Why Every Business Should Be Using AdWords and Bing Marketing


  • When your business chooses to use SEM in addition to SEO, your products and services can rank within the top results on Google and Bing almost immediately.
  • Search engine marketing is one of the most effective marketing investments, in terms of cost per conversion.
  • With paid search marketing, your ad doesn’t interrupt a user’s browsing experience. Instead, it acts as part of their online research process.
  • Paid search captures higher intent users better than any other paid digital marketing channel.

If your business has been searching for the best ways to market your products and services, you’ve likely read about paid search ads or search engine marketing. Search engine marketing, abbreviated SEM, is a digital marketing channel that utilizes text ads that appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) of both Google and Bing.

A question that we receive from our clients regularly is how effective is Google AdWords, and by proxy Bing ads? Should businesses spend marketing dollars on these channels even though they tend to be more expensive than other channels, like paid social or display advertising? The short answer to both is an unequivocal yes; businesses should be spending their marketing dollars on search engine marketing. Paid search can work for almost any type of business, large or small, and we will explore the ins and outs of why below.

The Question of Intent

The most significant difference between reaching users with paid search marketing and the users you reach with other types of marketing is their intent. We touched on this in another blog post discussing platform prioritization based on the level of user intent. The TLDR is that the higher a user’s intent, the more easily they will become leads and sales.

On social media, for example, people aren’t likely interested in having ads served to them. They are primarily interested in interacting with their friends and family. They are interested in watching silly videos or gossiping about their ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend. Because of these behaviors, they are less likely to leave a social media platform to purchase something or fill out a lead form. Even if a user clicks an ad, they likely won’t convert until a later subsequent visit.

SEM is Seamless

On a search engine, like Google or Bing, marketing efforts are reaching people who are looking for something specific. By bidding on keywords based on what your business has to offer, your ads will only appear when applicable to relevant user searches. With paid search marketing, your ad doesn’t interrupt a user’s browsing experience, quite the contrary; it acts as part of their online research process.

As stated above, social ads might lead a user back to a business site at a later date. The most likely way that a user might find that site again is by employing a search engine. This path between platforms means that channels like paid social marketing, online video marketing, and programmatic display will drive both organic and paid search volume. And while we love search engine optimization, it takes time to rank on the first page for specific keywords. When your business chooses to use SEM in addition to SEO, your products and services can rank within the top results on Google and Bing almost immediately.

CPC & The Cost of SEM

Anyone familiar with SEM knows that Google AdWords and Bing Ads charge advertisers and agencies based on the cost of a click (CPC). Social and display platforms commonly charge based on every thousand ad impressions served (CPM). By calculating the total spend on those platforms divided by clicks, you can arrive at a CPC and can compare apples to apples. The higher CPCs of SEM, especially when compared to social or display, is the area where we receive the most significant pushback when it comes to search engine marketing.

Cost Per Website Session

There seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to the cost of search engine marketing and how it ends up being one of the most effective marketing investments, in terms of cost per conversion. To explain this concept easily, we’ll introduce a metric that isn’t common: cost per website session. Google defines a session as the period an individual user is active on your site.

  • Cost per Click = Marketing Spend Divided by Click
  • Cost per Session = Marketing Spend Divided by Sessions

For example, we currently run a campaign that helps a local adoption firm promote their services for both birth parents and for people looking to adopt. They use three digital channels to advertise their business: AdWords, Facebook, and programmatic display. Of these channels, programmatic display ends up having the cheapest cost per click, followed by Facebook ads, and finally AdWords.

Interestingly, going back to the concept of sessions on a business website, the cheapest session in this instance ends up being generated by AdWords. That also translates to the cheapest form fills and birthparent packet downloads, the agreed-on conversion metrics. We use the middle metric, cost per session, to optimize before we have a significant number of conversions.

So, Why Does AdWords Have Lower Costs Per Session?

The reason AdWords has a lower cost per session ultimately goes back to intent and the higher likelihood of accidental clicks in social platforms or display advertising. As you probably already know, social media ads and display ads are accidentally clicked, primarily on mobile and tablet devices, when scrolling through content using fingers to swipe. When this happens, those platforms register clicks, but users often click back before a business’s website loads; therefore, there is no session recorded.

Because users are actively looking for something with keywords in AdWords and Bing, there is a much lower likelihood of them not meaningfully clicking on your ad.

Ready to Get Started?

In conclusion, we always recommend using SEM to reach users who want to engage with your content, products, and services. Whenever anyone is looking for something they turn to a search engine. All your marketing efforts fuel these searches, including digital, television, radio, and print.

Search engine marketing is faster than search engine optimization in ranking your business high within search results. Paid search also captures higher intent users better than any other paid digital marketing channel. Reach out to us today and we can get you set up with a paid search campaign in no time.

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