The quality score
This form of search engine marketing isn’t straightforward. Instead of purchasing ads for certain keywords and phrases, companies must bid on that particular keyword or phrase. Where the ad appears depends on how much has been bidden, but it also depends on a quality score that takes a number of factors into account including:
- Click-through rate
- Landing page
- Historical performance
- Ad relevancy
- Keyword relevancy
- And more
However, the final placement of the ad depends less on the amount that was bidden and more on the overall quality score. For example, a company may bid less than others on a certain keyword phrase, but because their quality score is higher, their ad will appear on the first page of the search results.
This may seem counterintuitive, but it is the job of search engines to provide users with the most relevant content based on their queries. Giving priority to content that has the highest quality score ensures they continue providing a quality service to Internet users.
Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO)
A search engine marketing campaign can include search engine optimization as well as search engine advertising. Both strategies are used to increase the search engine ranking of a page of content on the Internet, but SEA uses paid advertising, while SEO does not.
Instead, SEO focuses on strategies that enable a piece of content to appear high on the search engine results page organically. It uses keywords and phrases throughout the content to ensure it’s noticed by search engines.
Some places where keywords are used include:
- Throughout the content
- In titles and headings
- In meta content
- In image tags
- In the URL
SEA provides a company with immediate results, while SEO is best when used with a long-term marketing strategy. It is time consuming, and it takes Google time to review the website. But once established, it can provide companies with a no-cost way to appear high on the search engine results page.