it’s working well for you.

There was a time where paid search results were scorned and seen as less trustworthy than the natural results. I would always scan and click organic results and rarely paid any attention to the paid results until that is I started running a paid search campaign myself. It was only then that I realised the value of paid results. Search engine marketing specialists spend a huge amount of time optimising campaigns to get the best results (and conversions) which of course means they are working hard to give the user the most relevant results possible.

In it’s infancy, paid search was often something a company felt it had to do, and they most times dabbled in this area without much experience or advice. Nowadays the wealth of search engine marketing agencies add much needed insight and knowledge to campaigns, and as they are working to get you sales (or users, registrations etc) it’s in their interests to do the job well.

Figures just released by Performics (a division of DoubleClick) suggest that we could see an increase in online sales of up to 53% this coming holiday season driven by paid search. Of course some of this increase is down to the increased sophistication of tracking and many sales are counted across other sources (affiliates etc again) but this really doesn’t matter as it’s just demonstrating how important it is to be involved in paid search if you sell a product online.

So it seems that paid search is becoming more trusted by the consumer. It would be really interesting to see figures from a search engine comparing the number of clicks on paid links compared to organic for a number of specific, high volume search terms! In my opinion, even if your website positions highly in organic results, if you have something to sell then you should be in paid too (or your competitors will be).

Paid search is a bit of a hobby of mine so I’ll be posting much more on it in the future!


One Response to “Are paid search results becoming more trusted?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

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