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Key differences between search and display ads

Search Ads and Display Ads are two super-powered forms of Google advertising. But at the same time, they couldn’t be more different to each other! Using them in combination will put you on a fast track to a multi-pronged digital marketing approach that can help you draw in clients from all online angles.

That’s the aim of the game, right?!

But first, let’s unpack each style of Google advertising and shine a light on the pros of each.

Search Ads

Search Ads are the very top results you see when you search on Google, and they’re indicated as an ad by a little ad symbol in the top left corner.

In essence, Google’s search network is pretty simple. When a searcher has a question, need or problem to fix, they will head straight to Google and actively search for the answer they’re looking for. They’re using Google’s search to find a product or service to purchase or to find information. For example, if your client is searching for a remedial massage therapist in their area, they will go straight to Google and look for exactly that.

Creating effective Search Ads is all about focussing on why people are searching, and providing the best answer for them on your website. For example, if someone searches for “best hairdresser for blondes” ideally you would be serving them an ad that tells them exactly why you’re the best hairdresser to cater for blondes. You won’t want to show them an ad that focusses on your cutting skills, or the fact you offer makeup services in your salon. It won’t be what that person is looking for and it’ll mean money down the drain for you!

If your Search Ads and targeting are set up just right, you can be one of the first captivating options your potential client sees.

The good news is that search ads can work WONDERS for salons, spas and barbershops due to the fact you’re a bricks and mortar business fixed in one place. Local search ads can help you target your clients based on location, so you don’t end up showing up in search results for people based in Brisbane, when you’re based in Sydney. Makes sense right?

Click here to read our blog all about the ins-and-outs of local search ads!

Ready to learn ALL the ins-and-outs to Google? You can get started with a one month free trial today with no lock-in contracts! It’s a win-win!

Now back to business – with search ads done and dusted, that leads us to… display ads!

Display Ads

Display ads are the visual ads you see across advertising-supported websites – often they’ll appear as banners on the sidebar or at the top or bottom of a page.

While  Display Ads aren’t designed to be the answer to a client’s direct question, they do provide a great opportunity for brand awareness.

The thing is, they will never hold quite the same effectiveness as a Search Ad, because a person who is seeing them hasn’t looked or asked for them in that very moment. They’re not actively looking for you like they are on the search network.

So while display ads may not bring you the same level of clicks and conversions you see from your search campaigns, that doesn’t mean they have no use.

They’re so crucial to your brand awareness online!

Consumer behaviour (I.e. what makes a potential customer decide to make that booking in your business) involves a few stages before a customer gets to their decision to buy. Display Ads cater to the very first stage in the consumer behaviour buying cycle: the awareness stage.

By using repetition – like popping up in other places your clients might be hanging out online, like The Urban List or, your Display campaign is creating more sub-conscious awareness and tapping into the wants of the client, rather than the needs.

Think about it, your client may be starting to tick over ideas for a fresh new ‘do – they just don’t know what they want yet. Display Ads are going to be the perfect tool to show them what they might want with stunning visuals of balayages, crisp platinum’s, or the perfect rich browns.

Since Search Ads are completely text based, they will never be able to achieve this same affect of creating desire in the hair and beauty industry as a Display Ad can.

See how both can have their place in your digital marketing strategy? Using both could mean some massive wins, and oodles of new clients, for your salon or barbershop!

Kicking off a remarketing campaign is also a great way to reinforce your brand message, and also potentially reengage a client after they have left your site. Remarketing campaigns specifically target customers who have already visited your to help you stay front of mind and hopefully entice them back for more.

Key takeaways

  • BOTH styles of Google Ads have their place in your digital marketing strategy
  • Start with Google Search Ads first to get those conversions rolling in and more bang for your buck
  • Focus on Display Ads second to kick off that all-important brand awareness campaign
  • DON’T expect results immediately – Google is an intelligent machine and takes time to learn so that it can optimise your ads for the best results. Check out this blog where we bust a few common Google myths.

Have any questions? Head to the Facebook Group to ask our team of Google Gurus!

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