Search Engine Advertising

Search Engine Advertising

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What is Search Engine Advertising

Search engine advertising is usually a part of a marketing or branding strategy. One of the primary objectives of SEA is to increase the click-through rate since the number of clicks on a website can quickly be increased through the posting of advertisement space.

At the same time, search engine advertising can also be used to generate advertising pressure through page impressions from display campaigns. For the most part, advertisements are used by customers in the e-commerce industry since SEA is aimed at persuading the user to buy. Thus, one of the main objectives is to increase conversions in the form of sales.

Impacts of SEA on SEO

Although search engine advertising is not considered to be SEO, SEA can have massive impact on the ranking of a website. Therefore, this makes SEA sort of an indirect SEO measure. If an online shop raises its advertising impact through SEA and thereby improves its scope and visibility, direct type-ins of the shop’s name as a brand are deemed to follow. Thus, the brand is strengthened and, among other things, the domain trust of a website is as well. Ever since the Vince Update, the brand plays a greater role in the SERP.


Through SEA, Google, or any other search engine, new information on the visits to a website is received. Since the click rate and bounce rate are also considered in the evaluation of a website, successful SEA measures also lead to an improvement of the quality of a website. Another direct consequence of SEA measures is that a website or web shop can become more famous and thereby result in “offline” access through word of mouth.

Which platforms are available for SEA?

There are a lot of different advertising programs on the market. We categorize them in 3 categories. Mainly Google, Bing & Yahoo and the Other Platforms.

  • Google Adwords is a product of Google Inc. that offers marketers a wide range of advertisement opportunities in the SEA field. The principle of placing ads through AdWords is based on auctioning. Advertisers bid on specific keywords or clicks on display advertisements. Factors, such as the quality of the landing page, quality of the ad text, as well as relevance of the keywords and positive history of the AdWords account, play a crucial role in the final placement of text ads or banners. Banners or text ads posted through Google AdWords are always regarded as advertising. The following forms of advertising are possible using Google AdWords:

    • Classic text ads: An advertiser selects keywords with which his/her text ads will be displayed on a prominent position in the SERP. This entails creating the so-called campaigns that, in turn, consist of ad groups. Every ad group is categorized into advertisements based on the selected keywords. If a user searches for one of these keywords, the corresponding AdWords advertisement is displayed.
    • Product listing ads: With the so-called PLA, Google AdWords offers the possibility to place product ads that are directly created from a product file generated by the customer. The modulation is done by specifying the relevant information in the data feed.
    • Amazon product ads: Amazon product ads can also be used as an alternative to PLA from Google AdWords.
    • Display ads: These are ads in the form of images or text that are placed on platforms belonging to the Google advertisement network. Registration for this network can be done through the Google AdSense platform.

    Google AdWords offers the possibility to combine different forms of advertisement of SEA. Simultaneous placement of PLA, text ads, and display ads is, therefore, possible. The AdWords platform is one of the most used SEA tools in the world.

    With the AdWords Express program, Google offers small companies the possibility to use SEA without having to create their own campaigns. The thereby required files are automatically generated by Google. The advertiser only provides his/her advertising budget.

  • Together with Yahoo, Bing also offers its own SEA platform. Bing / Yahoo ads function in a similar way to Google AdWords. However, due to Google’s market dominance, Google AdWords is the platform that is mostly used for SEA in Germany and Europe. Nevertheless, a comprehensive SEM strategy should also include possibilities to advertise on Bing and Yahoo.

  • Besides the major search engine providers, almost all larger search engines offer their own advertising programs. SEA, through specialized search engines, can also be advantageous depending on the targeting.

    For example, if a website also wants to be successful in Russia, SEA for Yandex, etc. should also be taken into consideration. If an online shop wants to advertise vehicle parts to specific target groups, it also has the option to place its ads on different car comparison portals.

Posting models

In SEA, posting ads is done based on different provisions:

  • CPC (cost per click): Here, the advertiser specifies how much he/she is willing to pay per click.
  • CPA (cost per acquisition): The advertiser specifies how much he/she is willing to pay per conversion achieved through the advertising measures.
  • CPM (cost per thousand): The advertiser specifies how much he/she is willing to pay per 1,000 impressions of his/her advertisements.
  • Cost per call: Here, certain advertisement portals offer the possibility to specify how much an advertiser is willing to pay per visit.

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