October 16th, 2012

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The Importance of Search Advertising

Search is a big deal! In fact, there are 18.2 billion searches daily.  Following are some important facts and research about search and search advertising.

Search is big. Very big.:

Search is one of the most popular online activities. There are more than a billion searches a day worldwide – more than half come from outside the US.  People are constantly looking for new information online.  There are billions of searches each day on Google.  16% of the searches we see are new.  In 2012, there was $11 billion incremental US advertising dollars of which $8 billion is incremental digital dollars, of which $4 billion is search.

Search is constantly changing.:

There have been a lot of change in the last 11 years with Search.  Some examples that now show up in search results are Local, Customized, Suggest, Instant, Preview results, Deeper content, Videos and Images.  Search is also expanding from in your home to in your pocket.  Usage trends show that mobile search is expanding dramatically – 5x in the last 2 years!  Smart phones allow users the convenience of searching on the go, when they want immediate results.  It is now possible to reach consumers at different times of relevance.  Users can be reached all day across all devices.  Three devices (desktops, smart phones, tablets) allow for constant connectivity during the weekdays, evenings and weekends.

Search is important throughout the purchase funnel.:

There are basically three traditional mental models of marketing levers: Stimulus, First Moment of Truth and Second Moment of Truth.  Research shows 57% of people talk more online than they do in “real life.”  With that being said, there is now the new ‘Four Moments” model: ZMOT, or the Zero Moment of Truth in the consumer decision journey. Search plays a critical part in the online decision-making moment, or ZMOT process.  The Internet has now changed how we decide what to buy. Consumers actively seek out online ratings, peer reviews, videos, and in-depth product details as they move down the path to purchase.

Google is the #1 search engine.  Following are some important innovations in Google Search and how adopting some of them can benefit your marketing decisions.

Google Search can help you win moments that matter.:

Google makes the web work for you with the use of Sitelinks, Click-to-Call on mobile and Hyperlocal Ads Location Extensions.  Sitelinks are ad extensions.  3-line sitelinks: 40% average CTR lift, 2-line sitelinks: 30% average CTR lift, 1-line sitelinks: 10% average CTR lift, Mobile sitelinks: 30% average CTR lift.  Click-to-Call ads on mobile drive a 6-8% average increase in CTR.  Hyperlocal Ads Location Extensions expand or collapse the map, include a phone number and displays distance to your business.

Google Search can enable better decisions.:

The Insights for Search (beta) tool is used to see what people are searching for, thinking about and talking about right now.  Search is a new type of research.  It shows that search is measurable.  Zip Code Targeting lets you identify areas that are most valuable to your brand.  You can then send search to that location.  Remarketing Lists for Search Ads customize campaigns based on users’ visits to specific pages on your site.  With remarketing, you can acquire new customers and bid more aggressively for customers who are new to your site.  You can also cross-sell/up-sell current customers by customizing offers for those who have recently left.  The Auction Insights Report compares your performance with other advertisers bidding within the same auctions in Google Adwords.  This is helpful because it tells you where you are showing up relevant to other advertisers.

Google Search can help you constantly innovate.:

Beyond the blue links, Google Search provides better answers to users by providing the best results possible.  Knowledge Graph is a recent addition to Google Search and is an excellent example.  Knowledge Graph draws its information from an enormous database; which includes billions of facts, details and relationships on information.  Wikipedia, movie and music catalogs are some of the resources of which Knowledge Graph gets its information.  Knowledge Graph is technology that understands real things.  It displays important facts about a particular search in the knowledge panel to the right.  Knowledge Graph is an improvement to Google Search that filters results for you.

In conclusion, Search is a key component of the overall media mix and should be a big part of your marketing campaigns.  Implementing some of Google Search’s best practices and new tools can help you create a strong integrated strategy and win new business.

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