Paid Search Ads Are No Longer King

Paid Search Ads Are No Longer King

Display advertising will overtake Paid Search (pay-per-click) advertising in 2016 for the first time according to eMarketer’s estimates.  This fact underscores what we have been saying here at Vici for a while now…Paid Search isn’t the only game in town and it isn’t always the best use of your digital ad dollars.

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Paid Search is for customers who are ready to buy – they are at the bottom of the sales/purchase funnel.  As this paid search expert says, “If you’re selling more of an “emergency” service like being a locksmith or roadside assistance…” then it makes sense to use it.

Sales Funnel
Paid Search ads can be very inefficient for the average local business.  Why?  Because the competition on keywords from national businesses has driven up bid costs dramatically over the last few years.  Also, most people don’t click on a Paid Search ad.  In fact, only about 10% of searchers do.  Most users prefer to click on organic listings.  So how do you reach those 90% of people clicking on organic listings?  One way is by using display ads.

The power of display advertising is that it targets the majority of people – those who are doing research and comparison shopping, and even targeting people who don’t know who you are yet.  Display ads create awareness as people are gathering enough information to make a decision.  These ads work as a “demand generator” creating awareness and desire for your product or service.

Because Paid Search ads and Display ads target consumers differently, you can’t expect Display ads to have the same conversion rates as Paid Search ads.  Think about it.  It takes a lot more engagement for someone to view your ad, click it, then go to your website and fill out a form or buy something or call you.  You need a higher frequency to move someone from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom of the sales funnel and create the conversion.  Because Display ads are often a fraction of the cost of Paid Search ads, you can get that frequency at a cost efficient rate.

The best way to use Display ads is to do what we call Targeted Display which is a combination of targeting techniques:
Keyword Display Targeting – Showing your display ad to people who search your keywords or visit webpages that contain your keywords
Targeted Ad Networks – Showing your display ad on groups of websites targeted to the type of audience you want to reach
Behavioral Targeting – Showing your display ad to specific consumers based on their previous on-line behavior
Facebook & Instagram News Feed Targeting – Showing your display ad to potential customers on Facebook and Instagram with ads based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, or your list of email addresses or phone numbers
Household IP Targeting – Taking your database of names and addresses and matching those to the household’s IP Address and then only showing those households your display ad

By using a combination of display options, you’ll find that your digital dollars go further and provide better return on your investment.

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