Search engine marketing does more than put your ads in front of potential buyers. While the highest priority is often placed on click-through rates and ad impressions, you should pay attention to the impact your paid search ads have on customers. Even for companies focused on business-to-business outreach, building a brand name is critical to earning greater market share.
Search results influence branding
When customers run their queries through a search engine, the results they see work to build brand awareness (1). In fact, enterprises across 12 verticals saw an average 6.6 percent bump in recognition. When a company is listed at the top of search engine results page, more people were able to recall and name that business as an example when asked for a brand name.
In the B2B market, the numbers varied with even greater range. Customers who saw a brand's ad at the top of SERP were aware of a brand 145 percent more than companies that fell further down in the rankings. The suggested logic is that customers who enter a specific search term into Google, Bing or Yahoo are in research mode. In other words, they're more attuned to the results, looking for specific information that will lead to making a smarter decision.
What you can do with paid search
Meanwhile, pay-per-click campaigns offer a counterbalance to organic search engine marketing in their ability to reach the forefront of buyers' consciousness without requiring as much effort in search engine optimization. Specifically with Google, you can take several approaches to bring your brand to the top of buyers' minds when they're trying to find a business solution. For instance, Apple has taken advantage of Google AdWords image extension, which replaces most of the text with pictures (2). The technology giant incorporates a series of pictures to highlight the ways people around the world use their iPad and appears more like an organic ad. As is a best practice in search engine marketing, the ad contains a brief call to action designed to attract and influence customers.
Another computing and tech-focused firm, IBM, uses paid search ads to draw attention to its online presence. For instance, the company includes a social media extension that shows how many customers follow it on Google Plus. While the AdWords campaign example is far more straightforward than that of Apple, IBM is extremely competent and controlled in using character count.