Search engine advertising (SEA), also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a form of online advertising where businesses pay to have their ads displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone searches for a particular keyword or phrase related to their business.
The basic concept of search engine advertising is that businesses bid on certain keywords or phrases that they want their ads to show up for. When someone searches for those keywords or phrases, the search engine algorithm decides which ads to display based on a variety of factors including bid amount, relevance, and quality score.
Here’s a brief overview of how search engine advertising works:
- Advertisers choose relevant keywords or phrases that they want their ads to show up for.
- Advertisers create ads with a headline, description, and display URL.
- Advertisers bid on the keywords or phrases they have chosen.
- When someone searches for the chosen keywords or phrases, the search engine algorithm runs an auction to determine which ads to display.
- The winning ads are displayed on the SERP, usually at the top or bottom of the page, and the advertiser pays the search engine a fee each time someone clicks on their ad.
The goal of search engine advertising is to drive traffic to a website and convert that traffic into customers. By bidding on relevant keywords and creating compelling ads, businesses can reach their target audience and increase their online visibility.
SEO or Google Ads: Which is Better?
The decision between SEO and Google Ads ultimately depends on the specific goals and circumstances of your business. Both SEO and Google Ads can be effective strategies for driving traffic and conversions, but they have different advantages and limitations.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your website and its content to rank higher in organic search results. SEO can be a more long-term and sustainable approach to driving traffic and conversions because it is based on creating high-quality, relevant content that meets the needs of your target audience. With SEO, you don’t have to pay for each click or impression, but it can take time to see results.
On the other hand, Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that allows you to target specific keywords and demographics to reach your ideal audience. Google Ads can provide immediate visibility and traffic to your website, but it requires a budget and ongoing management to ensure that you are getting a positive return on investment (ROI).
In some cases, a combination of both SEO and Google Ads may be the most effective approach. For example, if you have a new website and want to drive immediate traffic while building your organic presence, you could use Google Ads to supplement your SEO efforts. Or, if you are in a highly competitive industry and want to rank for specific keywords, you may use SEO to build organic traffic over time while using Google Ads to bid on those keywords in the short-term.
Ultimately, the best approach will depend on your specific goals, budget, and resources. It’s important to carefully evaluate your options and work with a trusted digital marketing partner to develop a strategy that will help you achieve your goals.
Top 18 Types of Google Ads: Full Guide with Examples
Here is a list of the 18 most common types of Google Ads:
- Search Ads – These ads appear at the top or bottom of Google search results pages when a user searches for a specific keyword. They are text-based ads that typically include a headline, description, and display URL.
- Display Ads – These ads appear on websites and apps that are part of Google’s Display Network. They can be text, image, or video-based ads and are designed to reach a wider audience.
- Shopping Ads – These ads appear on Google Shopping and other websites and apps that are part of the Google Display Network. They feature a product image, title, price, and other relevant details.
- Video Ads – These ads appear on YouTube and other websites and apps that are part of the Google Display Network. They can be skippable or non-skippable and can be in-stream or in-display.
- App Promotion Ads – These ads promote mobile apps and can appear on Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and other websites and apps that are part of the Google Display Network.
- Call-Only Ads – These ads are designed for mobile devices and feature a click-to-call button instead of a website link.
- Local Service Ads – These ads are designed for local service providers such as plumbers, electricians, and locksmiths. They appear at the top of search results and feature a phone number, hours of operation, and customer reviews.
- Hotel Ads – These ads appear on Google search and Google Maps and allow users to book hotel rooms directly from the search results.
- Gmail Ads – These ads appear in Gmail inboxes and can be text-based, image-based, or HTML-based.
- Dynamic Search Ads – These ads automatically generate headlines and landing pages based on the content of a website.
- Responsive Search Ads – These ads allow advertisers to create multiple headlines and descriptions and let Google optimize them for maximum performance.
- Smart Shopping Campaigns – These campaigns use machine learning to optimize bids and placements across Google Search, Google Shopping, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.
- Discovery Ads – These ads appear in the Google Discover feed, YouTube home feed, and Gmail promotions tab.
- Showcase Shopping Ads – These ads allow advertisers to feature multiple related products together in a single ad.
- App Ads on Google Play – These ads appear on Google Play and promote mobile apps.
- Display Ads for Mobile Apps – These ads appear in other mobile apps and are designed to promote mobile apps.
- Waze Local Ads – These ads appear on the Waze app and promote local businesses to drivers in the area.
- Lead Form Ads – These ads allow advertisers to collect leads directly from their ads without sending users to a separate landing page.