PPC Advertising vs Google Display Ads: Which Should You Choose?

PPC Advertising vs Google Display Ads: Which Should You Choose?

Starting a digital advertising campaign can make your head spin. There are so many ways to handle online marketing that it can be difficult to understand which method works best. In reality, it’s not that hard to figure out. Virtually everything online goes through Google nowadays, so you’ll want to focus your efforts on their two main advertising options: PPC advertising and Google Display Ads.

But what’s the difference between the two, and how do you know which one is right for your business? Social Media Move has got you covered.

PPC Advertising vs Google Display Ads: Which Should You Choose?

PPC Advertising in a Nutshell

PPC stands for pay-per-click, which is as simple as it sounds. You pay a small fee to set up your ad, and you’re then billed for each click that your ad garners over time. If people don’t click, then your bill will stay low, but if they do click all over your link, you’ll owe Google more money.

And yes, Google is probably who you’re going to pay because they are by far the most dominant provider of PPC opportunities. Their AdSense program exclusively uses the PPC model. These ads can appear on other websites if they have a Google search box or plugin, but most PPC ads are for Google’s search result pages. Your site will appear at the top of the results whenever your keywords are used and Google deems your ad relevant.

When you make a Google PPC ad, your link will have “AD” next to it to inform consumers. There may be other similar companies advertised at the same time, so there’s no guarantee that your top spot will be completely exclusive. So, is this the best online advertising method for you? Let’s consider the pros and cons.

Advantages of PPC Marketing

PPC is great because you get lots of data from your campaign. Every click is tracked and data is collected about each consumer. You’ll know where your clicks came from and where along with valuable user information. This can help you learn more about your key demographics or even give you some ideas about who to target next with your subsequent campaign.

From a financial perspective, PPC makes lots of sense. You pay for what you get, although it’s up to you to make those clicks profitable. You can calculate the expected ROI of a PPC campaign on the back of a napkin if you know a few variables. If you know your average conversion rate (the rate at which website visitors actually buy something) and your average sale amount, you can estimate the total sales from your campaign.

Subtract your campaign costs from that number and you’ve got your expected ROI. Calculate this beforehand, then run the numbers after to see if your campaign actually had a positive impact. A poor result could suggest that your website needs a redesign to increase your conversion rate.

Disadvantages of PPC Marketing

PPC isn’t perfect. For one thing, if your business doesn’t readily convert online customers then it might not be the right choice for you. For instance, if your business relies heavily on in-person customers, it can be difficult to quantify the value of a PPC campaign. Imagine a restaurant that doesn’t do online orders, how would they know who walked in the door because of their Google ad?

Another disadvantage is that it’s fairly limited in reach. Your ad will only appear if people use the right keywords and if Google is confident they are looking for your kind of business. While Google handles billions of searches every day, you have to make sure your keyword choices are perfect.

Finally, since the campaign is dependent on search results, it may be a poor investment if your industry typically relies on word-of-mouth or other forms of advertising. There are certainly cases where PPC just won’t yield much of an impact. In those cases, consider trying the Google Display Network.

How Google Display Ads Work

Let’s look at the other side of Google’s advertising machine: Google Display Ads. These use the Google Display Network and their primary difference from PPC ads is that these are predominantly visual. Display ads can take the form of banners, videos, or dynamic images that reflect consumers’ online activity. There are also text ads that work with the display network, mostly for Gmail.

You’ll first need to design the ad. Shopping ads would contain a simple image of your product along with a price tag. These will appear wherever a website has allocated space for them, and they will show your products if a user has searched for something similar before. If you sell shoes and a customer has been looking for shoes like the ones you offer, there’s a good chance your ad will be seen and they might choose to click.

Video ads are even more fun. You can record a short video and upload it to YouTube. This is a great way to raise awareness about your company and trigger people’s curiosity.

Advantages of Display Ads

Display Ads do charge you more when you get a favorable result. For instance, if someone watches all of your video ad, you’ll get billed a bit more. However, most of the budget is determined by you in advance. You can set a cap on how much you would like to spend and once that cap is reached, Google shuts off your ads.

This means it’s easy to control your spending with Display ads. You won’t have to worry about a sudden influx of clicks running up a high bill, although that might not be a bad problem to have anyway.

The biggest advantage is that you can make these ads far more eye-catching. Since they aren’t entirely dependent on search terms, you don’t know if the user was deliberately searching for your business, so you need to grab their attention with your creative skills.

Disadvantages of Display Ads

Display ads take more work to make, no question about it. You need to design a banner or edit a whole video! But if you’re willing to put in a little more time, they can work wonders.

Another issue is that you have to choose your audience carefully. Instead of using keywords for display ads, Google uses its user its algorithmic judgment, and that’s based heavily on the user’s activity. You have to define who you want to see your ad, so you need to know your target market well. Compare this to a PPC ad, where you know that if anyone types the right words, regardless of who they are, your ad gets seen.

Which Advertising Model Is Best?

PPC Advertising is a great option for local businesses since they can carefully choose keywords, including the name of their town, to get clicks. It’s also ideal for businesses that operate entirely online.

Display ads, on the other hand, provide creative companies a way to show off their skills. They also have incredible reach: Google estimates that 90% of the internet’s users will see Display ads in some form. Shopping websites likewise love Display ads since they can show off their products to interested buyers.

Still, some businesses might want to use both! If you’re not sure how to use Google’s advertising options to the fullest, talk to us. Contact Social Media Move and book a consultation call. We can help you design your next online marketing campaign and make sure it gets great results.

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