Marketers’ faith in paid search ROI growing, study finds

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By this point, paid search advertising is not exactly a new development. For years now, companies have had the opportunity to invest in this strategy, which ensures that their messaging appears prominently in front of the ideal group of consumers whenever they are most interested in a relevant search term. But while many industry experts have fully embraced paid search advertising, many others have been less quick to jump on this bandwagon. There are a number of reasons why corporate decision-makers may have hesitated to leverage paid search advertising to a significant degree, but likely one of the most significant is also the simplest: Marketers have not been completely confident that these strategies were worth the cost.

Now, however, these fears are falling by the wayside as more marketers and other decision-makers witness first-hand the the value that paid search advertising can deliver. More specifically, the latest State of Search Marketing Report from the non-profit SEMPO found that marketers’ confidence in their ability to measure paid search return on investment has increased significantly and is now outpacing many other channels.

“Two-thirds of marketers consider themselves to be good at measuring the ROI of paid search campaigns.”

Paid search ROI
The study was based on a survey of more than 500 industry experts, including in-house marketers and professionals from agencies and consultancies, MarketingCharts reported. Among these respondents, approximately two-thirds said they consider themselves good at measuring the ROI of paid search campaigns.

This represents a major shift in marketers’ attitudes toward paid search advertising ROI. In February, Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud released a study which found that 52 percent of marketers felt they were good at measuring paid search ROI, as KO Marketing reported.

SEMPO study’s paid search ROI figure is particularly noteworthy in comparison to respondents’ attitudes toward other digital channels. Only 45 percent of survey participants said they were confident in their ability to measure the ROI of search engine optimization efforts, while 44 percent had confidence in regard to measuring email marketing ROI. For display and social media marketing efforts, survey respondents were even less confident: Only 29 percent and 22 percent, respectively, thought they were able to effectively track ROI for campaigns in these areas.

It is worth noting that the Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud report found that 44 percent of respondents believed they could accurately gauge email marketing efforts’ ROI – the exact same figure found by SEMPO. This suggests that the shift in terms of paid search advertising confidence is not an aberration, but rather actually represents a significant change in how these industry professionals now view paid search advertising as a channel.

Going forward
The SEMPO study noted that when it comes to most of the digital channels evaluated, the biggest challenge for marketers is measuring ROI, MarketingCharts reported. However, because of the strides made in terms of paid search ROI measurement, the biggest challenge in this specific area is actually securing budget. This marks progress, and is a much easier hurdle to overcome for those marketing professionals who recognize the value that paid search advertising can deliver for their organizations. After all, any marketer that can both track the ROI of paid search advertising campaigns and present that insight to higher-ups will be in an excellent position to secure funds for future endeavors.

paid search

Better ROI tracking can lead to more effective strategies.

This is especially true given that paid search advertising efforts are becoming increasingly common. KO Marketing pointed to a report from Webmarketing123 earlier this year which found that more than half of B2B marketers were practicing paid search at the time. Almost certainly, this figure has grown.

Given all of this, it’s clear to see that business leaders will need to take paid search advertising more seriously in the coming years if they hope to keep pace with their market rivals. To maximize the potential of this avenue, though, it’s not enough for marketers to have confidence in their ability to measure ROI. It’s also critical for companies to partner with paid search consulting firms that can provide guidance and expertise – otherwise, there may not be all that much ROI to track.

Core and More Technologies is a leading service provider in this area. We combine state-of-the-art reporting tools and methodologies with tried-and-true strategies to develop paid search advertising campaigns that deliver the best possible results for our clients from across all sectors.

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