Should you spend precious advertising dollars on display networks, search networks—or both? It’s a tough question even for veteran advertisers because there are so many details to consider. Display is visual advertising that utilizes images that are placed in pages (not searches). Search networks are text-based and have higher conversion rates, but they’re more expensive. Both work and can work together, but it’s essential to understand key differences.

Display Ads

Display ads are image-based and appear because a person has watched a video, read an email, or browsed for a related topic. These folks aren’t looking for your product specifically, but display ads are based on user search history, so there’s a good chance the ad will appeal to them. There are a greater number of impressions with display ads, but lower conversion rates. However, if you’re interested in tracking phone calls and contact form fills, the same results are achieved with search or display ads when one uses landing pages.

Display ads cost less than $1 per click, and usually less than a quarter. You can get very creative with display ads in terms of the visuals, giving you more bang for your buck. They can include videos, gifs, animation, or “straight” visuals.

Top Differences in Display Network and Search Network | Avid

Search Ads

Search ads are performed within Google search. They’re what you see at the very top of Google when you search for something and have a little “Ad” notification beside the result. They don’t catch your eye like a display ad, but they are the first thing that appears when someone is Googling, and that’s a powerful position to be in.

Search ads are more expensive per click at around $1 – $10 each. Some industries have $200+ per click. However, they’re worth the price for a lot of businesses (even though they’re strictly text-based and keeps creativity in check).

Other Considerations When Choosing Display Ads Vs. Search Ads

Display ads breed brand awareness

Brand awareness also plays a role in deciding your advertising strategy. Branding your display ads is critical for all companies, but especially those that are just starting out. Google Display Network is a fantastic way to catch the attention of potential ideal customers.

Think of display ads like a banner at a sporting event. You’ll see sponsorship ads everywhere, but everyone has their eyes on the game. However, it’s still a great advertising opportunity because advertisers here really know their audience and ads are hyper-relevant. Just like being at the game, those who see display ads are focused on something else, but the ads are so relevant they have the power to still be highly effective. You can even place ads on specific sites if you’re sure that’s where your target audience is.

Search Ads are a Must for Immediate-Need Services

Perhaps you provide a service that has a time restriction such as a monthly special, or you’re having a “flash sale” on your products or services. Display ads have compelling visuals that would bode well; however, search ads are great when time is critical. This is due to the fact that display ads are primarily used to create awareness, whereas searches are performed every day when someone needs something now. Think of a more obvious scenario – if you’re locked out of your car, you won’t likely click on a display ad as you’ve never searched for the term Google. You’ll most likely be on your phone, needing someone who can open your door in the next hour. That’s the power of search ads – fulfilling the immediate needs of searchers. Passive advertising just won’t do. Also, keep in mind that most people are using a mobile device. This means that time-sensitive services need to be advertising on mobile devices.

Avid Paid Advertising Approach

A company will rarely stick with a single advertising approach for long. Combining search and display advertising packs a powerful punch, and paid advertising should be flexible. Avid optimizes each and every campaign run through our team of experts. We understand it’s essential to know the number of conversions which is why we track phone calls and form fills for each campaign and continually optimize performance to get more calls and clicks for the same amount of money.

Try different vehicles to see what produces the highest phone calls and contact form fills. To get started, contact Avid today and get ready to level up your advertising prowess.