Search advertising is typically condensed into two major categories: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A third form, Sponsored Search Advertising (SSA) has recently emerged as well, giving another tool for businesses to utilize as they attempt to bring relevant suspects and prospects onto their site to purchase a product or service. By focusing specifically on keywords and search habits, this form of advertising is able to target users with specific interests and buying habits, displaying the most relevant content to them in highly visible and enticing placements as they search.
Search advertising can lead directly to sales by reaching highly qualified users at a tap of a thumb or a click of the mouse. With this, a business utilizes data and customer data to place specific ads in specialized places, generating results. While this strategy is typically used to generate revenue, it can also capture relevant customer information for future promotions or can increase traffic to a website or landing page.