04 Mar 2022

What is SEA, how do you use it and why?

️ Blog
8 min. reading time

written by Marieke Fechner on May 11. 2020

SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising. Together with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEA is part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM). With SEO you ensure that the content on your website meets the needs of search engines. This way you get as high as possible in the organic search results. But in addition to the organic search results, there are also the paid search results, better known as advertisements. These are usually above the organic search results and can be recognized by the addition 'advertisement'. Social Brothers explains how to create search engine ads and how best to use them.

Create ad

With SEO you ensure that your website appears in the search results organically. With SEA you pay for advertising space in the search results of a search engine. If you want to get started, it is important to first consider which search engine you want to be found through. In general, as the most used search engine, Google is a good choice. In that case you will use Google Ads† Via Google Ads you create an advertisement that consists of a few lines. Google Ads specifies exactly how long those lines may be. As a result, the ad will look more or less the same as the snippets from the organic search results.

Choose keywords and bid

You also choose the keywords where the ad should appear. Make sure that the ad is actually relevant to the search results. Misleading by showing a dog food ad when someone searches for a "dog bed" will result in a lower Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and ultimately a lower ranking in the ad results. Then you choose the maximum CPC bid. That stands for Cost Per Click. As soon as someone clicks on the ad, you pay a maximum of this bid. How high this bid should be, of course, strongly depends on your competition.

When SEA instead of SEO?

Although SEO is basically free, with SEA you pay per bid. Often a combination of SEO and SEA is the best strategy. If your website is already at the top of the organic search results for certain terms, an advertisement is not always useful. However, SEA also has advantages, which makes it advantageous in certain cases to use it. For example, with SEA you have immediate results, while with SEO you have to wait a few months for this. During that period it is wise to use SEA. Even if your competitors are going for search engine ads, it is wise to participate. After all, SEA is always above SEO. In addition, SEA is useful for temporary campaigns and offers. After all, you don't have the time to wait for SEO results. Often a combination of SEO and SEA is the best strategy.

Using SEA for SEO

SEA has another big advantage over SEO: you have a lot more control. You know exactly which keywords will lead to your ad, because you have set this yourself. In addition, you also know exactly how many people see the ad and what the CTR is per keyword. You can use this information for your SEO. If it turns out that there is a greater CTR for 'dog food' than for 'dog food', then it is also useful for the SEO of your website to start using this keyword. This way you can use the information that the relatively fast SEA gives you for the slower SEO.

Extra tips for good SEA

Make sure that the search terms where your ad appears also appear several times in the text of the ad. That increases its relevance. Not only the search engine likes this, but also the user. After all, anyone looking for dog food will click on an ad more quickly if it is clearly about it. Also think about your call-to-action (CTA). How do you convince people to actually click on your ad? 'Read more here', 'buy now with a discount', 'calculate your premium immediately': all examples of CTAs that ensure that searchers do not go to the competition.

A final tip: research and testing is also necessary for SEA. For example, think of keyword research to find out which keywords have the least competition and the highest search volume. But you can also think of A/B testing to find out which variant of an ad has the highest CTR.

Want to know more?

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If you have any questions or need help with the advertising campaigns, please don't hesitate to contact us contact on. Social Brothers is ready for you.

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