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33% will click on paid ads that answer their search query

By Joanna Carter 07 Jan, 2019

Chart of the week: People are happy to trust a paid ad if it seems to provide the answer they are looking for

A third (33%) of people will click on a paid search ad because it directly answers their search query. According to new research by Clutch, people are happy to trust a paid ad if it seems to provide the answer they are looking for, showing that addressing popular search intent with your paid ads could pay off.

Top 4 reasons people click on paid search ads

Why do people click on paid ads?

Some 26% are likely to click on a paid search ad because it mentions a brand they are familiar with. This implies that brand trust is almost as important as whether an ad is answering the search query, as users are expecting that brand to provide the answer they are looking for.

This could also mean that generic paid ads aren’t necessarily the best option for increasing brand awareness. Rather than paying for more open ads in a bid to raise awareness, you might consider answering specific questions with your search adverts – and ultimately the content on your site – to make the most of the 33% who will click on an ad that answers their query.

According to Clutch, other aspects that affect whether people are likely to click on your paid ads are the fact that they are listed above other search results (20%) and the fact that your ad has a compelling title, description or image (19%).

People appreciate not having to trawl through search results to find the right option. However, if you take users through to a page that doesn’t then answer their query, it is likely to increase your bounce rate and affect the ROI of your ad campaign, as well as your site’s SEO.

Clutch’s findings also prove that answering a search query isn’t always enough, your ad also needs to be eye-catching. Phrasing your title and description to be compelling, as well as including a great image can help improve your click-through rate and drive more traffic to your site.

Paid ads are recognized

When you consider the fact that 77% of people say they can easily recognize paid search advertisements online, it goes to show that your company needs to ensure it ticks all the boxes. It isn’t enough to simply get your ad to the top of the page, as, if it isn’t relevant enough, it is likely to get ignored in favour of organic results that have ranked for relevance.

Reliability is just as important in terms of the content of your ads as it is when it comes to content you rank for organically. Creating adverts that answer queries and offer value to a searcher will show that your brand is reliable and trustworthy, which is important for first-time potential customers and those who are coming back to your site.

With 75% of people stating that paid search ads help them find the information they are searching for, it seems that more and more brands are ensuring their adverts are relevant, informative and trustworthy. Failing to follow this trend can be damaging to your conversion rates, as well as how your brand is viewed.

On which sites do people click on paid search ads the most?

Google Ads gets you the most clicks

When it comes to the best platform for your paid ads in terms of ROI, it seems that Google is the right choice. Clutch’s research found that 63% of people are most likely to click on a search ad when using Google.

In comparison, only 14% of people are most likely to click on a paid ad in Amazon, 9% on YouTube and 6% on Bing. In fact, the number of people who are most likely to click on ads on these three sites equates to less than half of those who will do so on Google.

This is likely due to the fact that Google is the first place many people go in order to search for something online. As a result, Google is the best option for businesses when it comes to marketing products or services.

Text ads perform better

In terms of the type of ad that performs better, Clutch found that people are more likely to click on text ads than video or shopping adverts. Some 49% of people said they are more likely to click on a text ad, compared to the 31% who will click on a shopping advert.

Just 16% said they were most likely to click on a video ad, showing that while video is highly engaging on social media, websites and in emails, it may not be the best option for paid search adverts.

The best way to create an engaging text advert is to ensure that the text you use answers the search query, communicates what the site is that they will click through to and is eye-catching. Teaming text with a photo could further increase engagement and your click-through rate.

Final thoughts

It isn’t enough to simply bid on the right keywords or phrases and get your paid search ad to the top of the results, you need to ensure that your ad answers a query and is truly indicative of what a user will find on your website.

Your ads are a great way to build trust and enhance your reputation, but only if you lead people through to a page that provides the correct information. Misleading ads will have a negative impact on your brand reputation, as well possibly damaging your bounce rate and other metrics.

Of course, you can’t just assume that your ad campaign will work because these research findings suggest you are making the right choices. Ensure you are regularly assessing how your paid search ads are performing to make sure you are answering the right search queries and landing people in the right places.

  • Source: Clutch
  • Sample size: 506 people who have clicked on paid marketing in the last month
  • Recommended resource: Google Ads strategy guide

By Joanna Carter

Joanna Carter is a Digital Marketing Executive and the Blog Editor at Smart Insights, overseeing all blog content, social media and SEO strategies. As well as having an MA in Professional Writing, she has over 5 years of marketing and content writing experience, working across B2B and B2C industries. When not working, you can find her creating new recipes, wild swimming or writing her lifestyle blog. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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