What is the Difference Between The Display and Search Network?
When creating an Adwords campaign you will come across the options for the Search Network, Display Network or both.
Since the world of the Internet is a big place and when it comes to running ads there are lots of options available. Understanding these options will help you make more money by creating better more effective ads.
So what is the difference between Display Network and Search?
The Google Search Network shows ads when a person types in a search request directly into Google’s search engine or Google partner search sites (if you opt to expand to Google Search partners like AOL). This is what most advertisers think about when they think Internet advertising.
For example, you are looking for a backpack and type in the word backpack Google will return a search along with some advertisements. These advertisements are using the Search Network. But this is only one of the advertisement options and represents only a small part of the Internet.
There is a whole other world, and a large world at that, that you are missing. And it is called …
The Display Network
According to Google, The Display Network reaches over 90% of global Internet users. That is a pretty big number, but it still does not tell you what it is. Have you noticed the banners, or small boxes promoting products and services on such sites as Huffington Post, CNN or even this site: BusinessGrowthGuys? These are display ads and these sites are part of the Display Network.
What Google does is scan sites that are providing space for advertisements and determines what information the site is providing to visitors. Google then matches this to the keywords being used by advertisers.
Lets use the backpack example. Lets say your site has a bunch of articles about backpacks and I want to run an ad using the keyword backpack. My ad would likely be shown on your site. That is advertising on The Display Network (Adsense), and it is a big network. But despite the size and reach of this network many advertiser resist using the Display Network.
Advertisers resist showing ads on the Display Network because it is not as tightly tied to search intent.
When someone is at a website that has lots of information about backpacks they are not necessarily looking to purchase a backpack. In fact, there is likely lots of other information on the site such as travel information that the visitor maybe interested in. This is why these advertisements often have a much lower click through rate (CTR).
Click Through Rate (CTR)
CTR is the percentage of times an ad is clicked on.
You take the number of clicks and divide by number of impressions and multiply by one hundred.
(Clicks/Impressions) x100 = CTR%
Despite that I feel they can still be very effective. For one, I am not as concerned about the CTR because you only pay for an ad when someone clicks on the ad. You don’t pay for impressions. Plus I find these ads can be very cheap. But that is only one of the concerns.
The other concern is that the conversion rate for these ads can also be much lower than the conversion rate on the Search Network. Again, this is because these ads are not as tightly tied to search intent. I have found this to be true, but the ads can still work because of the lower price. It really is about knowing your numbers. If you are going to use the Display Network here is the one thing you need to understand and the one thing you need to do.
You do need to be careful of search intent and how it can impact conversion. This is why I recommend that you run two separate campaigns even if you are using the same ad, the same keywords, and the same landing page. Run one ad on the Search Network and run one ad on the Display Network. Create two copies of your landing page and point one campaign at one landing page and one campaign at the other landing page. You will want to track the cost of a lead.
I recommend doing this because you may discover what I have discovered. While my conversion rate for my Display Network campaign is lower, my cost per click is lower. I still maybe getting leads for the same if not a lower overall price and that is what is important. Understanding these numbers is money in the bank.
If you are not using a landing page in your internet advertising (What is a landing page link) “Click here” to learn why it is critical.