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Learn When To Use Google Search Ads and Display Ads

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If you are just getting started with digital advertising on Google, you will likely come across two options: search ads and display ads.

So, what is meant by each of these terms, and how do you get started? How will you know which method is the right pick? I will answer these questions, and more here.

Let’s get started.

What are Google Search Ads?

Google search ads are a part of Google Search Network. On this network, your ads appear when someone performs a search. So, let’s say you run a local shoe store in Carson City, Nevada. If someone goes to Google and performs a search with terms like “Best shoe stores in Carson City, Nevada,” “shoe store near me in Carson City,” then your ads will pop up at the top of SERP or Search Engine Results Page.

This is the simplest use case of Google Ads Search. The ads can also appear on other Google products like Google Play, Google Shopping, Google Images, Google Maps, and Maps app.

Because of the search-specific ad targeting, the Google search ads are also known as search engine advertising. And since you pay for the click and not to display the ad, it is also known as Pay-Per-Click advertising.

Types of Google Search Ads

There are various ad formats you can use to showcase your ads. Depending on your industry and campaign, you’ll have to use the one for yourself. The formats are:

Text Ads

This is the most common type of ads on Google Search Network. You can showcase text offers in response to the search keywords. Your ad will be tagged as “Ads by Google,” “Ad,” or “Ads.” For example, if a search is for “car insurance,” you can run text ads like “Get 20% off on your next car insurance”. You’ll provide a link to the page, known as the landing page, where the user can get more information about the offer and potentially take action (submitting a quote form, for example).

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are similar to text ads except for the fact that the text copy doesn’t remain static, and is dynamic, i.e., changes according to the search being made. These are also known as “Dynamic Search Ads.”

Thus, Google has control over your ad account and can tweak the ad text to reflect more appropriately to the search being made. Along with the text, dynamic ads can also show address, phone numbers, among other details. This form of search advertising can be more effective than static text ads.

Call-only Ads

These types of ads show up in response to searches with only phone numbers along with the text.  Searchers can wish to dial the number and speak to you if they feel the need.

Shopping Ads

As the name suggests, these ads show up on Google Shopping. These ads link directly to your product page and are labeled as “Sponsored.”

Image and Video Ads

You can run image or video ads on partner sites and Google Image search engine. For video ads, they will run on YouTube.

You Should Use Google Ads Network When

Organic Ranking Is Not Viable For Your Business

Many companies think that since SEO is free, they should just use it for their marketing purposes. But the SEO marketing channel is getting more and more expensive, and generating quality leads with SEO is tough, to say the least.

You’re on a Small Ad Budget

If your ad budget is small, it’s good to invest in search marketing rather than SEO. This may seem counterintuitive until you realize the fact that you pay for only the clicks. So if you target the right audience with correct conversion tracking, then you’ll see a greater ROI with even the modest ad budgets. The key here is targeting. The more precise targeting, the better.

You Want Immediate Results

You can set up ads on Google search ads in minutes, and start receiving clicks soon after. This ensures you get leads almost instantly. You can then pause or keep the ads running the ad campaign.

You Sell an Emergency Service or Instantly-Bought Product

Products or services that are instantly bought after searching tend to perform the best on Google Ads. In other words, the product purchase cycle is low. Therefore, doctors, lawyers, car repair services, cable retailers, and the like see instant results from search advertising.

You Want Quality Leads

Since the ads are responding directly to the searches being made, the quality of the leads thus generated is quite high.

What is Display Advertising?

Display advertising is a process of advertising your products through visuals like videos and images on a network of websites or web properties affiliated with Google, Facebook, and other platforms. When you show ads on these websites, you’re involved in display advertising.

As opposed to search advertising, display advertising is all about displaying your ads on the display network. Google itself doesn’t serve Display Ads but allows you to tap into thousands of websites that have partnered with it. In this way, you can get in front of your target audience when they’re browsing their preferred websites, watching videos on YouTube, or working on their Gmail account.

The partners sign up for something called “Adsense” and display ads on their websites on behalf of Google. Whenever someone clicks on it, they receive a cut of the cost. They might also be compensated for simply displaying the ads if they’ve opted for CPM (Cost-per-Mile offers).

Types of Display Ads

Just like there are different formats for search ads, you’ll find different options for display ads as well. Those are:

Responsive Display ads

This is the most common ad format for display advertising. You create ad banners (pictures with ad text on it) and run it on the display network’s websites. The ads are placed either on the top, on the bottom, on the sidebar of the website, or inside an article’s paragraphs. You get to decide where your ads should show.

Uploaded Image Ads

Google will provide images that you can use for free. You just have to provide the text and logo. But if you want to use your own images instead, you can take the help of uploaded image ads. Apart from that, these are the same as responsive display ads.

Engagement Ads

You can run engaging images or videos on the display network, which includes YouTube. It uses HTML5 technology, and users can engage with it in real-time.

Gmail Ads

Google allows you to run ads on people’s Gmail accounts, on the top bar. These are usually text ads without images.

When Should You Advertise On Google Display Network When

You’re Building Brand Awareness

If building brand awareness is your primary objective for running ads, then you must leverage the display network. Within a small budget, you can get in front of tens of thousands of audience. The more people see your ads; the more people will become aware of your brand and your offerings.

Your Sales Cycle Is Long

If people have to visit your website again and again before they make a purchase, then you should run display ads on the network. This will ensure prospects hear back from you again and again, which ultimately develops trust and confidence. Products with high ticket prices usually have a long sales cycle.

Your Products Are Visually Attractive

Display ads work best for visually attractive products. This is because images are your biggest asset and the first thing that’s looked at. If not, then your offer must be seductive. A “70% off” offer will always attract more clicks than a “10% offer”.

You Want To Experiment With Audience

The display network covers a variety of websites spread across different niches. So if you want to know where your potential customers hang out and which websites they like to read, then you can run ads on the display network and analyze the results.

Search Network with Display Select

If you want to run a combination of search ads and display ads, then you should learn more about Search Network with Display Select. This way, you can leverage the capabilities of both the networks and generate ROI for your ad Dollars. But you must pursue both Search Network and Display Select if you want to incorporate this advertising strategy.

The Wrap Up

The bottom line is search ads are better for immediate results, while display ads are best for long term strategies. While search ads pop up when a user searches for a certain keyword, display ads are showcased on the network of websites. Thus, search ads reflect ‘pull’ advertising while display ads are ‘push advertising.’

You should use the marketing channel that better suits your business goals. If you are still not sure and want to have more insights, feel free to contact us today.

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