Do People Actually Click On Paid Ads In Google?

Dec 2, 2016 | Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Websites

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Two questions that comes up regularly with clients are:

  1. How many people actually click on paid ads?
  2. What benefits do paid ads have in a marketing plan?

As always with Google, this question can be quite complicated to answer as we are always weighing different demographics, locations and technical requirements when it comes to search results. We can however say, the percentage of people who click on paid ads, is quite low in comparison to organic search. Let’s dive in.

What Are Paid Ads

Paid ads come in many forms, in many places and have many names. You may have heard names like SEM, PPC or Banner Ads when describing these, all of which are technically correct. Paid ads are those advertisements that show up at the top of Google and are placed there as part of a bidding system companies use to try and “buy clicks” to a website. These paid ads are usually tied to specific keywords phrases and locations like:

“Web Design Durham, NC”

or

“Chinese Food Near Me”

The way a paid ad prices works varies based on several factors but the main way is called PPC or Pay Per Click. The company that is providing the ad pays Google every time a user clicks on their ad. The pricing for these ads can vary wildly depending upon how competitive the market is. We commonly see low-competition industries like “Paintball Course Raleigh, NC” run around .10 cents per click. However, a competitive market, like insurance or law services can produce cost per click upwards of $5.00 or even $10.00 per click in extreme cases.

Do People Actually Click On Paid Ads?

As noted earlier, it depends on the demographic and what type of device you are using as mobile and desktop searches provide different ad experiences. However, to answer this directly yes, people do click on paid ads, it’s just a very small percentage. The current number out there today states that LESS THAN 10 PERCENT of people actually click on paid ads. That’s right, around 94% of all search traffic goes to organic results over paid ads. There are some very interesting reasons though that do show why people do and do not click on ads.

Reasons People DO Click On Paid

  • They are over the age of 55
  • Did not realize it was an ad
  • The ad was well marketed
  • The ad created interest
  • Catchy titles (Clickbait!)

Reasons People DO NOT Click On Paid

  • They are under the age of 35
  • Worried their internet behavior will be tracked
  • Lack of trust in online advertising in general
  • Banner ads are not relevant to their search
  • Worried about getting a virus

Can Paid Ads Still Generate Clicks And Leads?

YES! I wish more people understood the power of paid ads. It is possible to use a paid ad strategy as supplementation to a large scale organic plan through SEO and content marketing to create an online powerhouse. If designed correctly, they together can provide a business who benefits from traffic online with a steady stream of leads without breaking the bank. While paid ads do not have near the traffic that organic search results provide, they are very effective for several things like:

  • Branding and name recognition
  • Generating leads when other marketing is slow (like holiday seasons)
  • Trying to target specific demographics (Age 55+)
  • Testing new keyword strategies
  • Re-marketing campaigns for products

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