What is Search Engine Advertising?
Search engine advertising (SEA), also known as Search Engine Marketing is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through paid efforts. Search Engine Marketing is a bit of a misnomer since marketing is typically the result of unpaid efforts. Advertising is typically the result of paid efforts. In years past SEA encompassed both paid and unpaid efforts. Over time unpaid efforts have evolved into their own identity under the umbrella of search engine optimization (SEO). Search Marketing (SM) is fast becoming a phrase that encompasses both SEA and SEO.
Consumers use search to ask questions and find solutions; they are essentially using search engines to build knowledge on a certain subject. As a marketer, you want consumers to identify your company, product, or service as the number-one solution to their questions.
In general, the goal of search marketing is to attract targeted traffic to a website. Increasing your website visibility on the Internet helps drive more traffic to your business, prompts more inquiries for your goods and services, increases leads, and potentially generates more sales.
More specifically the mechanics are much more complicated which in turn complicates the possible outcomes. Below is a brief but informative explanation of the reasons to market a website with paid search.
The Top Ten Reasons to Use Paid Search
From Business Marketing Blog by Vinny La Barbera
REASON #1: First Page Exposure in the Top 3 Search Engines
As we have said many times, your business MUST be seen in the top 5 results in Google, Yahoo and Bing. People very rarely look beyond these results or click to ancillary pages of search results. Pay Per Click Marketing is the fastest way to get an advertisement for your business to show in the top 5 results (in the sponsored advertisements) on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
REASON #2: Immediate Traffic
An advertiser can realistically setup a PPC campaign on Google, Yahoo or Bing (Microsoft adCenter) in less than 30 minutes if they know their way around the platform. This translates into advertisers being able to get advertisements for their website on the first page of the main search engines within an hour of campaign setup and activation (again, given they know what they’re doing). This is great for brand new websites that have little to no exposure in the search engines already.
REASON #3: Consistent Traffic
As a marketer, it is crucial to be able to drive as many people to your website as consistently as possible. Huge lulls in traffic or huge unexpected spikes in traffic can kill a website. With paid search marketing, traffic amounts can be controlled as they are tied directly to how much the advertiser is willing to pay per click, per day and per month.
REASON #4: Targeted Ads
The natural results are the most coveted for marketers and advertisers because people still click on them more than the sponsored ads. However, the ability to change, test and optimize the natural results at will does not exist as a web page needs to be optimized in order for its natural results to reflect new changes. With paid search, the ads that are displayed in the sponsored results can be changed, edited, tested, optimized and tracked for maximum effectiveness. This ability allows marketers to know which exact combination of ad text and key phrases work the best.
REASON #5: Testing
One of the most overlooked advantages of paid search marketing is the ability to test online marketing campaigns through the vast amount of features and data that the available platforms provide to marketers. For example, if you wanted to know whether a specific product campaign you are launching is received well with a new marketing campaign and ad creative that you have put together you can setup a campaign in AdWords, run the ads for at least 30 days, and then analyze the data to see if it they were successful. As a matter of fact, many professional SEO firms actually use or recommend paid search marketing as a primary step in determining the best key phrases for conversions and return on investment.
REASON #6: Reach
Besides Google being the #1 search engine with a market share of over 65%-70% over other search engines, Google has also done an amazing job of amassing a network of publishers (other websites) to display Google’s sponsored ads for them. Next time you are reading the New York Times notice the ads displayed throughout the site – those are Google’s sponsored ads and they provide advertisers with yet another way to reach their prospects on other relevant places on the web. This reach is second to none and every advertiser is encouraged to at least look into how it might work for their marketing.
REASON #7: Relevance
Search results are all about relevance, or at least they should be. When someone does a search, they should only get the most relevant results for what they searched for. Google, having the most advanced algorithms to detect relevancy, do a fantastic job of delivering relevant results to users. Google’s sponsored ads, like the natural results, are weighted very heavily on relevancy – from the key phrase to the ad text to the landing page. This creates the best user experience for the end user and also allows advertisers to target and receive very refined, qualified traffic.
REASON #8: Geo-Targeting and Ad Scheduling
A couple great features that the top paid search marketing platforms provide advertisers with are geo-targeting and ad scheduling. Geo-targeting allows advertisers to select only specified locations all over the world to display their ads to. For example, if you had a local pizza place and only wanted to show ads on the search engines to cities that you could deliver your pizza to, then you could select these areas and your ads would only show for those specified locations. This allows your ad budget to go further as it is only targeted relevant locations.
Ad scheduling allows advertisers to select specific days and times of the day to run their ads. This is extremely helpful for marketers who are very familiar with when they get the best response from consumers or when they are able to respond in a timely manner. For example, if you have a Live Chat feature as the main component of your website then it might be more beneficial to run your ads during the hours that your Live Chat is online.
REASON #9: Tracking
It still amazes us that so many companies spend thousands of dollars each month on traditional marketing methods that have absolutely no tracking whatsoever. Take newspaper advertising for example, full page can be relatively expensive compared to online marketing and worst of all, there is no accurate way to track how successful these expensive ads actually are. With paid search marketing, every ad, every keyword, and best of all, every dollar spent can be tracked down to the cent. This allows for very accurate ROI and ROAS tracking and makes paid search marketing that much more essential for any business.
REASON #10: Branding
Paid search marketing has many advantages such as those described above. However, one of the best uses of paid search marketing from a marketing perspective is branding. Effective branding is extremely important for every business as people remember brands, not companies. If your brand is memorable and associated with something memorable then your marketing will be that much more effective. Paid search marketing, through all of the reasons mentioned above, allows for very cost effective branding of your business/ product/ service and company name.
Major search engines like Google account for more than 90% of all search engine traffic. SEA allows you to leverage your business in Google’s playground to get the maximum exposure to your business. Be seen in your industry with Search Engine Advertising. To find out how you can get started contact Obelis Media today!