Understanding the Difference Between Search and Display Advertising

Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Bacon and eggs. SEO and SEM. Most of the time, these things are better together than they are apart.

Oct 03, 2017 Digital Marketing

Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Bacon and eggs. These are things that go well together. Most of the time, they’re better together than they are apart.

This is the same way that you need to look at organic search engine optimization and display advertising. When you put the two of them together, you will get results that are out of this world. The results are so much better when they work together than when they work apart. However, before they can work together, you need to become familiar with how they work separately with your target audience, as each one brings something unique to your online advertising.

So, what exactly is the difference between these two types of digital advertising?

Search Engine Advertising: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Search engine advertising can be referring to as pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and is paid advertising that will help your business be found on search engines. It is a fantastic way of competing digitally and directing your target audience in your local area toward your products and/or services.

How does it work, you may ask? It is rather simple actually. Let’s say that you have a jewelry store. You ordered a shipment of red, white and blue necklaces and earrings for 4th of July. You want to get an advertisement up on Google. Ultimately, the goal is this: when an individual searches for a keyword that you have placed a bid on, such as “4th of July jewelry” or “red, white and blue earrings,” their query will bring up your text ad, which will appear in the sponsored area of the search results page. This quickly and cost-effectively provides you the visibility that you need on the page. Then, as long as your advertisement is captivating enough, the user will click on your ad, come to your website and get in touch with you or purchase your product.

The great thing about search advertising is that you will be provided with the opportunity to compete with your local competition without having to spend a fortune in advertising costs. It also gives a chance to small business owners to focus on their target audience geographically so that advertisements will appear to users that are near you.

You can think of search advertising as an online billboard; however, the targeting is far more effective since it will only be shown to local individuals that are actually looking for your services and/or products.

Display Advertising? What Is It and How Does It Work?

Since we on the subject of billboards, let’s get to the topic of display advertising. This particular form of advertising is how you can extend your brand’s online awareness. Also referred to as banner advertisements, display ads are presented to your target audience when they are browsing the web, though not when they are specifically searching for your service or product.

You essentially want to make sure that your brand is in front of your customer as much as possible. Keep your own online behavior in mind. When you are interested in a service, how much time do you spend researching it? When you are just piddling around online looking at sports news, cooking recipes, etc., how much time do you spend doing it? Most people tend to spend more time doing the latter than the former. Therefore, it is very important that you put your brand in front of your customers when they’re browsing the internet since that is where the majority of their time is spent.

Jimmy John’s is an excellent example of display advertising at its finest. Let’s say that you like their sandwiches and you have ordered from them before. As you are using the internet at work, you are constantly seeing banner ads from Jimmy John’s on different websites that you visit. This is because they want you to remember their brand as soon as you get a craving for one of their sandwiches. This is exactly what display advertising is.

How Do Search and Display Advertising Work Together?

While there is that old saying that you don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket, and this saying in true with advertising, the truth of the matter is that various forms of media need to be utilized in order for your advertising campaign to be truly successful. Your small business needs to copy this strategy when implementing its online advertising campaign in order to make the most of your advertising budget.

When Ellen searches for red, white and blue necklaces and earrings, she may see your text ad and click on it, but this doesn’t mean that she is going to make a purchasing decision immediately. Therefore, you may need to have a way to reach out to her when she is not searching – and this is done through display advertising. Therefore, both of these particular tactics have the ability to help you gain more internet sales.

It has been said that due to the fact that clicks can result in purchases, search advertising tends to get the credit for the actual sale since you are able to track the customer’s exact behavior from the impression, then to the click, and all the way to the actual purchase. Awareness that has been created with your display campaign and assisting that consumer remember the existence of your business ends up getting lost somewhere in between. Studies have shown that a little over one-fourth of consumers will conduct an online search for a business after they have seen a display advertisement, and that there is an almost 60 percent increase in conversion when those searches take place.

While peanut butter and jelly complement one another, the same can be said with search advertising and display advertising. While you can find success with only one of them, you will achieve far better results when you use them together, as it will be easier for your customer to actually remember your business and brand when it comes time to make a buying decision.

So, what exactly does your online advertising campaign consist of to ensure that people are finding your brand when they are surfing the web? If you are unsure where to begin and/or would like to incorporate some professional help, reach out to us at WebDetail. 

Do you have some insight? Do you have questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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