What is SEA and what is it used for?

Here's another new acronym. If you're a bit interested in referencing strategy or digital marketing, you've probably already read it somewhere. It is one of the key traffic acquisition levers! Often considered, wrongly, as one of the simplest to set up, it can especially turn out to be one of the most expensive ones... Let's see together why.

March 10, 2021


What exactly is SEA?

SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising. In digital marketing, we differentiate between natural referencing (SEO) and paid referencing (SEA), which together make up Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Remember: SEM = SEO + SEA

The interest of this formula? Well if you know what SEO is, understand that SEA corresponds to all the other links displayed on the result page of your search. Often framed in light yellow or preceded by the word “advertisement”, these are links placed in evidence by a search engine in exchange for a payment from the advertiser.

What is the purpose of the SEA?

So now you know that to appear following a search on Google (or one of its peers), you have two options. Build an SEO strategy, or pay for advertising.

However, if you read us, you know that a good SEO strategy requires a minimum of resources, knowledge, time … To sum up, it is a medium to long term strategy. Unfortunately, impatience is one of this century’s biggest problems. We want it all, and we want it now.

Moreover, on certain keywords, in certain regions, or in certain particularly competitive fields of activity, it is sometimes very complicated to make a place for oneself among the players already established.

This is when SEA can be an attractive strategy, especially for new entrants. It can allow to quickly acquire qualified visitors and increase its visibility, while building an SEO strategy in the same time. But be careful not to improvise yourself as a traffic manager by choosing to launch an Adwords campaign on your own. Bad decisions could make your acquisition budget disappear in a few moments …

How to set it up?

There are several parameters to consider before configuring a paid acquisition campaign through a search engine.

First of all, you will need to establish a budget and clear objectives. But above all, you will need to train a minimum.Launching SEA without any knowledge of digital marketing is like playing casino roulette with all your savings in your pocket. Launching SEA without any knowledge of digital marketing is like playing casino roulette with your savings in your pocket. When setting up a campaign, the search engine will ask you to choose keywords. You will then have to do the necessary research to identify the keywords that are most relevant to your target, and therefore your business.

First of all, because a keyword that is too competitive may cost you a lot of money. Once your campaign is launched, each time a user types the query corresponding to your parameters and clicks on your ad, your budget will be cut. This is called “cost per click”, or CPC.

Finally, you will have to prepare a Landing Page adapted to your ad, in order to limit bouncebacks as much as possible. Here again, the slightest mistake could cost you a lot of money. It is not uncommon to see thousands of euros evaporate in a few hours because of a badly chosen keyword, a too high CPC or a badly configured Landing Page.