As businesses continue to fine-tune their online marketing efforts, the methods they are choosing are constantly evolving to be more informative and more engaging to users, which, in turn increases their effectiveness. Paid search management is a prime example of the evolution that occurs through the course of time with online marketing tactics. Paid search started in a very simple format that was heavily reliant on keywords and descriptive content, but as we charge headstrong into 2011, which promises to be an exciting year for online marketing, we expect paid search to become a lot more inclusive. It will undoubtedly become less focused on keywords and will be more targeted towards catching user attention.
Google, the largest paid search provider, has made key changes to the functionality of paid search links in order to make them more interesting. First, they changed the ad format. Paid search ads used to have a very strict format that included mostly text. Now, businesses have the ability to feature product listings in paid search ads that include a picture of the product, the price they are selling the product for and even a direct link to the product page on their site. Paid search ads on Google can even be featured on image searches.
Mobile searches have also had a direct influence on paid search as we know it. The amount of users that are searching on mobile devices increases every day. To accommodate this, Google is starting to offer “Click-to-Call” sponsored ads that allow users to contact vendors that have posted paid search links simply by clicking their phone number. Making it easier for smartphones to dial businesses directly from their paid search links is a great way to really draw in potential sales leads. It makes it so much simpler for people that are interested in specific products or services to get in contact with vendors.
For smaller businesses that don’t have the time or resources to really watch over their sponsored advertising campaigns, Google has created an automated program that eliminates having to constantly bid for sponsored ads. Google Boost is an incentive that was launched to simplify sponsored advertising so that small businesses could still remain competitive without having to perform keyword research. It even gives small businesses that don’t have websites the ability to purchase sponsored ads through their Google places page, which will provide people who are searching on the web with the ability to locate their contact information.
Keywords could potentially become a thing of the past for paid search. As Google’s services continue to become more inclusive, the dependency on keywords for paid search ads could easily decrease. But will relevancy become an issue if keywords aren’t valued as highly? Relevancy is a vital part of this process because if sponsored ads are irrelevant, it will end up costing businesses that depend on paid search management excess money, because each time a user clicks a sponsored link that doesn’t really apply to what they are searching for, the business will be charged. Google needs to ensure relevancy each time they improve their paid search products, or it could end up costing businesses that are advertising through sponsored ads a lot more money.