Why should you as a Lebanese retailer / brand engage in search engine marketing, and in Paid Search in specific.

When I get asked “what do you do?”, at first I used to get excited and tell them. Ok so it would be something like:
Random human being: So Liliane, what do you do?
Me: I work in Search Engine Marketing *huge smile on my face*
RHB: What’s that?
Me (trying to put it in a simple way to understand): Well you know those ads that appear as sponsored links on search engines like google, on top or on the side while you’re searching for something?
RHB (Some sort of disappointment starts being drawn on their face): Oh, okay…

Ads showing on google

Source: Google.com

Now the discussion can take various forms and that really depends on how people think, amount of knowledge in online marketing  they have etc… But the one answer I got a couple of times was:

RHB: Yeah… I never click on these!

But it’s what I reply to them that makes a difference. Here goes nothing:

Why Paid Search? What makes it so special?

Me: Oh.. As a matter of fact I used to think the same thing until I actually started working in these and noticing how successful they are. Trick is, not for your ad to appear at any random keyword that is being searched. Trick is to serve the user the right ad for what they are looking for.

SEM, and in specific Paid Search, is one of the most successful forms of marketing online. It’s a very cost-effective marketing channel.

In 2011, paid search is expected to rake in $34.9 billion. […] Since 2006, the amount of money spent on paid search has risen 250 percent. By 2016, paid search is expected to grow 75 percent and become a $61.1 billion industry. Google owns 79.1 percent of spending in the paid-search market, leaving Bing with 20.9 percent [Source]

Paid Search is now bigger than Radio Advertising, Outdoor Advertising and Cinema Advertising (click on image to view in larger size)

Paid Search bigger than Radio Advertising, Outdoor Advertising and Cinema Advertising

Source: Blog.kissmetrics.com

The amount spent on search marketing is gaining on paid TV advertising.

Source: Blog.kissmetrics.com

You can get more details by checking the whole infographic of “Future of Paid Search, Google, Bing & Beyond” from KISSmetrics.

Why Google?

So, by now you are probably wondering, why most paid search should take place on Google. Because Google Networks, which consists of Google sites & partners reaches over 80% of internet users.

Tools used: Google Adwords

Below is one of the tools used in order to put the clients’ ads out there, based on the keywords that users search for, and the keywords Paid Search experts think is best to bid on depending on the industry of the client, and many other factors.

Prerequisites before thinking of doing a Paid Search Campaign

A website, not just a website, a GOOD website with informative content. And not just any content, the content which you promised the user they will see when they clicked on the ad. Remember the important key word here, it’s “Relevancy

So I am a used cars dealer, how will this be good for me. Is Lebanon a good market?

So suppose you’re a car dealer in Lebanon, wouldn’t you want your ad to appear when a user searches for “Buy used car in Lebanon”? I know I would. The more relevant your ad to your keyword is, the better the CTR (Clickthrough rate). Meaning, your ad won’t just appear on the side (aka impression) and be ignored, the more clicks it gets, the less gap there is between clicks and impressions, and its proportion is known at CTR. I won’t go technical here, because this is not the purpose of this post. I merely believe, Lebanon is a virgin market, and more brands should get into it, because cost is still low and people are searching, more and more.

Choose the right people to do it

True that you might want to do it yourself, but make sure you give experts a chance before you indulge in such a journey. “3ti khibzak lal khebbez w law akal nosso“.

Experience, history gathering, accumulated knowledge are really useful in such campaigns and endeavors, therefore you might want to get your hand on people who know what they’re talking about.

Bonus Amazing Video by  Converse

I want to leave you with a super duper creative campaign that Converse did, Paid Search is not boring as some people might think it is. And not only was it a fun campaign, but a very successful one. Because with paid search, you need to understand how your target audience thinks, and simply find the right keywords that can bridge your brand with these keywords and those users.