What is SEA? Search Engine Advertising Explained

What is SEA? Search Engine Advertising Explained

Online marketing consists of a large number of sub-disciplines. Together they form a big whole and enable your company to grow in a targeted manner and generate profits. One of these disciplines is SEA (search engine advertising).

You are constantly confronted with SEA in your everyday life. Almost every Google search will bring you in contact with it. Because for almost every search query, there are companies that place and display ads.

Search engine advertising is therefore constantly present. But what exactly is it all about and how does it work? We have summarized everything you need to know.

What does SEA mean? A brief definition

SEA (Search Engine Advertising) denotes the placement of digital ads in the search results of search engines. The term usually refers to Google, but advertising can also be placed in other search engines such as Bing.

If users search for a specific term, they will see a list of search results.

Above the organic search results, the paid ads are displayed. These are usually text ads with a maximum of 4 displayed for one specific search term.

That the ads are present above the organic search results gives them a special meaning. After all, they are the first thing that searchers see in the search engine. This is where the potential for valuable clicks from your target group lies.

SEA vs. SEO: These are the differences

SEA and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) together form the so-called search engine marketing (SEM). SEO focuses exclusively on organic search results.

Active content production builds up long-term expertise and offers content that results in good rankings. So it’s about creating content that meets the search intent of the target audience and convinces them by using strong information so that search engines place it high in the organic search results.

An example of organic search results in Google.

In contrast to this form of owned media SEA is a very classic paid media. So while SEO is a long-term approach, SEA is short-term, providing an immediate view of costs and outcomes.

Ideally, both measures are combined in order on the one hand to increase traffic to your own website in the long term and on the other hand to achieve short-term campaign conversions achieve.

You can achieve these goals with search engine advertising

SEA is immediately effective as a marketing strategy. It can generate results in an instant. It is therefore a good opportunity to prominently place your own services or products and to achieve results quickly. These results may differ depending on the goal set:

Reach: You want your ad to be seen as often as possible.

Clicks: You want as many clicks as possible to your landing page.

Conversions: You want a certain action to be performed on the landing page as often as possible.

SEA itself can help reliably, especially with the first two goals. After all, you can buy reach and clicks easily. Whether the conversions then increase also depends, of course, on how well the landing page behind the ad is structured.

Basically, however, you can assume that a higher reach and more clicks are also reflected in more conversions. At least in absolute numbers.

How SEA works in the implementation

Search engine advertising first requires registration with the associated platform, e.g. Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising. You can then create a campaign, which in turn bundles various ads into ad groups.

Here, you bid on keywords for which you want to display your ads. The correct choice of keywords is of great importance because it enables you to address your target group precisely and to pick people up online where they already signal a basic interest or need.

In order to further refine this target group approach, you also have various targeting options available, which we will present to you in more detail later.

If you have chosen keywords, then set a maximum price per click and a maximum daily or monthly budget. The placement of ads in search engines is based on an auction system. That means: Whoever bids the most per click wins the bid.

But that’s not the only thing that decides: there is also a Quality Score. The landing page to which the ad refers is checked. The search engine checks the relevance of the landing page for the selected keywords, which is intended to prevent unsuitable content from being displayed.

So it’s not just the bid that matters, but also the quality of your promoted content.

There are clear specifications for the ad texts. Google Ads allows Text Ads, which consist of 3 parts:

  • Headline: 3 headlines of 30 characters each
  • Displayed URL: Link to a landing page
  • Text lines: 2 text lines a 90 Sign

When creating these texts, it is important to use relevant keywords, Clearly communicate the benefits of your service or your product, and a call to action.

Warning: Google works with responsive search ads. That means: You store up to 15 headings and 4 descriptions, the search engine then tries all possible combinations and finally selects the one that performs best.

For yours, this means texts: The respective ad titles and text lines must make sense and work independently of one another.

The versatile targeting options of search engine advertising

The advantages of search engine advertising over ads in magazines or posters are the multiple targeting options. This allows you to determine exactly which people will see your ad. The following applies: The more precise you are here, the lower the wastage. Targeting options are e.g. E.g.:

  • Keywords: You specify the search terms for which the ad should be displayed.
  • Language: Define which language the searchers should speak.
  • Region: Limit the ads regionally, e.g. for local offers.
  • Personal data: Minimize wastage by specifying an age range and gender.
  • Time: Set times of day and days of the week for your ads.
  • terminals: Define which devices you want to reach your target group.
  • Retargeting: Target people who have already been to your website or clicked on another ad.

For successful SEA measures, the following applies: The more you know about your target group, the more successfully you can address them. If necessary, carry out a target group analysis in advance in order to collect the relevant data.

These costs are incurred by SEA

The exact costs for your search engine advertising cannot be provided to us to quantify Because how expensive a click ultimately depends on the competition. The auction system means that keywords with a lot of competition (e.g. those that directly lead to a purchase such as “buy running shoes”) have a significantly higher click price than niche keywords.

Your industry also determines the click price. This is often higher for high-priced services (e.g. advice) than in other areas.

How much money you ultimately spend on your advertising measures is entirely up to your budget. Because you determine the offered click price as well as a maximum daily or monthly budget. If the limit is reached, the ad will no longer be displayed.

There are generally 3 different billing methods:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): In this most common variant, you pay a bid amount for each click on your ad.
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): You pay per defined conversion that you define beforehand. Google uses an algorithm that determines the probability that the desired conversion will take place. So you don’t only pay when the conversion has actually taken place but on the basis of projections.
  • Cost-per-thousand (CPT): You pay a certain amount for every thousand impressions of your ad. This payment option is often used for Google Display ads.

How much money you pay for SEA so it’s entirely up to you. Keep in mind: A lot doesn’t always help a lot. You also have to make sure that your website guarantees appropriate conversions – and that you also generate inquiries or orders in a timely manner. b can edit.

The two most common advertising platforms: Google Ads & Microsoft Advertising

Google is by far the largest and most used search engine in the world. Accordingly, it is logical that the topic SEA has almost completely infiltrated Google.

In addition to Search Ads, you have the option of other advertising platforms such as Google Shopping Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube and others. Overall, this is a very large network with many possibilities.

An alternative is Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads). Bing is the second most important search engine in Germany, albeit with a significantly smaller market share than Google. On the other hand, the competition situation with Bing is lower, so you can potentially get more clicks for your money.

Basically, Microsoft advertising offers similar functions as Google Ads. You can also simply import the same ad texts and thus place the same ads as on Google.

Whether and which search engine you use for your SEA naturally depends heavily on your resources and the respective target group. In general, it can be worthwhile to use both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising in parallel and to test them.

When are you going to start with search engine advertising?

SEA is a great way to implement short-term goals. So, complemented with a long-term strategy for building your business, search engine advertising is a handy tool to use.

Not running search engine ads? Then you should quickly put the topic on your agenda and implement it into your marketing strategy. Because as a supplement to your marketing measures, there is hardly a more effective method of addressing the target group directly.

Just try it yourself!

By Ephatech

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