The main benefit of paid search marketing are:
Advertiser is not paying for the ad to be displayed
Wastage is much lower with paid search compared to traditional advertising. Cost is only incurred when ad is clicked on and a visitor is directed to the advertiser’s website. Hence it’s a cost-per-click (CPC) model. However, there are increasingly options for paid search marketing using other techniques – Google also offers CPM (site targeting) and CPA (pay-per-action) options on its content network where contextual ads are displayed on third-party sites relevant to the content on the page.
PPC advertising is highly targeted
The relevant ad with a link to a destination web page is only displayed when the user of search engine types in specific phrase (or the ad appears on the content network, triggered by relevant content on a publisher’s page), so there is limited wastage compared to other media. Youtube users can also be targeted through Google ‘promoted video’ PPC option. Users responding to a particular keyphrase or reading related content have higher intent or interest and tend to be good-quality leads.
With the right tracking system, the ROI for individual keywords can be calculated.
Traffic, rankings and results are generally stable and predictable in comparison to SEO.
Technically simpler than SEO
Position is based on combination of bid amount and quality score. Whereas SEO requires long-term, technically complex work on page optimisation, site re-structuring and link building.
Google offers retargeting through cookies placed on the searchers computer to display ads on the content network after someone has clicked on a paid search ad as a reminder to act. These can be effective in boosting the conversion rate to lead or sale.
PPC listings get posted quickly, usually in a few days (following editor review), SEO results can take weeks or months to be achieved. Moreover, when a website is revised for SEO, ranking will initially drop while the site is re-indexed by the search engines.
Tests have shown that there is a branding effect with PPC, even if users do not click on the ad. This can be used for the launch of products or major campaigns.
Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F., 2012. Digital marketing: strategy, implementation and practice (Vol. 5). Harlow: Pearson.