One key element to being found by new potential customers is pay-per-click advertising on search engines. In this article, we will use Google as our example since Google has the largest market share. Over 80% of people looking to a search engine for results look to Google first.

After all, you don’t hear people saying,

“Let me Yahoo that for you”

but rather,

“Let me Google that for you”

Types of Search Results

Search Results (organic vs paid)When a user searches for something on Google they receive two sets of results. One set is called organic results, whereas the other set is called sponsored results. Sponsored results appear at the top and down the right side of the page. Organic results are simply listed below the sponsored ads in the middle of the page.

Organic results are also known as “natural results”, as they are naturally placed based on the relevancy of their website to the search terms used. Both result types vary constantly. In fact, Google’s algorithms use over 500 million variables and recognize over 2 trillion terms. That being said, as soon as Google recognizes that one website has been altered that website’s rank in the search results may be changed. However, sponsored results are paid ads that allow companies that may not be at the top of the organic (or “natural”) results to be seen above their competitors.

How Search Ads Work

Mixing SEO With SEM

Essentially the definitions of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are one in the same, but for all intents and purposes we are going to refer to SEO as purely optimizing the organic (or “natural”) visibility of a website and to SEM as pay-per-click (or “sponsored”) ads. The combination of these two services is a potent mix, and here’s why.

SEO will help increase your page rank over time, while SEM will show your link immediately with little regard to your page rank. However, most companies don’t want to take the time necessary for natural optimization to work alone. Alternately, they don’t want to pay outrageous amounts to the search engine to show up at the top. So how can this problem be solved? When you mix SEO with SEM, the search engine recognizes the SEO when crawling the web page and in turn charges less for pay-per-click ads.

Each click is less expensive when the content on your page is more relevant to the ad being displayed. It also effects the position of your ad. For example, if your ad is relevant to the content of your page (including the hidden SEO aspects) then your ad will most likely appear closer to the top of the first page and cost less. If your ad is not relevant to the content of your page, then your ad will appear lower in the results and will cost you more.