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A targeted paid search (PPC) campaign might be the solution.

Business owners come to us often and ask what they can do RIGHT NOW to drive more leads into their business. This is always a tough and delicate subject because there really is no magic bullet when it comes to digital marketing. I’d be very wary of any marketer who tells you otherwise. 

That said, there are some tactics that deliver results faster than others. Let’s discuss paid search, also known as PPC or pay-per-click advertising. This digital marketing tactic is usually a good fit for businesses that are in a slump and need an immediate increase in leads.

What is Paid Search (or PPC)?

Paid Search, also known as PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is a model where an advertiser pays each time a prospective customer clicks on one of their online ads. 

There are many types of PPC ads, but the most common are the text ads that appear at the top of a Google search.

How does Paid Search work?

Let’s take a look at how paid search works. We’re in Vancouver, WA and according to everything I read, it’s only a matter of time until the big one hits. I’ve been thinking of preparing my house for an earthquake, so let’s research earthquake strapping. 

Since I don’t know of any businesses that perform earthquake strapping, I’m going to use the generic search term “earthquake strapping” instead of searching for a specific business name. 

The ads that come up will be targeted specifically to me. They can be targeted to me based on a number of factors including my age, gender, income, and my location. 

I open up google.com and type the search term “earthquake strapping” into the search bar. Here’s what my search results looks like: 

What happens when I click on a Paid Search (PPC) ad?

First, you’ll see that the search results yield a number of DIY solutions that can be purchased on Amazon and a number of other online retailers. 

I’m looking for a company that will come to my home and perform the job for me. I certainly don’t trust myself to earthquake proof my home!

The first result that I see is for a business called Seismic Northwest. This business says that they are the #1 rated provider for both homes and commercial buildings. Sounds good to me! 

Let’s click on the ad. 

What is a landing page?

When I click on the ad, I am taken to a  landing page that looks like the image above.  A landing page is simply a web page that a user is directed to after clicking on an ad. 

Typically, a landing page is built to encourage a potential customer to immediately take action. In this case, the action would either be a phone call or a form submission. 

Sometimes original landing pages are built for a paid search campaign. Instead of sending users to the business website, a variety of targeted landing pages are built that more specifically relate to the text ad that the user clicked on. Oftentimes, these targeted landing pages are more effective. 

What does an effective landing page look like?

I notice a number of things when I look at the landing page for Seismic Northwest. Lots of good content. I can clearly learn from this team and I immediately trust them. Their business license is front and center and so is their contact info. 

There are also a few things that confuse me. First, the landing page notes that the company is “serving the greater Seattle area”. Vancouver, Washington is a good 120 miles from Seattle. I wonder if this company is an option for me or if I am outside of their service area?

If I am outside of the service area then we have a couple of problems. The first, this is not going to be a good user experience for me. The second, this business is draining their budget to appear in an area where they don’t do business. 

I also notice that I can email the company, but there is not a form fill on the site. As a consumer, I’m wondering what I put in my email. What does Seismic Northwest need to know about me to provide me with a thoughtful response?

A form fill looks like this and prompts the potential customer to share more about how they’d like to be helped: 

How do I know if Paid Search (PPC) is working?

One of my favorite things about paid search is how easy it is to track results. Each time you receive a phone call or a form submission off of your paid search campaign it will be recorded in your analytics. 

Your agency should be able to tell you exactly how many phone calls and form submissions your campaign generates each month by providing you with an easy to read report. With this info you can determine if your campaign is generating a positive ROI for your business or if it is an expense that needs refinement. 

How much does Paid Search (PPC) cost?

The cost of a paid search campaign varies greatly due to a number of factors. The cost of the ad depends on the competitiveness of the keywords that you’re bidding on in the geographic area that you are running the campaign. 

The best way to learn how much a paid search campaign will cost for your business is to reach out to an agency and get a custom quote. Let the agency know the general keywords that you’d like to target as well as your desired zip codes. That should be enough info to provide you with a monthly recommended budget. 

Questions about PPC? We can help!

Have questions about PPC, want to know how much a paid search campaign would cost for your business, or how to determine if your current paid search investment is paying off? Reach out to us on and learn more about Paid Search. We’ll respond quickly, we promise. We love to talk marketing!