Display Ads

Search vs. Display Ads: What You Really Need to Know

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been advertising for decades or months, choosing the right kind of digital advertising campaign is never easy. If you end up picking the wrong method, you could jeopardize the success of your campaign. Therefore, it’s important to learn the differences between search and display ads, how to use them and how they can work together.

The Differences between Search and Display Ads

What are Search Ads?

Search engine advertising is a type of paid advertising that’s sometimes known as pay-per-click advertising. By and large, search ads are used to help businesses get found on search engine result pages.

Not to mention, they’re actually pretty simple and affordable. Brands can bid on keywords relevant to their products or services. Ideally, a user’s search query will trigger an ad to appear in a page’s sponsored section at the top. Then, if the search ad contains enough incentive, a user will click-through to the site. And, voila, that is how search advertising works.

Targeting Advantages

These kinds of ads are also great because they allow for ultra-specific targeting. From intent and interest to age and location, the targeting options are endless. Think of search ads as digital billboards that’re only seen by those in your area seeking related products and services.

Search engine page marketing

What are Display Ads?

Display ads, unlike search ads, have absolutely nothing to do with Google or any search engines for that matter. In fact, even if you don’t know what they are, chances are that you’ve encountered them before. They appear as posters for brands on other businesses’ websites.

Sometimes called banner ads, display ads boost brand awareness by putting an advertisement in front of customers without them seeking you out. They are shown to your target demographic across a wide variety of sites, expanding your ad’s reach beyond Google.

Attracting digital leads


While some display ads are paid, many advertisers also use them in retargeting campaigns. For instance, say you shopped online for a new pair of sneakers. Afterwards, you might scroll the web and seem to see ads for the same sneakers everywhere you go. Those are display retargeting ads.

Since they appear to those who have visited a site before, the increased presence is designed to remind them and improve the chances of doing business in the future.

Ladder going to a target

How Search and Display Ads Work Together

Although it might be tempting, combining search and display ads is not always a great idea unless it’s done right. Essentially, you can’t use the same ad campaign to target both search and display networks.

Sure, you might be getting your message out to a wider audience, but you will also dilute it significantly. In a perfect world, your campaigns should be split to help reach the right audiences with proper messaging. Besides, it will also help you keep your budgets, bids and data separate.

Basically, to sum it up, search and display ads are excellent for getting your brand name out there. However, if you’re going to run them at the same time, you have to be strategic about it.

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ads, advertising, advertising campaign, display advertising, Google, search advertising
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