What is Adwords search and Adwords display? People often confuse one for the other which is rather unfortunate because it can adversely impact the profitability of one’s web marketing campaign. In this piece, we’ll show you the difference between the two and when you should use them and when you should not. Let’s get right to it!

Now you might have noticed in popular websites like the Sydney Morning Herald; banner ads from the Google network on the right, top or left side of the web page. This is what display ads look like and it revolves around running advertisements on other people’s websites. These websites can put a piece of code on their website that’ll let Google run relevant ads on it and you can target such websites in various way.

Search ads from the Google network, on the other hand, are found on the search engine itself. You can do a search for say “best restaurants in Sydney” and you’ll find top search results marked as “ads” and that’s what advertisements from the search network actually looks like.

Why is it important to learn the difference between the two?

Adwords search and display ads are both important and each one has its own place in the web marketing mix. How exactly is this so?

Now let’s think of the buying cycle as reverse pyramid and at the top of the pyramid is “awareness”; people that know about the products or services that you offer. Next is “desire”; people that want or need these products or services. After that comes “consideration”; the research phase and what other people think about your offerings. At the bottom of that pyramid is “decision”; people that have opted to buy your product or service after considering it’s cost and value. Picture that the decision phase is a lot smaller than the awareness phase which means that only a few of the people that you’re marketing to actually reach the point where they make a buying decision. You’ve got to wonder though – what does this have to do with Adwords search and display ads?

Well display advertising is really good when it comes to the above-mentioned buying cycle. You can use display ads to effectively create awareness for your products or services and potentially create desire among your target audience. It’s only then a matter of moving people along the buying cycle to the point where you actually make money.

What about Adwords search ads?

In the case of new businesses, we generally recommend starting at the point of the reverse-pyramid where people are most likely to give you money. This is where Adwords search ads can be employed most effectively. How exactly is this so?

Going back to our earlier example; when you do a Google search for “best restaurants in Sydney”, notice that the search ads are displayed prominently with the search results which is exactly where you want it to be. That way, people can simply click on the search ad and go about purchasing your products or services since they’ve done the search already. As opposed to display ads where you often end up interrupting people throughout their day, you’ve already established that there is an interest in whatever you’re offering and people are more likely to purchase as this places them right at the bottom of the buying cycle.

Inside Adwords, you target people differently for each ad network so it’s important not to confuse one for the other. In the case of search ads, you have to target people based on their search intentions. Are they looking to buy that new hair product? Are they looking to go to a restaurant? What are the kind of terms that they’re typing into Google? If you’d like to know more about this, we encourage you to check out this video where we talk about how to find the best keywords for Adwords and SEO.

The display ads network on the other hand work differently in terms of targeting and work best for businesses looking to create awareness for a new product or service. For the sake of an example let’s say you’re in the business of selling one of those new hover boards that have become quite the trend today. A couple of years ago nobody knew about this product and hardly anyone was searching for it in Google so there’s no buying intention to speak of. That’s where Adwords display advertising comes in.

Now with display ads, you can target by placement particularly if you know of any websites that are related to your product or service. In the case of our example, it could be websites that deal with skateboards and fun gadgets or whatever. You can use display ads to advertise on the Sydney Morning Herald or other people’s blogs; you can specifically target those websites. You can also set up your display ads based on topic; specify certain interests for your target audience and categorise them accordingly. Last but not least, you can also target an audience for your display ads based on demographics – age, gender, ethnicity, location, etc. We strongly recommend that you set up your demographics in a way that it reflects the kind of people that are most likely to purchase your products or services. After all, it’s unlikely that people aged 55 and above will be interested in hover boards. Adwords will then give you an estimated reach for your display ads depending on how general or specific it is. To effectively create awareness for new products or services, display ads need to be set up in such a way that you overlay as much of your targeting options as possible to get your ads seen by people who are most likely to go through the buying cycle.

Would you like to learn more? Perhaps you are in need of professional help setting up and managing your Adwords campaign? Get in touch with us on https://www.thinkbigonline.com/ and we’ll be more than happy to take a look at your Adwords and discuss what we can do to help improve it.

About Samuel Junghenn

Samuel Junghenn is the Managing Director of Think Big Online and has over 10 years experience in Online Marketing. He is passionate about building businesses using the power of automation and the Internet along with the thrill of motor racing.