Search and Display Ads – What Are They and Which Do I Need?

Paid advertising is one of the most crucial marketing avenues for any business - but it also carries with it some potential risk.

We’re here to explain two methods of paid advertising—Google’s search and display ads and give you some helpful tips on which one is right for you.

What Is Search Advertising?

If you’ve ever searched for something on Google, you will have undoubtedly encountered a selection of sponsored links at the top of the search. These results are the product of search advertising, in which companies bid to be shown as a result of specific search terms or phrases.

What Is Display Advertising?

Display advertising is a more targeted form of marketing. It gives you the chance to put banner ads directly on the screen of targeted users through the Google display network. These ads will be prompted by users tracked behaviour and stored preferences.

Search and Display Ads – Push Or Pull?

The first thing to consider when choosing between search and display ads— is what type of leads you’re looking to convert or generate. Search ads operate on a pull basis – meaning they draw in customers that are already interested in your services. This can be useful if you offer a service that people are likely to search for when they want or need it – such as time-specific services like emergency plumbing, or even a wedding dress. Display advertising, on the other hand, adopts a push approach. Meaning people may see ads that have been prompted by watching a tutorial video, reading an email, or browsing Amazon. This is useful if your products or services have a low search volume, if you’re looking to build brand awareness, or if you offer a diverse range of products and services.

Consider Your Budget

The other key factor to consider is your budget—it’s essential to have a clear idea of how much you’re willing to spend and what kind of returns you’re looking to generate. For those with a limited budget, search advertising often proves to be the better option—at least in the beginning. This is because it typically carries a lower cost and offers a more secure return on investment.

user on laptop looking at display ads

Best Of Both Worlds

Whilst the above offers clear examples and frameworks where search or display advertising will be the optimal approach—for the majority of companies, a mixed strategy of both search and display ads will serve them best. There isn’t a binary choice between search and display advertising anymore, in fact, they can be used to complement each other.

To illustrate this, let’s run through an example customer. To begin, they read a blog post on a popular website about ‘innovative interior design ideas to freshen up any home’. Because of this preference, a furniture company running a display advertising campaign will target them with an ad, this then helps turn what was just a passing interest or a potential future purchase decision into an immediate need. The customer then begins to look for furniture items to buy, if the same company also has a search advertising campaign they will appear as a sponsored link, and already be a familiar name to that customer. This is how a mixed approach can help you contour the customer journey to your benefit.

At Herdl, we have experience integrating both search and display ads to yield great results for our clients. To learn more about our PPC process, and how we could help you and your business, feel free to get in touch today.

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