If you’re a brand advertising in today’s market, chances are you’re familiar with Google. The digital advertising platform has become a go-to for brands of all sizes, thanks to its massive reach and ever-evolving suite of marketing tools.
While the Google ecosystem continues to grow more and more complex, two of the most effective ad formats are Display and Search advertising.
Both of these advertising methods reach large numbers of potential customers, but they have several differences in their approaches, benefits, and limitations.
In this post, we explore the differences between Google Display and Search ads in order to help you decide which paid advertising option is the right fit for your brand.
Display advertising refers to visual banner ads that show up on websites that have partnered with Google to display ads. These can include text ads, image-based ads, or even UGC video ads. They are meant to create brand awareness and capture the attention of potential customers. Display ads can have targeting parameters based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.
Search ads appear on the search engine results page (SERP) when a user queries a specific keyword or phrase. These ads are text-based and feature a headline, ad copy, and a call-to-action (CTA) button. Search ads are designed to capture high-quality leads that are actively searching for a product or service related to the keywords being targeted. Search ads can be targeted based on keyword intent, location, device type, and more.
Essentially, the main difference between these two ad types is their end goal: Display ads are “push” advertising, whereas search ads are “pull” advertising. Search ads appear only to shoppers who are looking for a service or product, while Display ads are paid placements that can appear in various locations across the web, thereby attracting consumers at different parts of their customer journey.
One of the primary benefits of Google Display ads is their ability to reach a wider audience than Search ads. Because Google Ads can appear on millions of websites within Google’s advertising network, brands can reach a broad audience without having to consider specific search terms. Additionally, Display ads can be more visually engaging, which makes them effective in establishing a strong visual identity and boosting brand awareness and recall.
Another benefit of using Display ads is their lower PPC cost. Display ads are typically less expensive because they have a lower conversion rate, but they can still be an effective tool for digital marketing campaigns.
While Display ads can be an effective way to reach a broad audience, they have some challenges. One of their primary challenges is their lower conversion rate compared to Search ads. Since Display ads are more focused on boosting brand awareness, they may not be as effective in driving conversions as Search ads, which are designed to capture and convert high-quality leads.
Another challenge of Display ads is the potential for ad fatigue. Since ads can appear on many websites, users may start to see the same one repeatedly and grow tired of it or start ignoring it. This can lead to decreased engagement and click-through rates (CTR).
In some cases, Google Display’s advantages outweigh its disadvantages, such as:
One of the primary benefits of using Google Search ads is that they can be highly effective in capturing high-intent leads. Since these ads are displayed to users who are actively searching for products or services related to the targeted keywords, they are more likely to convert into paying customers.
Search ads are also highly customizable, which increases their thumb-stopping potential for brands of all sizes. You can set your budget, target specific keywords or geographic locations, and track your performance in real time. This level of customization allows you to maximize the ROI of your advertising budget and ensure that your marketing strategy effectively and efficiently reaches the right audience.
One of the limitations of Google Search ads is their higher cost-per-click (CPC) compared to Display ads. Since Search ads are highly effective in capturing high-quality leads, the competition for certain keywords can be stiff. This drives up the cost of advertising.
Another limitation of Search ads is that they may not be as effective in building brand awareness as Display ads. While Search ads can be impactful in driving conversions, they may not be as effective in building brand recognition and loyalty.
Similar to Google Display, there are times when the advantages of Search ads outweigh its disadvantages, such as:
While both Google Display and Search ads have their own unique benefits, using them together for your search campaigns can be a strategic way to grow your business. By combining the visual impact of Display ads with the targeted effectiveness of Search ads, you can create a powerful PPC advertising campaign that reaches a wide audience and drives conversions.
One way to use Display and Search ads together is to create a retargeting campaign. By remarketing to users who have already interacted with your Display ads, you can remind them of your brand and encourage them to take action. You can then use Search ads to capture these high-quality leads and convert them into customers.
Another way to use Display and Search ads together is to create a cohesive branding campaign. By leveraging similar messaging and visuals across both Display and Search ads, you can create a consistent brand experience for potential customers, which makes the shopping experience more seamless and consistent, ultimately boosting brand recognition and loyalty.
While both of these PPC ads have their own unique benefits and limitations, the key to a successful Google advertising campaign is understanding when to use each option, how much to invest in each, and how to optimize them for success.
By choosing the right advertising method based on your brand’s goals, budget, and target audience, you can create a powerful advertising Paid Search campaign that drives conversions and maximizes ROI.
No matter which option you choose or how you combine efforts, it’s important to continually test and adjust your campaigns for maximum efficiency and profitability.
Whether you’re conducting A/B testing, monitoring performance metrics in real-time, or using conversion rate optimization (CRO) techniques, ongoing adjustment is key to a successful Google advertising campaign.
In the end, it’s important to choose the type of ad that aligns with your brand goals and competitive needs. When it comes to Paid Search, MuteSix takes an ROI-first approach, leveraging powerful measurement solutions in real-time to unlock profitable growth with industry-leading media buying and thumb-stopping creative to scale brands profitably across the entire Google ecosystem.
Looking to reach, convert, and retain more customers using Google advertising? Reach out to our team of Paid Search experts today.
Discover How to Use Google Ads to Reach Your Goals | Google Ads
Google Display Network Targeting: How it Works | Google Ads
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): How To Get Started | Search Engine Journal