Digital Advertising (also known as Search Engine Marketing, Display Advertising, or PPC) involves purchasing advertising space from a search engine. Ads are typically composed of short phrases of text or images and are triggered by search keywords or phrases. SEM allows companies’ ads to appear when someone searches for a predetermined search phrase called a “search query.” The ads appear at the top (positions 1-3) and down the right side (positions 4-10) of search results pages. Each time someone clicks on an ad, the bid amount is billed to the company’s account.
The SEM Bidding Process
Ad visibility and position for search text ads is administered by an automated bidding process and controlled by daily budget and bid per click. Cost depends on the competition for a particular keyword and the relevance of that keyword to the target webpage. Each keyword can have a separate bid which can help drive traffic to a website and increase conversion rates.
PPC ads give companies visibility when their organic rankings do not place them on the first search results page. One advantage of SEM is that ads can be highly targeted with specific keywords, landing pages, and both demographic and geographic boundaries.