It’s no secret that today’s society has become totally dependent on the internet. Whether it be to find information or purchase a good or service, consumers are spending hours and hours each day browsing the world wide web. As this trend continues, especially on mobile devices, it is crucial for businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to get their brand out there for the world to see.

Now is the perfect time to start investing in digital marketing. Companies have a multitude of options for promoting themselves, whether it be with more traditional marketing or through the growing digital market. SEO is a common and necessary marketing strategy, but it takes time to see measurable results. With paid search marketing, your company can begin to see qualified leads almost immediately.

Getting started is only half the battle. As algorithms change and technology becomes more advanced, marketing techniques continue to evolve and adapt. With that being said, it could take years to fully understand how paid search works. To put it simply, paid search is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on a search engine or partner site. Ad formats range, from simple text ads, to image based display ads, and even video.

Depending on the audience your companies is looking to reach, there are a variety of platforms you can utilize. The most common ads, text ads, appear throughout search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are also becoming more and more popular for targeting younger generations. LinkedIn is also another growing tool which companies are using to target business centered audiences.

So why should your company invest in paid search? First off, results are quick. Once you begin bidding on keywords, results can be seen within 24 hours, depending on the competitiveness of your industry. Targeting is also a big advantage of paid search. Many platforms allow you to target users by device, location, age, gender, and more. Another benefit of paid search is its flexibility. Unlike SEO which is an ongoing strategy, paid search can be turned on and off without erasing any progress. This is especially beneficial for business who are reliant on specific selling seasons.

You might be wondering if your company can afford to run a paid search campaign. One great thing about paid search is that you can set your own budget and schedule when your ads are shown to consumers. Also, you only pay if your ads are clicked on. For example, with an AdWords campaigns you can set a max bid for each of your keywords. Depending on competitors’ bids and the quality of your ad, Google will determine your ad ranking. When consumers search for the keywords you have chosen to bid on, your ad will be displayed. If consumers do not click on your ads, you will not be charged.

There is far more that goes into paid search, but without a doubt, it is an important marketing tool that any business can use. Whether you are operating a start-up or a multi-million dollar corporation, paid search can help you increase traffic to your site as well as gain more conversions. Before jumping in it is important to understand target audience, your business goals, and how you want your brand to be portrayed. From there you can pick the right platform and develop the perfect ads to help your business flourish.