Online advertising with SEA in 2021

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Online advertising with SEA in 2021

Do you want to advertise online with SEA on Google Ads? But don't know where to start? In this blog, we explain what Search Engine Advertising is. And how you can improve your ads so that your advertising costs will decrease. Because we reveal the SEA ranking factors!

Table of contents:

What is SEA?

Search Engine Advertising means paying to have your web page displayed in the top search results of a particular search engine. When a user searches for a particular word or phrase that is being advertised, they will see an advert at the top, bottom, or side of the search results.


Why is SEA important?

With SEA, you can be better found on words that are very relevant to your business. You increase your relevance and findability, so to speak, and you can measure the results of a campaign.

What can I do with SEA?

When you start advertising you have a few options:

  • Search ads/text ads: These are ads that your potential customers will see when they enter a search query in Google. You have the possibility to specify keywords and this will put you above the organic search results.

Search ads / text ads


  • Display ads: These ads are displayed on websites as a banner or as text. You can choose where you want your ad to appear. So it is best to choose a website where your target audience is already located.

Banner ad


  • Shopping ads: These ads are shown when you type in a product name such as 'headphones'. These shopping ads appear at the very top or to the right of the search results.
  • Video ads: These ads are shown on YouTube. They can take place during or before a video. It is also possible to target your audience based on age and interests. These interests are known to Google & Youtube through your viewing and surfing behavior. Like we often get ads for new marketing tools you see here in the picture below.

Youtube video ad

  • App ads: With App Ads, you make sure that your app gets a higher ranking in the Playstore. With the help of these ads, your app can also be offered when people search for shoes on Google, for example.

App ad playstore


How the Google ads auction works

Google Ads works with an auction system: First, the relevance of the ad to the searcher is taken into account. There must be a connection to the search query. For example, if you search for "marketing agency" you will probably see advertisements of marketing agencies, communication agencies, and advertising agencies...

Second price auction: Google uses the second price auction system which means that Google ranks the advertisers who are willing to pay the most per click. It then looks at how much the 2nd advertiser would be willing to pay. This means that the advertiser who has his ad right at the top has to pay € 0.01 more than the second advertiser.

Example: Advertiser A wants to pay € 3 per click and advertiser B wants to pay € 2 per click. As a result, Advertiser A only has to pay € 2.01 per click and is in the highest SEA ranking position.

What does a text advertisement consist of?

  • Headline: The headline is the title of your ad. You can use up to 3 headlines. It is recommended to use one keyword in your title/headline. Using keywords in your ad text shows that your ad is relevant. For example, if you have included 'mountain bike' and 'new bike' as keywords, one of the headings of your ad could read: 'Buy a new mountain bike'.
  • Description: The description consists of 2 text sections where you can type in a maximum of 90 characters in each section.
  • URL: The URL shows the address of your website.


The 5 factors to score high in the advertising rankings.

SEO is not the only one with ranking factors SEA also has 5.

  1. Bid: How much do you want to pay for a click.
  2. The threshold for ad targeting: There are quality conditions that apply.
  3. Context of the search: The search terms, location, type of device (mobile or laptop) of the searcher are considered.
  4. Impact of your extensions: It looks at whether your extensions are relevant to the searcher.
  5. Ad quality: Your ad gets a quality score. You can increase this by following the tips from Google ads. These tips are given during the creation of your ad. Some of these tips are: use popular keywords and add more headlines.

Google ad strength


What are extensions and why are they so important?

Extensions can increase the chance of people clicking on your ad by up to 15 % through relevant content. But you don't have to do it only there for. It is also a ranking factor for your ad.

There are 3 extension types:

  • Sitelinks: Lead visitors directly to specific parts of the website or better known as landing pages. These types of extensions lead to more conversions. It is recommended to use at least 3 of them.
  • Callouts-extensions: Here you let your special valuable features stand out. Such as exchange within 90 days, free shipping above 25 € and 24/7 customer service. It is best to use 6 of these per campaign.
  • Call extensions: With a call extension you can show your phone number.

Google ad exetensions


The 3 important factors that determine your ad quality

  1. Expected clickthrough rate: A prediction is made based on user feedback and clickthrough rates.
  2. Ad destination/landing page experience: Websites that are easy to navigate. Duration of the visit, how long your visitor stays on your page. Is considered a good experience. The threshold here is 30 seconds. Below this time is seen as a bad experience and affects your ad score in a negative way.
  3. Ad relevance: Is there a good connection between what the user is looking for and your ad?

Improve your ad performance with the optimization score

Okay, now suppose you have your ads set up and they are visible to everyone. How do you know if Google ads likes your ad? You can tell with the optimization score.

What is the optimization score?

The optimization score is a number that your ads are given between 0 - 100. The higher the score, the better and more relevant your ads are to your searcher and the better Google Ads finds them, the more Google will promote them.


Where can I improve the optimization score?

You can find the optimization score on the 'Recommendations' page in Google Ads. The score gives an estimate of how effective the settings of your campaigns are in the search network.

Next to the score, you will see a list of recommendations to optimize the performance of your campaigns and your score.

Google recommendations optimalization score


To make your website finable for your potential customers? There is a lot to do... So read the SEO Basics: 7 essential steps for optimizing your website. So that you know whether you are already on the right track.


Are you already advertising on Facebook? Make sure your ads are visible on Apple devices.