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The Difference Between Google Search Ads and Google Display Ads

The Difference Between Google Search Ads and Google Display Ads
September 14, 2018 Ronin Marketing

When I was younger, my world transformed when I discovered maple syrup and bacon *together*. Sweet, sticky maple syrup and crispy, oh-so-fatty bacon. What a combination! My life is SO much better with both of them together.

That’s how we view Google Search Ads and Google Display Ads at Ronin. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Well, the saying rings true for advertising too. We believe the most successful campaigns are cross-channel. Utilising numerous forms of media to get your brand across multiple touchpoints is a winning marketing strategy.

However, before you can start mixing ingredients together, it’s important to understand how Google ads work and the unique flavour that search engine advertising and display advertising bring to the table. If you want to drive traffic and get sales from Adwords, knowing this distinction is key.

So, without further ado, here is the super simple, Ronin-translated guide to Google Adwords!

What is search advertising?

When you search for something on Google, let’s say for example “unicorn cookie cutters”, the query will generate millions of results (2,750,000 to be exact). In order to stand out from those results, Google developed a paid advertising system to help business owners skip the queue and jump to the top of the pile. This means that a small baking and cake decoration supply business, for example, could bid on the term “unicorn cookie cutters” and have a chance to compete with the bigger competitors in their industry for visibility.

Also known as pay-per-click advertising or PPC, search engine advertising is an affordable way to directly target your customers and help them find your business. Here is what a Google search ad looks like:

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What is display advertising?

Think of display advertising as a digital version billboard, print ad, or TV ad. Just like all other platforms of advertising, it can help you achieve a lot of different goals; like finding new customers or build your brand name. From traditional banner ads or larger text billboards to videos, display ads are all about capturing the attention of people browsing content online, aiming to generate a quick conversion to a particular website or page. As ads are seen on the websites we visit, businesses pay to whoever owns the ad space on the chosen website, aiming to reach their target audience and the right people – then turn those people into customers. In addition, your ads can show up on any website that’s offering any advertising space, and it means that you can tap into millions of additional websites beyond search engines.

The only downfall that may sometimes happen is that display ads are so regularly used – thus, so commonly skipped past and ignored!

So what is the difference?

Search engine marketing is more of an affordable way to target your customers and help them find your business directly. Instead of being a pay-for-click marketing strategy, display advertising works differently as the person or audience the display ad reaches isn’t necessarily searching for a business like yours, or actively showing interest in your products or services.

Display ads offer countless creative combinations of formats, sizes, and styles, allowing you to mix it up whenever the market changes or whenever you please. They also give businesses a little peace of mind as you have the chance to pay for ads to appear when the right kind of people that you are targeting are on the right type of page.

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Why do you need both?

Both Google Search Ads and Google Display Ads work well in hand with one another. With the two together, there are way more opportunities to get a potential customer’s attention! Grabbing someone’s attention with a dazzling display ad is a great way to get on their radar. Later on, when they’re looking to act or make a purchase, they’re likely to head to a search engine. If your ads then appear on their search, they might recognise you and click to visit your site instead of the competitions.

Both are also relatively straightforward in regards to measuring traffic. Google Ads analytics allow you to track the number of clicks, impressions and conversions your ad has generated in real-time, giving you an up-to-date picture of what is resonating with your consumers.

So there you have it – the maple to our bacon! By incorporating a mix of both display and search engine advertising, you’ll be able to maximise your online visibility. Hello business growth!

If you’re having trouble with your Google Ads, feel free to contact us (07) 3067 6516 and speak to one of our in-house Google experts. Begin your foray into paid online marketing with Brisbane’s leading digital agency!

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