Having dealt with search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) in a previously, this post handles the term of search engine advertising (SEA).
As the name suggests, SEA refers to (paid) advertisements which are placed online to improve a website’s search engine ranking. Whilst the definition of SEO is quite clear in terms of being tool for the organic growth of a site’s ranking, the differences between SEM and SEA seem to be less sharp as both terms refer to paid advertising.
In short, SME contains both, SEO and SEA and serves therefore as a kind of umbrella term. The question arises in which type of relation these two marketing tools stay to each other, particularly if one of both should be given preference.
While everybody agrees high rankings of a website based on SEO-growth is the ultimate accomplishment of an online marketing campaign, it still takes a long time. Saying this, the main reason to use SEA is a saving of time as it allows an appearance in front of a target audience which is actively searching for the products or services of a marketing campaign. SEA can furthermore be realized with paid ads on different search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Google while the latter is by far the most popular.
Paid ads are working on the principle of smart campaigns which means the ads are only liable to cost for the actual clicks (PPC) and calls that an ad receives. This means the costs may vary from day to day, but never exceed the chosen maximum monthly budget of the SEA campaign. Such PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns are furthermore very efficient because they allow the analysis and collection of data regarding the behaviour and intentions of internet users through their search queries.
Search engine advertising based on an auction system meaning that advertisers bid on certain keywords relevant to their product or service. The maximum cost-per-click bid (CPC) is the most he is willing to pay for a click on an ad. This topic is part of an active bid management which will be handled in a separate post. Bid management influences the amount of traffic ads receive. As a thumb of rule, higher bids will receive more traffic and conversions.
Another essential term is of SEA is the keyword selection as ads will only appear if the search words of the target audience and hence determines an ad’s ranking and cost. This makes it necessary to elaborate a proper keyword research which will be the topic of another post.
The next important term of SEA is the maximum quality score which is Google’s rating for the User Experience (UX) that advertisements and landing pages provide. The UX is measured on a scale from 1-10 with 1 being the highest performance. The calculation of the maximum quality score is a topic that includes several factors and will be discussed separately in another post.