Marin Software's official blog

Using display ads to support your search marketing

Chad Schmidt
July 26, 2011

As search marketers, I think we often overlook the importance of what a well thought out display campaign can do for your search campaigns. If you haven’t in the past, now is definitely the time for search marketers to take display advertising seriously. With recent news that Google’s display network has edged into the lead over Yahoo, isn’t it time you understood the importance of an effective display campaign, and how this added traffic can support your search campaigns?

Display advertising has always traditionally been used to establish brand awareness, but we can focus our display advertising to ensure that it also ultimately drives search activity. It’s highly important to understand what impact display advertising may have for your brand specifically, then cater your ads towards that.



Key Considerations

In order to maximise the potential output of a solid relationship between search and display, you need to take into consideration a few key aspects:

1. What role is each channel going to play?

It is really important to understand how each channel is going to perform in relation to converting. Display is often primarily used to drive awareness of the brand and product, whereas search is best placed to take you directly to your product and an immediate response. Understanding what role each channel will play and being realistic about targets will help you plan your strategy more efficiently.

2. Getting the right balance

We have already established the role each channel plays is important, but the next stage is to get the balance right in order to maximize reach and conversions. For example, whilst search drives more direct conversions, the volume may be not sufficient to generate the number of leads you need, leading you to scale up your display advertising investment to drive greater search volume.

3. Understanding performance

Spending time to identify which sites and keywords are producing a knock on effect enables you to establish areas of focus and understand any correlation between metrics. If increasing spend on certain targeted display channels appear to be driving increased click-to-conversion rates seen for display and search together, this will incentivise you to pay higher CPCs and bid their keywords to higher position, whilst maintaining the same return on ad spend.

4. Choose the right channels

It is essential that once you have understood the right channels in which your keywords and display advertising are having a positive knock on effect, that you target these channels in order to maximize your reach. If you can measure the cross channel attribution, this may help you make a more informed decision.

5. Understand the impact

Tracking your media from a centralised location will make it far easier to measure any cross channel impact. It will also help you measure and optimize dependent on results. Advertisers can lose sight of value and optimization opportunities when measuring search & display, and it can be difficult to see direct impact of a change in media and the subsequent knock on effect in another.

Display advertising is growing faster than ever, with more and more targeted streams opening up to advertisers. Use display ads wisely, using its capability to provide wide reaching brand awareness, and you can use your search campaigns to harness the response and turn these into conversions.

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