Everything marketers need to know about paid search.

Emily Marchak 11/22/16 - 2:17 pm

How many times have you searched for something online? How many of those times did you search from your mobile device?

Search is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of paid media. In 2016, 44 percent of digital ad spend went towards paid search. According to Centro, there are approximately five billion searches every day, with a majority happening on mobile.

What does this mean for your brand?

From brand awareness to consideration, purchase to loyalty, the consumer journey for search is cyclical. Consumers search for things to first to become aware, they then search in consideration of products/services, they search to purchase, and search in loyalty to the brands they have become aware of, considered and purchased from in the past. And then start the process over, by becoming aware of another product or service. According to Centro research:

  • 100 billion searches are conducted every month
  • 86 percent of internet traffic starts with a search
  • 91 percent of consumers turn to their phone for ideas while doing a given task
  • 82 percent turn to their phone to influence a decision while in store
  • 86 percent of consumers use search engines to inform their purchase decisions
  • 75 percent of mobile searches result in a store visit within a day

What types of paid search are there?

Right now, Google and Bing are leading in the search space. But they differ drastically. Let’s take a look.

Google is one of the most popular search engines. Instead of saying “look it up,” like in the past, consumers are encouraging others to “Google it.” One of the most popular forms of paid search is Google Adwords. This allows your brand to upload an existing email address list, target custom audiences (age, gender, parental status) and use existing standard text ads or create expanded text ads. Other units include Google Automotive Ads, Promoted Pins (in beta testing), Display, Video and App ads.

Although “Bing it” is not as popular as “Google it,” you do hear things like “Ask Siri,” “Tell Alexa,” or “Ask Cortana.” Bing has integrated with the personal assistants on mobile devices and powers voice search (except for Google Home). Personal assistants operate by natural language processing to perform tasks, make suggestions and answer questions based on past search behavior. According to Centro:

  • Voice search is up 35 times since 2008
  • 65 percent of smartphone owners use voice assistants
  • 41 percent have used voice search in the last six months

Not only does Bing power Microsoft Cortana, but is now the default search engine for all Microsoft products:

  • Windows
  • Office
  • Xbox
  • Skype

Other contenders? Amazon is ruling the retail/product search space. Per Centro data, 44 percent of U.S. online shoppers start their product search on Amazon. The site even allows for marketing services with their Sponsored Product ads, Headline Search ads, and Product Display ads.

The future of paid search.

According to Search Engine Land, we will see a surge in the following areas over the next year:

1.   Increase in voice search.
Every year for the past few years has been deemed “the year of mobile.” 2017 is no different. We are really in the era of mobile. Consumers are multitasking with smartphones in hand. According to eMarketer, 68 percent of those surveyed said they use their smartphone internet while watching TV. They project that this will continue to grow in 2017 and 2018.

2.   Increase in local paid search.
Seeing that Google is currently beta testing their Promoted Pins, it’s safe to say that local paid search is going to become a reality soon. Searching for “good pizza,” “a new washer,” etc. Google will be able to serve you what is in your area first.

3.   Increase in ad spend.
As noted earlier, in 2016, 44 percent of digital ad spend went towards paid search. eMarketer projects that search ad spending will grow by 43 percent within the next year.

For more trends and insights, sign up for our Brogan Weekly Recap. And you’ll get what’s new and next in the world of advertising.

Why Brogan?

We are true partners. With a proven track record of delivering strategic marketing expertise, award-winning creative and real-time, data-driven media, we go above and beyond for our clients to get results. We even guarantee you’ll be delighted.