The saying goes that you have to “pay to play,” and that is often the case when it comes to digital marketing.

While organic traffic that naturally finds its way to your content is great, the reality is that in order to get in front of the audience that needs to see your content and attract the customers that your pest control business needs, you will likely need to invest in a paid search campaign. In fact, 41% of all clicks go to the top three paid ads in search results, and paid search visitors are 50% more likely to make a purchase than organic visitors. You are likely leaving money on the table if you aren’t strategically including paid search in your digital marketing strategy.

What is Paid Search?

Paid search is a type of digital marketing where search engines like Google allow advertisers such as your pest control business to show ads on their search engine results pages (SERPs). It works on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which is somewhat self-explanatory in that you as the advertiser have to pay each time a user clicks on your ad or when a phone contact is generated (often referred to as pay-per-call). When your audience searches a particular word or phrase, these listings are separated, and the viewer is directed to your page. The benefit of PPC over organic content is that PPC highlights your business at the top of the SERP. In other words, your brand, including your product and service offerings, will gain visibility. Whether your goal is to generate leads, increase sales, or simply promote brand awareness, PPC can support all of your digital marketing goals.

How to Be Relevant

Relevance is the key to a successful campaign. Paid search works to drive traffic to your website through relevant ads. Users look for specific products, services, and answers to their questions. As an advertiser, it’s your job to show up on the other end with answers and solutions. For example, if a user searches for “rodent pest control,” you, as the advertiser, can show an ad specifically related to your “rodent pest control” offerings. For this reason, keywords are of particular importance when it comes to paid search.

Choosing the Right Keywords

As you decide what search terms you want to focus on or target, it’s vital to choose those terms that are relevant to both your business and that are highly searched. There are tools that can be used to do keyword research. They provide information on what words or phrases people are already searching for in reference to your products and services. In addition, you will be able to see the search volume for the keywords. After this, you will need to decide how much you are willing to invest. The lower the search volume, the less it costs to purchase a listing at the top of that particular SERP. Another factor affecting the cost of the listing is how many other people would like to purchase a specific keyword or phrase. Regardless, ensuring that you choose the right keywords will mean that you are more likely to reach the right people and likewise increase the likelihood of a purchase.

How to Make Paid Search Work for You

While paid search is an investment, it can do what organic listings can’t. In particular, it makes sense for pest control businesses because it’s relatively easy to do. It offers relatively simple tools to measure data and track results. Besides putting you at the top of the SERP, paid search allows you to put your brand on display with a strong first impression. Here, you want to promote specific products or services.

Step one is to determine which platform you prefer. Google Ads is undoubtedly the largest, but it isn’t the sole one. You may consider running and testing campaigns on a few platforms over multiple months (at least four to see which ones work best for your business and customer base). Your visual and written advertisements can lead directly to your targeted landing page with a focused advertising goal. And while it may seem more expensive because it has “pay” in the title, paid search can be a smart investment that brings a significant return on investment. The ball is in your court to set a budget that works for your business. Narrowing down to a specific geographic area and even age, interests, and income level of your audience ensures that you know your audience on a deeper level and, therefore, that a higher percentage of your paid searches pay off. A paid search campaign provides the opportunity to quickly evaluate and adjust your search strategy and spending based on the data. For example, if a particular segment of the audience isn’t responding well to your offerings, you can remove them from your target audience.

How to Know Paid Search is Right for You

Since paid search is an investment, it makes sense to take the time to make sure that it’s right for your business. Take your current situation and growth goals into consideration as you make your decision. If your company is relatively new to the marketplace, a paid search campaign can help give you exposure and gain traffic. In addition, you will see short-term gains and the ability to sell a specific product or service rather than having to wait on the benefits of SEO over time. And if you do decide to implement SEO, the data you acquire from your paid search will inform how you go about constructing your search engine optimization strategy.

As you work to grow your business and make strategic decisions to do so, paid search can be particularly advantageous in helping you meet your goals. Considering your projects, your future, and how your customer base navigates the Internet will help you make an informed decision when spending your marketing budget. Take comfort in knowing that if something isn’t working, you have the freedom to adjust for your business and audience. Invest your marketing dollars smartly, and you’ll solve problems for your audience while simultaneously increasing your bottom-line, and that’s a good thing.