Title: Searching for answers? An examination of search engine advertisement strategy, ranking and keywords to generate clicks

Authors: Michael North

Addresses: Central Connecticut State University, R.C. Vance Academic Center, Room 317, 1615 Stanley Street, P.O. Box 4010, New Britain, Connecticut 06050-4010, USA

Abstract: Search engine advertisements are paid search results that appear above the organic search results retrieved by Google. These search engine advertisements typically generate a 2% click-through rate, but browsers are more inclined to click when purchase intentions are high. This study examined almost 100,000 instances of search engine advertisements measured in weeks from an insurance company. Results point to generic search engine advertisements generating more clicks than specific. Search engine advertisements ranked first receive far more clicks than subsequent rankings. Lastly, near-synonyms such as 'cover' and 'protect' generate more clicks than an expected keyword such as 'insure'. Managerial implications are discussed to help companies maximise search engine advertising campaigns.

Keywords: search engine advertising; advertising; marketing; search engine optimisation; specific search engine advertising; generic search engine advertising; search engine ranking; near-synonyms; strategic communication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2020.111052

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2020 Vol.14 No.4, pp.454 - 471

Received: 25 Feb 2019
Accepted: 25 May 2019

Published online: 06 Nov 2020 *

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