Let’s get one thing straight from the start. Display advertising is not search advertising; do not expect it to behave in the same way.
Let’s go back to our good old conversion funnel, everyone wants advertising that converts and advertising that catches people around the desire and action stage of the conversion funnel but what you’ve forgotten is how do you get people there in the first place? You can throw out some broad keywords on Google, sure, but that’s not really going to cut it. Use your search advertising to find people who are searching for you and use your display advertising to find people who aren’t.
Display advertising is designed to do something that, try as it might, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yell.com, Yellow Pages, classified ads just cannot do – they cannot bring you brand new customers who were never looking for your product or service in the first place.
Its true display advertising throws a huge net out there and captures the interest of just a handful of people. The more layers of targeting you add the more interest you’re likely to gather and the smaller your audience will be – but remember, you’re not targeting people who are specifically searching for you; that’s not the point.
Now, what happens when someone sees your banner advert a couple times, do you think they will click on your banner and buy something just because you showed them your advert? Remember, they weren’t searching for your product or service. When they need your product or service though, they will search and whether they type in a product/location search on Google and see your name or they type in your company name because they saw you or they just pop in to your store because they saw your banner – it was the banner that drove the conversion.
Display advertising doesn’t specifically convert as well as search advertising, but what it does exceptionally well is drive conversions. Display advertising drives people from right at the top of the conversion funnel and pushes them down through the stages, right through to the end. Make sure that if your campaign goal is lead generation you back up your display campaign with a good quality search campaign to help you measure your ROI, but if your advertising goals are for brand awareness then a good, solid display campaign is what you need.