In some countries, Search Engine Marketing includes the areas Search Engine Advertising and Search Engine Optimization, otherwise the term SEM in Germany is not necessarily understood as a generic term, but as a synonym for the paid ads of the search. In England and the USA, SEM/SEA is also referred to as PPC (Pay-per-Click).
On Google and other search engines, paid search hits are displayed for commercial terms above and below the organic results (see, for example, Figure 1). In Google, the service with which the search ads can be set and managed is called Google Ads (formerly AdWords). In addition to ads for search, ads for the Google Display Network and YouTube can also be created. For SEOs, AdWords is also exciting because the attached Keyword Planner offers numbers about the search volumes of all terms searched on Google.
In contrast to organic searches, it is not a relevance algorithm that determines the order of the results, but first of all the bid for a term. However, Google has also incorporated certain relevance criteria here:
- The previous click rate of the keyword and the associated display in Google
- The previous performance of the entire AdWords account
- The previous click rate of the displayed URLs in the ad group
- The quality of the landing page
- The relevance of the keyword for the ads in the associated ad group
- The relevance of the keyword and the corresponding display for the search query
- Performance in the geographical region in which the ad is to appear
- Other factors that Google does not disclose
With Google Display Network, other factors are decisive. The reason for the quality factor is that if the position depended solely on the bid, the most relevant ads wouldn’t necessarily be at the top and they might not be clicked (and Google wouldn’t make any money with it either).
Search engine marketing pays per click. The advantage is that you can act very quickly, unlike with search engine optimization, where effects are usually only visible in the medium or long term. It is also possible to scale exactly how many users should come to one’s own page. Last but not least, you can also carry out different types of targeting:
- Regio targeting: Display ads only in certain regions, for example Schleswig-Holstein or Hamburg.
- Ethno-Targeting: Show Turkish ads to users with a Turkish browser in Germany
- Device-Targeting: Show special ads to users with an iPhone
- Carrier targeting: Display offers tailored to users on the move using a Telekom SIM card.
- Retargeting/Remarketing: Users who have taken certain actions on their own site or on YouTube are shown other ads than unknown users.
AdWords is also interesting for SEOs because it can be used to test page titles or meta-descriptions at short notice.
Next section: Affiliate Marketing