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Google AdWords: Search ads vs display ads

When creating a PPC campaign, both search and display adverts are typically utilised. The search network is the more popular choice, and people only tend to move onto using display adverts when they have gained more experience with PPC. Display ads are typically better for creating brand awareness and are not used for immediately creating leads. Both types of paid adverts are very effective, but they are used in different ways. It is imperative to choose the right one, so your budget is not wasted on clicks that don’t convert.


Search ads


According to WordStream, on average, advertisers make an average of $2 for every $1 spent on search ads. These adverts appear at the top of the Google search results page, although they are beginning to look more and more like the organic results, now only indicated by the word ‘ad’ printed in small text. You pay per click for these adverts, which take searchers to a specific landing page. The landing page needs to be tailored to the action you want them to perform, for example, searchers might be encouraged to either fill out a form or make a purchase.


These adverts are designed for searchers with intent. For example, they might be wanting to buy shoes or fix a broken computer. The keywords used are very important and so is understanding the intent behind these keywords. This way your advert can be tailored to meeting their specific request. Moz’s Keyword Explorer is a useful tool for finding out the intent behind a keyword. It indicates what % of the clicks, for a given search, are organic. If it has a high percentage, consider what the organic results are offering that the paid ones don’t. Always use the organic results as a guide for your advert, as opposed to the other paid adverts if the organic results are performing better.


Display ads


On the other hand, the primary use of display ads is for building awareness. The average conversion rate across all industries on the display network is less than 1%. According to The Baby Boomer Entrepreneur, consumers need to see brand seven times before they buy from you and display ads are a great way for potential customers to become more familiar with your brand.


You need to adapt how you approach display ads. This is because those who are browsing websites and seeing display network ads aren’t actively searching for a product or service. To actively search for a product, they will be using the search network. Instead, display ads are used for awareness. Facebook, for example, is used frequently for display style advertising, however, these adverts aren’t about buying services as people do not go on Facebook with the intent to buy.


When creating a display advert, you can use location targeting and your advert will be matched to websites that include content that is related to your business or to the interests of your customers.


Making your PPC campaign a success takes time as well as trial and error. Don’t panic if you don’t see the results immediately, instead experiment with the types of adverts you are using, the landing pages, your keywords and the text of your adverts. For marketing help, don’t hesitate to contact the Webahead team today.


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