According to Wikipedia (the free online encyclopedia), Search Advertising is a method of placing online advertisements on webpages (especially search engines) based on specific characteristics of the viewer. These could include search words entered by the viewer, as well as geographic location or profile of the viewer.
To break this down a little more - Search Engine Advertising is placing online classified ads where people are actually looking for your product or service. It's like discovering which newspaper subscribers are interested in the widget you sell and only paying to have your ad in the newspapers delivered to those specific houses.
There are several search engines out there that provide this service, calling it search advertising or (more commonly) pay-per-click advertising. I believe that Google originated this type of advertising, followed by Yahoo and MSN Search. If you look at the picture, you will see regular search engine listings with "sponsored ads" across the top and "search advertising" down the right-hand side.
If you only had to pay for ads being delivered to prospects specifically seeking your product or service, how would it impact your marketing budget? Can you imagine the return on invested marketing dollars?! What form of advertising are you doing now? Comment below and get feedback from us on converting current efforts to search engine marketing or get answers to questions about search engine marketing.
NEXT TIME: How to Setup a Search Engine Advertising Campaign