What is Search Advertising?

Amber Kazalbash | Mar 12, 2015 11:27:00 AM

5 Min Read

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Continuing our theme for the month, we’re breaking down online marketing terminology that will help you marketers who are brand managers looking to target, advertise and resonate with consumers.

This week, we’ll discuss Search Advertising and dive into technical industry terms that can help you understand next time you are in conversation with all those 'in the know' marketers! 

So, what is Search Advertising?

BusinessDictionary.com defines search advertising is defined as:

“ A Method of using ads that will show up when an internet user types in specific keywords or phrases in search of a product or service. Typically used a great deal in online/internet marketing.”

The beauty with this method is that your brand is creating advertisements based on keywords potential consumers are searching for, so your ads represent whatever a customer intended to research about, especially when ads are optimized for local intent. In our experience, this is a frequent way that brands choose to advertise because they know they can attain a greater reach with a keyword-based strategy.

Search advertising can be applied across various channels from desktop to tablet and mobile. Because it is based on keyword combinations, the success of the advertisers depends on how much money is being put into targeting such keywords. But before these keywords are even selected to trigger your search ads, you must understand how to measure the success of those keywords in your search advertising efforts.

Here are some Search Advertising-related tactics and metrics that all successful digital marketers must master before implementing a campaign.

  • Negative Keywords 

A negative keyword is a word or phrase that allows your brand to filter out who your ads will be displayed to in the search engine results page.

Negative keywords are an essential aspect to your brand’s search advertising campaigns. After you have decided that a term is irrelevant to your campaign, you can add that term as a negative keyword.By developing more targeted campaigns with the  implementation of negative keywords your brand will stop accruing irrelevant impressions and your Click Through-Rates (CTR) will increase .

Learn more here.

  • Long-Tail Keywords

These niche keywords usually consist of two to five words specific to your business.These are more specific keyword phrases that consumers are more likely to search when they are further down the purchase funnel.

With shorter general keywords competition to get the highest bid is fierce and you may not be attracting the correct audience, ultimately leading to scatter shot visits and low ROI. Since these keywords are more targeted they will draw less traffic to your site. However, the traffic that these keywords do bring in will be more eager to see what services you are offering.

  • CPC ( Cost per click)

A payment model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their advertisement. CPC depends on two things:

  1. Your ‘bid’ (the amount you are willing to pay if someone clicks your ads)

  2. and your actual ad price(what you’re paying as a result of the ad auction)

In Google's AdWords this amount is the result of your competitors Adrank divided with your Quality score. This is an especially important because it helps determine the value of the engagements your ad makes, and shows whether the advertising was targeted enough to engage those who choose to click. The goal with CPC is to get the lowest, most efficient price possible.

  • PPC (Pay Per Click)

As opposed to CPC, PPC is a metric that measures the cost paid to a host website when a searcher likes or needs a brand’s product/ service AND clicks the local ad. This means that while the ad is working to get a more broad reach, its even more important that users take action on the advertisement.

One important competitive aspect of PPC in search advertising is the need for brands to protect their branded terms. A recent study found that if a brand is not targeting its branded keywords, it can lose on average 10,000 and 60,000 visitors per month to competing advertisers bidding on their branded terms.

  • CTR (Click Through Rate)

This term is defined as the ratio of clicks to impressions of an online ad. In most cases, the higher the CTR the more effective your search advertisement has been to bring new consumers to your page. Use this example provided by Google to help calculate your CTR.

  • Contextualization

By using the most targeted keywords appropriate for your search advertising campaign, your brand has the opportunity to become relevant and valuable to consumers. The effectiveness of contextualization is dependant upon the quality and quantity of data that you utilize. This data can span from online reviews, to user engagement history and habits.  From there, your brand can create strategies to accurately target keywords and geo-fence these to become locally relevant as well.


Over half of all local searches served by Where2GetIt occur on a mobile device, so we know how critical it is to create brand awareness at a hyper-local level. To develop relevant and targeted location-driven advertising campaigns, you must make sure that your advertising is hitting the right people at the right time. With search advertising, your brand will utilize keywords to make it to page one of search results. And with today’s technology, it is even possible to create localized search advertisements for national brands that do not own their physical locations.

Read our case study to see how Where2GetIt helped this national pool product supplier automate their campaign management process, improve their average ad position, and increase their conversion rates.

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Topics: SEO

Amber Kazalbash

Amber Kazalbash

Social Media Specialist at Brandify. Home is where the Wifi is.

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