Schaden says that with paid search you can test thousands of terms--from general and branded keywords, to long tail and even competitor's phrases--and run the tests without having to wait for approval from multiple layers of management. In contrast, making changes to the Web site often requires buy-in from the IT department, marketing (for copywriters), upper level management and sometimes even the legal department. Being armed with a list of well-performing keywords (and the data to back them up) goes a long way toward garnering approvals on all fronts.
Starting with paid search also helps the whole marketing team make more informed decisions. "Once you know what phrases, titles and ad copy resonates to the point of profit with your customers, you'll want to use that information to empower all your marketing initiatives," Schaden says.