Understanding Display Ads and Search Ads

Digital marketing is increasingly becoming a must for businesses, not just to thrive, but to survive in today’s business landscape. But the sheer number of strategies and tactics online can be overwhelming for those just starting to explore their options.

Although businesses can technically employ all the digital marketing strategies out there if they have enough budget, it’s still important that they first gain an understanding. For businesses with limited budgets, it’s even more important they choose the right strategies to invest in.

When it comes to cheaper options with more readily apparent results, two strategies come to mind – Search Ads and Display Ads.

Understanding the differences between these two and the situations in which they thrive is essential in maximizing their use. If your business is interested in PPC ads in Vancouver, WA, Read on.

Search Ads

Search Ads or Search Network Advertising or Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads are those text-based ads you see when you use search engines like Google to search for something. And as one of its names implies, it uses a pay-per-click model which means that you only pay when a user clicks on the ad.

This seemingly simple setup offers a lot of benefits for brands. The model allows businesses with a limited budget to keep track of how much they are spending. They can even set a budget cap. Google estimates the ROI for these ads at $2 for every $1 spent.

It’s also incredibly useful for capturing user intent. With cleverly targeted ads and well researched keywords, businesses can capitalize on people who are ready to buy. This means those clicks will likely translate into sales. Tapping into local markets, for example, is an ideal application for search ads.

Using search ads is also an excellent strategy for products or services that have a short sales cycle. It’s very effective for addressing an urgent need. Those looking for HVAC repair services, for example, want something quick and easy to deal with their issue. They will likely click on the first thing they see on the search results page.

Display Ads

While browsing through websites or social media, the ads that you see are display ads. They often use images, graphics, or even videos to market their goods. This is also one of this strategy’s best advantages – its customizability. This gives marketers more leeway to choose the right size, shape, and design for their ads.

Its main difference from search ads is it creates a demand rather than solving a need. Using display ads is like playing the long game with building brand awareness as the top priority. People don’t go on social media in the hopes of finding a solution to a problem they’re having. Instead, display ads are more subtle.

This strategy is best used for products or services with longer sales cycles. Leads are the target here, not immediate sales.

Display ads are also excellent for remarketing – the process of advertising to the people who have likely been on your website before.


Digital marketing strategies have their own different uses. For best results, and if you can afford it, use them in tandem with each other. But why stop there, other strategies like content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization are also very effective options that will complement each other.

For more information about search ads, display ads, and other digital marketing strategies, gives us a call today.

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