The Value of Paid Search

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REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS WHEN CONSUMERS FOUND YOUR BUSINESS IN THE YELLOW PAGES?
(IF YOU’RE UNDER 30 AND WONDERING WHAT THE YELLOW PAGES ARE, STAY WITH ME – THIS WILL ALL RESONATE, I PROMISE.) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY WAS TRYING TO STAY AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITORS IN YOUR HEADING, WHICH MEANT THAT YOU HAD TO BUY THE LARGEST AD SIZE POSSIBLE TO SHOW UP AT THE FRONT. YOU ALSO HAD TO DECIDE BETWEEN INVESTING IN A FULL COLOUR AD OR A BLACK AND YELLOW AD (HINT – ALWAYS GO WITH FULL COLOUR). YOU WOULD MEET WITH YOUR SALES REP… ERR… ORDER TAKER… ONCE A YEAR AND POOF! – ALL OF YOUR MARKETING DECISIONS HAD BEEN MADE FOR THE YEAR. WHAT A BIG DAY.

Sadly, those days have disappeared and eye care marketers (yes, if you are the one in charge of marketing for your business, you are a marketer) are now in charge of nding ways to actually market their business to potential customers. The struggle is trying
to nd a way to reach these customers wherever they are. It used to be the big yellow book that sat beside the phone. The problem is – no one even owns a home phone anymore. Your customers are on the go, distracted and hard to reach. Introducing Paid Search Campaigns – your solution to nding quality leads for your eye care business.
Google launched their advertising platform in 2000 and it has now become their primary source of revenue. AdWords has several solutions available within their platform, but
the most common is pay-per-click advertising, where your investment is only spent when a qualified customer clicks on your ad is then taken to your website, where they can learn more about your optical store, optometry practice or ophthal- mology clinic. Similar platforms exist on competitive search engines such as Yahoo and BING.
Paid Search Campaigns run as an auction, where you compete against other businesses for clicks based on a few main factors. One of these factors is your willingness to spend on each click. You as a marketer will dictate the maximum cost-per-click you’re willing to spend, which keyword phras- es and the geography in which you want your ads to appear in. These factors ensures that your marketing invest- ment is being spent wisely.

Let’s illustrate an example:
A potential customer visits a search engine in search of a new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. They type into the search bar Find Maui Jim Sunglasses in Denver. Your business happens to sell Maui Jim but unfortunately your website doesn’t organically rank for this keyword phrase. Through the campaign platform, you have told the search engine that you would like to place an ad when this customer types in Maui Jim Sunglasses and if they are searching for them in Denver. This customer is now shown your ad but this transaction has cost you nothing so far. Not until this customer actually clicks on your ad and is taken to the Maui Jim page of your website (where your store location is
found, or perhaps a link to buy them online is presented) are you charged anything. You’ve also told the search engine the maximum you’re willing to spend for this click, which means you’ve been able to control your advertising spend to the dollar. You’ve also ensured that your advertising dollars are being spent on quality leads to your business.
Most paid search campaign platforms are setup as self-serve platforms and provide great online tutorials on how to get started. If you have the time and desire to manage your campaigns yourself, you should start immediately. Every minute you’re not investing in this marketing, someone else is tak- ing advantage of the opportunity that is available. If you are unsure or and you lack the time to properly manage these campaigns yourself, you’ll want to look to hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in managing these campaigns. Management fees are all setup di erently between agencies but expect to pay a minimum charge of a few hundred dollars to a percentage of what you spend on clicks each month.

Your investment towards the actual clicks each month should depend on your business. Is your goal to book new appointments? If so, you should look at the opportunity
cost that exists if you don’t fill the appointment and work backwards from there. If you are looking o sell product, consider your margin and unmoved and put together a budget
inventory based on moving that product. Give yourself a large enough budget that you can actually witness a difference in your cash register. Most platforms like Google also offer an entire suite of reporting software that will tell you how many customers your investment actually generated you.

Kevin Wilhelm is the President of Marketing4ECPs – a digital agency focused on providing marketing solutions for eye care professionals. To learn more about our digital marketing program, visit our website at www.Marketing4ECPs.com.

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