Search or Display, Which PPC Ads Should I Run?

10 Reasons Why Your B2B Social Media Strategy is Failing​

Marketing Pop Quiz! 📝

Search ads vastly outperform display ads in terms of CTR.

So why not just run search ads?

Can you think of some reasons why you’d want to run display ads instead of search?

I can think of at least 8 reasons.

Google Search Ads vs Display Network

While search ads generally have higher click-through rates (CTR) compared to display ads, there are several reasons why businesses might choose to run display ads instead of relying solely on search ads:

  1. Low Search Volume: in many cases, there isn’t enough search queries related to specific keywords or phrases for your product or service. This is especially true in niche markets and new category where your audience is problem unaware. When keywords have low search volume, it implies a limited number of users actively searching for those terms, making it harder to generate significant traffic or leads solely through search ads. In such cases, leveraging alternative advertising strategies like display ads becomes crucial.
  2. Brand Awareness: Display ads are effective for increasing brand visibility and awareness. They appear across websites and can reach a broader audience, even if users aren’t actively searching for a specific product or service. This exposure can contribute to brand recognition and influence purchase decisions later on.
  3. Visual Impact: Display ads allow for more creativity in terms of design and visuals. They can incorporate images, animations, videos, and interactive elements, which can attract attention and engage users in ways that text-based search ads cannot.
  4. Targeting Options: Display ads offer various targeting options beyond search intent, such as demographic targeting, contextual targeting (based on the content of the web page), behavioral targeting (based on user browsing behavior), and remarketing to retarget users who have previously visited a website. This allows advertisers to reach specific audiences with tailored messages.
  5. Complementary Strategy: Display ads can complement search ads in a broader marketing strategy. While search ads are highly effective for capturing users actively searching for specific products or services, display ads can nurture potential customers earlier in the buying cycle, building interest and familiarity with the brand.
  6. Retargeting: Display ads are effective for retargeting users who have previously visited a website but didn’t make a purchase. These ads remind users about products or services they showed interest in, encouraging them to revisit the site and complete a purchase.
  7. Content Marketing: Display ads can be used as part of content marketing campaigns to promote valuable content, blog posts, or informative resources, aiming to educate and engage the audience rather than directly selling a product or service.
  8. Cost Considerations: Depending on the industry and specific goals, display ads can sometimes be more cost-effective than search ads. They might have lower CPC (cost per click) rates, making them a viable option for businesses looking to optimize their advertising budget.

Search ads are effective for capturing high-intent users actively seeking specific information, products, or services, whereas display ads serve a different purpose by focusing on broader brand exposure, creative visuals, diverse targeting options, and engaging potential customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey. A balanced approach that incorporates both search and display ads can often yield better overall marketing results.

Display ads can help bridge the gap by reaching broader audiences beyond active searchers, allowing businesses to expand their reach, raise brand awareness, and engage potential customers who might not be actively seeking their offerings through search queries. 

Therefore, employing a diversified marketing approach that includes display ads alongside search ads can be instrumental in maximizing visibility and capturing audience attention across various online platforms.

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