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Why Search Engine Advertising?

Richard Ball
Apogee Web Consulting, LLC

July 2, 2004

How do your potential customers find your web site? The fact that the word "Google" has emerged in modern lexicon as a verb should help you realize that most people find products or services via search engines. According to a study by DoubleClick, 41 percent of US customers used search engines to research a purchase. Only 10 percent used a print ad and 9 percent a TV ad. Are search engines directing potential customers to your products or services?

Search engine advertising is highly cost effective. A report from US Bancorp Piper Jaffray reveals the cost per lead from search engines is $0.29. That compares to $1.18 for yellow pages advertising and $9.94 for direct mail inserts. PPC (pay per click) advertising has become the ideal marketing vehicle. You only pay a few cents per lead and those leads are highly qualified as the potential customer is actively seeking your products or services.

PPC search engine advertising expands your audience. Buying ads on Google distributes your ads on AOL, EarthLink and Ask Jeeves as well as on the main Google site. Run an ad campaign on Overture, now a Yahoo company, and your ads will be seen across MSN, Yahoo, AltaVista and CNN. Advertising with Google and Overture alone and you'll reach over 90 percent of the internet audience. Add in smaller, niche PPC search engines and shopping engines and you'll experience complete coverage.

PPC advertising results can be measured. Statistics can be gathered from your web server logs to determine the efficacy of an ad campaign. How do you know if a TV ad is working? A poorly performing search engine ad campaign can be corrected without having to build a new campaign from scratch. Try that with a print ad.

Why search engine advertising? Your customers use the search engines. Advertising on those search engines is one of the cheapest ad vehicles available. Search engine ads expand your reach across your target audience. Your advertising results are measurable. Ads can be revised in the middle of a campaign. Perhaps the better question is this: Why start anywhere but with search engine advertising?

Richard Ball is the founder of Apogee Web Consulting LLC, a full service search engine marketing firm. Contact Richard at 443.285.1416 or visit Apogee

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