Search advertising software, also referred to as paid search or search engine marketing (SEM) software, helps businesses advertise on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Search advertising allows companies to target keywords that are relevant to their businesses and gain more prominent positioning in search engine results, gaining them visibility with users who are already searching for those keywords. Search advertising products are typically used by marketing teams or marketing and advertising agencies to identify, target, and bid on keywords. They also help create and optimize ads, as well as track conversion and return on ad spend (ROAS). Search advertising is usually leveraged for direct response advertising, with advertisers aiming to convert searchers on the spot. Search advertising includes both first-party and third-party platforms. First-party platforms are those offered directly by Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! that offer direct access to ad placement on each of the respective search engines. Third-party platforms may manage ad campaigns across multiple search engines and may also offer functionality to serve ads across display, video, mobile, or social media channels as well.
To qualify for inclusion in the Search Advertising category, a product must:
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