Introduction to search and display

Online marketing has several benefits, but the biggest is the ability to target people with amazing granularity. Because search and display advertisements are served up digitally, we can measure exactly when a user clicked, where they clicked from, and what happens after the click. This data lets us change our marketing plan, and optimize our ROI. 

Let’s start by looking at search marketing. This involves placing advertisements on the organic results of search engines.These advertisements are sold on a pay-per-click model, so you don’t pay for impressions, but rather an actual action. 

Now search marketing is great, because the searcher has expressed intent. As a marketer, you’ll create a custom list of words or phrases that you want to display ads against. Now when you conduct a search, a lot happens simultaneously. 

Google is going to grab the list of advertisers who want to display ads for this term. Google’s going to look at the cost each advertiser wants to pay, and then they’re going to get them in a bidding war until the top bids are identified. Next, Google will apply a quality score to the bid, and this score is determined by the key words click-through rate, the relevance of the ad, prior keyword performance, and even the keyword focused on the landing page itself. The number that comes out determines who wins, and who shows up in which slot for what cost. Now display advertisements are banner ads, or even these same text ads, but they’re shown on someone else’s website, not here on the Google result page. 

Display is great for remarketing and even brand awareness, but it’s harder to generate a direct response. Now most display ads are going to be shown to a very relevant audience, but that audience may not be expressing intent or even purchasing behavior. 

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