For Ecommerce, Better to Use Search Ads or Display?

For Ecommerce, Better to Use Search Ads or Display?

Search ads target specific keywords and seek to capture potential customers intent on finding some piece of information or, perhaps, a product. Search Ads When a shopper goes to Google or Bing and searches for “best running shoe for men over 40,” that shopper is intent to either research or purchase running shoes. A search ad targeting this phrase and leading to a running-shoe landing page optimized for the ad may well result in an ecommerce sale. Thus a good use of search advertising would be ad group targeting, for example, “running shoes for men over 40.” This ad group and its very specific landing page could run year around. Display Ads Display advertising pushes potential customers (who may be in the midst of some other task) toward an ecommerce site. The reader was, at first, focused on the article, but the ad pushed him toward an optimized landing page meant to convince him that running would improve his health and that a particular shoe would make running more comfortable. A retargeting campaign would show display ads to this shopper (featuring the running shoe he had considered, or similar) when he visits other websites. Retargeting, like search advertising, is foundational, meaning an ecommerce business should probably have retargeting campaigns running all the time. Next, use display advertising to promote specific sales events or offers. Display ads promoting specific offers or events are probably not something an ecommerce business would run all the time.

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For online sellers, digital advertising is not a choice between search ads or display ads, but rather understanding how each of these tools can help generate sales.

The term “search advertising” describes placing ads on a search engine results page. Search ads target specific keywords and seek to capture potential customers intent on finding some piece of information or, perhaps, a product.

Both search advertising and display advertising can help an ecommerce business.
Both search advertising and display advertising can help an ecommerce business.

In this context, “display advertising” refers to visual ads placed on third-party websites. Display ads target either individuals or groups, based on factors such as behavior and demographics.

Both search and display ads can help an ecommerce business reach potential customers, boost site traffic, and earn more sales. But each method has its strengths.

Search Ads

When a shopper goes to Google or Bing and searches for “best running shoe for men over 40,” that shopper is intent to either research or purchase running shoes.

A search ad targeting this phrase and leading to a running-shoe landing page optimized for the ad may well result in an ecommerce sale.

In this scenario, the search ad “pulled” the shopper in. He was already intent on finding running shoes. The ad simply addressed that intent.

This ability to target customer intent means search ads may work better as an advertising foundation rather than as a way to promote sales or events.

Thus a good use of search advertising would be ad group targeting, for example, “running shoes for men over 40.” This ad group and its very specific landing page could run year around. The ad would attract shoppers will a very specific goal.

It would make less sense to use a search ad for something like “all shoes on sale” since this broad offer may not match customer intent. If a running shoe doesn’t provide the comfort a male over 40 needs, he is likely not that interested at any price.

For ecommerce marketers,…

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