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How To Rank First On Google Using Paid Search (With Successful Case Studies)

April 17, 2015 | Marketing Strategies, Paid Search

When businesses want results instantly, they often turn to paid search marketing. While SEO is great it can take months and sometimes even years to build a quality blog with hundreds of backlinks – and even then there is no guarantee.

So what do businesses do when they can’t wait this long? They used paid search.

What is paid search?

In a nutshell, paid search is paying for targeted traffic based around keywords. When customers enter in certain phrases into Google, your business can place their adverts on the first page for particular phrases. For some businesses it’s becomes virtually impossible to rank on the first page of Google for their keywords, no matter what they try.

Using paid search methods such as the Google Display Network provide an instant short-cut to targeted traffic. Paid search adverts work on a pay per click (PPC) basis and you’re only charged when someone clicks your ad.

Paid search ads are used by everyone from local businesses to giants like Amazon and Waterstones to get the top spot for particular keywords. This is what was returned when I typed in “Kindle”:

Paid search 1

Let’s assume you run a huge local retail store selling sports equipment and a big part of your range is Nike shoes. By jumping on Google AdWords we can see variations of the term Nike shoes yields thousands of monthly searches in the US:

Paid search 2

When you type in “Nike shoes” into Google the first page is dominated by Nike. There is no way your business is going to rank for that keyword – searched by 301,000 each month.

However, while you won’t be able to rank for it using SEO, you can using paid search. Take a look at the picture below, while Nike dominates the first page, Google has listed 5 different businesses where you can go and purchase Nike shoes. They have done this using paid search marketing.

Paid search

Display networks like Google offer advanced targeting services so only people in your local area see your ads. What were once keywords that were impossible to target, now can be used to bring in targeted leads instantly.

SEO or paid search?

One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Picking between SEO and paid search ultimately depends on your goals. But here are 5 reasons when paid search marketing trumps SEO:

When you need results now – Unlike SEO, PPC advertising will bring you results immediately. Within 30 minutes of setting up a campaign you can get a flood of targeted traffic coming to your site.

Time-sensitive offers – Whether you’re releasing a new blog article that’s only relevant for the next few weeks or a 48 hour special offer, paid search marketing gets your information out their immediately.

It can takes weeks before a Googlebot picks up your latest blog, for time-sensitive offers paid search is really the only way to go.

Targeting specific customers – All great PPC networks allow you to filter who views your paid ads. For example, Google lets you filter customers based on location, age, gender, interests, income, educational background, martial status and much more.

SEO doesn’t choose who sees your content and it’s why many websites have huge bounce rates. When you have a very targeted market, paid search will always out perform SEO.

Your website is not SEO optimized – Perhaps you created your website years ago before everyone knew about SEO, or maybe you don’t have the budget to regularly write content. Whatever the reason, when you can’t implement SEO, paid search is the next best thing.

If the majority of your web pages are short landing pages, you’re not going to rank well in Google, which really only leaves paid search.

Dominating a keyword – Most PPC ads are displayed either at the top of searches or on the right hand side. As long as you have the budget you can dominate a keyword forever. We have helped businesses create the perfect PPC campaigns that provide an ever positive ROI.

Take the following example, the term ‘designer handbag’ is dominated by several large online stores selling them. While businesses cannot outrank major stores likes Harrods and House of Frasier, for a small fee they can be placed along side them.

Paid search 4

Does PPC actually work?

You have probably been solicited by several marketing agencies promising you all kinds of results. While PPC does work you need to know what you’re doing.

Nike Jordan Brand

The Jordan Brand is a smaller division of Nike and focus on selling footwear. They used the Google Display Network to:

  • Keep the brand fresh in peoples’ minds
  • Connect with basketball fans and urban youth
  • Launch a campaign that customers will follow and support

How did they get on?

Well the campaign received 188 million impressions and 296,000 clicks from the Google Display networks in just 6 weeks. They increased their YouTube subscriber base by 27,000 people, gained 6,000 more Twitter followers and over 11,000 Facebook fans.

You can read more about Jordan Brand success by reading their case study here.


eSeats is an online ticket agency that gives customers a platform to buy tickets for various events online. They decided to use Google AdWords as a way to expose their business and generate more sales.

What were the results?

eSeats’ CEO Bob Bernstein, said after running their Google AdWords campaign their annual sales grew by 25% each year. He also said:

“We now spend about 80 percent of our marketing budget with AdWords.”

Since then they have generated more than $20 million in sales and have processed well over 40,000 transactions. More can be found by reading their case study.

These are just two examples of thousands of businesses who used paid search marketing to achieve their marketing goals.


Paid search marketing is the short-cut to growing your business. While SEO is effective, businesses are just one Google update away from losing their place in the search rankings. PPC advertising doesn’t work like that, as long as you have the budget to pay for clicks, your business will stay number one.

Is your business trying to rank for certain keywords but having no luck? Is your current inbound traffic methods failing to impress? Why don’t you get in touch today to see what the Crush team can do for you?

James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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