Search marketing companies Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft help e-commerce companies rank higher in SERPs via paid inclusion and contextual ads.
E-commerce companies have a variety of search marketing solutions to choose from for assistance in gaining visibility in search engine ranking pages (SERPs).
Learn more about the Big 3 search engine marketing companies:
- Yahoo! Search Marketing
- Google AdWords
- Bing adCenter
As an alternative to working directly with these search marketing solutions, e-commerce companies can employ search engine marketing (SEM) companies or consultants to manage their campaign. This is a popular choice for companies seeking a variety of SEM or SEO services, as the Big 3 mainly focus on contextual advertising.
Google AdWords: Pioneers of Online Advertising
With Yahoo! and Microsoft battling for a piece of the online advertising pie, Google is constantly testing and upgrading AdWords to keep their market share.
AdWords ads appear across the Google network, in search listings and on the blogs and websites of AdSense marketers. They may also appear on parked domain pages, in emails, and in RSS feeds. E-commerce companies have access to a number of ad campaign management tools including keyword suggestions, tutorials, testing and reporting, and conversion tracking.
Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions Contextual Advertising
Yahoo! Search Marketing is a pay-per-click, sponsored search service similar to Google AdWords. E-commerce companies create a text ad to direct potential customers to their e-commerce site or sales page.
Users set a maximum cost per click and daily budget to help control their advertising expenditures. Other features and available preferences include geotargeting for local or national campaigns, targeting specific demographics, ad testing, and real-time reporting.
Microsoft adCenter Pay Per Click Ads for Advertising on the Bing Network
Microsoft is the newest of the Big 3 in SEM, but reaches over 82 million monthly readers and is growing faster than Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google AdWords, according to The Search Equation.
Microsoft adCenter offers most of the same features as Yahoo! and Google.
Choosing a Contextual Advertising Solution
The major difference between the top three PPC advertising providers is how and where the ads appear, as each displays ads through their search and advertising network. Most functions for e-commerce companies – as far as signing up, creating text ads, and measuring results – are available with Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter.
Search Marketing Solutions for Companies Seeking SEM Management
As online advertising has become more important and complex, the need for search engine marketing companies and consultants specializing in online marketing has led to an abundance of reputable SEM companies – and snake oil salesmen.
Outsourcing search engine marketing needs can be the best solution for companies seeking a targeted audience, yet lacking the time or technical knowledge to manage the campaign. Before hiring a SEM company or consultant:
- Review portfolios
- Check references
- Understand all inclusions and exclusions
- Set milestones and expectations
- Create a contract
Contract a reputable company and work closely with them for best results in outsourced advertising campaign management.
Moving Forward: Outlook and Emerging Trends in Online Advertising
Watch for the competition to heat up as Apple prepares to enter the market and existing search marketing solutions try to establish dominance in the growing mobile advertising and local advertising markets.
“There is growing concern, however, that Google isn’t playing fair in this fight. A handful of competitors fret the company is trying to extend its dominance into this emerging market through anti-competitive means and have shared those worries with the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating, according to sources familiar with the matter