Google Ads: Display vs Search Ads - Which Works Best For Your Business?

Aqueb Safwan Jaser


Aqueb Safwan Jaser


May 1, 2022

Google Ads: Display vs Search Ads - Which Works Best For Your Business?

Table of contents:

What are Search Ads?

What are Display Ads?

Comparing CVR & CPC of both Display & Search Ads

To Sum Up

Launching an online campaign isn’t easy. You need to conduct thorough research, rack your brain to get your strategies right and ensure you have all the odds and ends where they should be. One wrong step then it would take quite a while to get back up.

Among all the strategies you implement, the question of choosing between search ads and display ads arises. After all, in the discussion of display vs search ads, one can get confused. Nonetheless, the decision cannot be left hanging. It’s not only necessary that you choose but it’s also important that you choose the right one. Because the wrong one may leave you with a loss in the paid advertising budget.

But what do you think works best and which does not?

Well, several things come into account. There’s the budget you would need to consider, then comes search volume, and of course, your product and service. You need to take into account whether they are for the long run or you want to have them sold from the get-go.

In this article, we will break it down for you. We will discuss all the nitty-gritty for both of the formats. Afterward, hopefully, you may be better able to understand which one is more relevant to your business.

Picture of someone strategizing about advertising

What are Search Ads?

One of the most renowned forms of PPC advertising, search ads enable brands to have their paid ads showcased on the top and also, down below organic search results when users implement particular keywords.

Such ads have 3 essential aspects. They are the headline, description text, and display URL. In the design context, all of these components come together to persuade users to make a click. To help them have more information, ad extensions can also be integrated.

The bid and Quality Score helps to determine the frequency of search ads along with their rankings and the cost per click.

What are Display Ads?

While search ads fell into the category of “pull” advertising, display ads inclined toward “push” advertising. Makes sense? Allow us to clarify further. Search ads happen to pop up for particularly those users who were already in the middle of searching for your business’s product or service. On the contrary, display ads being paid placements show up according to an array of targeting parameters.

Another difference is that, unlike search ads, display ads aren’t confined to just one location. They will make their mark throughout the Google Display Network (GDN). Meaning, they will appear on more than 2 million sites and shall be able to reach over an outstanding 90% of online users. What’s cool about display ads is that they will be displayed across several places on the social media platform you have targeted, including on your newsfeed or at the very corner of it.

Comparing CVR & CPC of both Display & Search Ads

Average Conversion Rate (CVR)

For search ads, the average conversation rate (CVR) is 4.40% and as for display ads, it’s just 0.57%. The reason behind this is through the Search Network, the marketers are connected to their targeted users who are actively searching for products that have higher intent. This increases their chances of conversion.

Average Cost Per Click (CPC)

From the previous segment, we saw how the average conversion rate (CVR) for display ads is comparatively lower. While this may appear as a drawback, there’s also an upside to this. As the CVR is low, this naturally lowers the average cost per click (CPC). To be more specific with the amount, for CPC, the average Google Ads CPC is $2.41 while display ads cost only $0.59.

Pay per click illustration

When is Search Ads most helpful?

  • When you need to increase your organic traffic.
  • When capturing high-quality leads is your top priority.
  • When you intend to cater your product or service to a local audience.
  • If your product or service has a short sales cycle and you don’t want to carry on advertising to people who have already been involved with your brand.
  • If your business offers emergency service or products such as first-aid kits, electricians, locksmiths, etc. Basically, the stuff you need right away when emergency calls.
  • In case you are just on the starting point and want to launch a low-budget campaign.

When should you use Display Ads?

  • If you have a visually appealing product or service such as home decor, movie tickets, holiday packages, etc.
  • To aware those users who are still on the path to discovery. Basically, to nurture the feeling of need and want among them.
  • If your product or service isn’t purchased on-the-go and thus, carries a longer sales cycle.
  • To cater to a niche-audience.

To Sum Up

You see, both ad formats have their pros and cons depending on the context of your business. While one may work efficiently in certain situations, the other may not be able to keep up. But the differences would give you a proper idea to see how beneficial each of them are in diverse scenarios.

However, in order to get the best results, you would need to link your ads to appropriate post-click landing pages after you select a particular format and create an ad. And post-click landing pages are what you should be aiming for. Because that’s where the real magic happens. In other words, that’s where the conversions take place.

We believe a few tips would help you to succeed in Google Ads, here’s 3 tips from us. Don’t wait to get started!

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