What is Paid Search Marketing?

Paid search is the process of bidding to rank on for keywords on search engines like Google and Bing.

Why learn about Paid Search Marketing?

Paid search is a billion dollar industry and a great career path.

Learning about paid search or  SEM will help you understand this marketing channel.

About this Free Paid Search Micro course

In this short paid search micro course we teach you what paid search is and why it  is important.

The  course video is followed by a short quiz so you can earn coins and a badge for taking the course.

Here is an excerpt from the course video.

Paid search also referred to as SEM or PPC is a marketing method where businesses pay to have their ads appear on search engines like Google and Bing.

Paid search utilizes a pay-per-click model, which means that the company pays only when someone clicks on the ad. The higher the bid, the relevance of the ad to the target keyword and the quality of the landing page are some of the elements that determine which company gets a higher ranking position on the paid portion of the search engine.

Paid search requires constant investments and can be expensive. However, PPC offers unique advantages that cannot be ignored:

  • Speed: Paid search ads can get the company in front of customers in a matter of minutes unlike organic search ranking that can take takes months.
  • Targeting: Search ads target specific search keywords, so anyone who clicks on and ad is probably highly interested because they searched for a keyword that triggered the ad
  • Budget control: You can determine the daily spend, set that fixed limit and forecast sales that you expect to get from your target keywords


  • Paid search advertising is big business. The global search advertising market was about $91 billion in 2016 (1). It is expected to reach a total of $143 billion in 2021 (2).

Case Study

In 2009, copywriter Alec Brownstein was looking for a job. He decided to target a few top NYC creative directors and bid on their names. When directors Googled themselves, the top search result was a message from Alec, asking for a job. 4 out of the 5 directors gave Alec an interview and 2 of those 4 offered him a job. The total campaign cost Alec $6! That’s a clever use of paid search to find a job but paid search is also big for brands. Companies like Casper, TripAdvisor, BMW, and JetBlue use paid search to make millions of dollars every year.

If learned correctly paid search is a valuable skill to grow your career and business.


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