Search Ads Vs Display Ads: Which Is Better For Your Small Business?

The digital marketplace is full of opportunities for small businesses to shine. A pivotal part of making the most of these opportunities lies in using search and display ads effectively. These two advertising methods serve as online billboards and shopfronts designed to spark interest and invite people in.

Consequently, this article will help you discover how they can benefit your business. It’ll focus on these ads’ strengths and weaknesses, when to use each, and how they can serve your business needs.

Search Ads Vs Display Ads: Which Is Better For Your Small Business?

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Search Ads vs Display Ads: Which is Better?

What Are Search Ads?

A search ad places your business at the top of the search engine results page when a customer looks for your products and services.

Say, for example, you sell high-quality pens. A potential customer goes on Google and types in ‘best quality pens.’

With a well-targeted search ad, your business can appear at the top of these search results. Keywords, which are words or phrases that people type into the search bar, power these results.

What Are Display Ads?

Display ads are visually appealing banners that pop up on websites, social media platforms, and apps. They spread awareness about your brand or product, even when people aren’t actively looking.

When To Use Search Ads?

Search Ads
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Consider a local flower shop, Blossom Buds. As Valentine’s Day nears, ‘best roses near me’ or ‘Valentine’s Day flowers’ will likely become popular search terms.

The shop can use local search advertising to tap into the customer pool that uses these keywords.

Blossom Buds will inevitably face fierce competition in a city teeming with flower shops. Search ads can elevate it to the top of the search results when customers actively scout for their products.

When To Use Display Ads?

Display Ads
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Imagine you’re starting a clothing line. Your designs are trendy and visually attractive.

Using display ads can generate a buzz around your brand. With their visual appeal, these ads can showcase your designs and make potential customers curious about your brand.

Display ads are beneficial if you aim to reach a broad audience – for example, young adults interested in fashion trends.

They can pop up on websites, apps, or social media platforms your target demographic frequently visits, increasing your brand’s visibility.

Search Ads Vs Display Ads

Here’s how these two types of ads compare:

Conversion Rates

This is the percentage of people who took a desired action, like buying or subscribing to your product. Search ads generally have higher conversion rates as they capture users with high purchase intent.


Search ads often cost more than display ads due to competition for the same keywords. However, they usually have a higher return on investment as they’re more likely to convert. This is due to their appearance when a potential customer actively searches for your products or services.


Display ads have a wider reach than search ads. They can reach up to 90% of internet users, per Google.


Search ads target people searching for what you offer. Display ads, on the other hand, focus on reaching people likely to show interest in your product.

Both ad types bring unique advantages to the table. Your business goals, budget, and target audience should inform your choice.

Getting Started With Both Types Of Ads

When it comes to search ads, you’ll need to understand what potential customers might search for. For Blossom Buds, relevant keywords could be ‘best florist near me’ or ‘wedding flowers’.

For display ads, focus on creating visuals that represent your brand well. If you’re a clothing line entrepreneur, compelling visuals might involve high-quality images of your clothes worn by diverse models.

Measuring Success

You can gauge success in digital advertising through various metrics. The most common of these are:

  1. Click-through rates – The percentage of people who clicked your ad.
  2. Conversion rates – The percentage of people who performed a desired action, like making a purchase, after clicking your ad
  3. Cost Per Click (CPC) – This is the average amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. A lower CPC is generally more desirable, as you pay less for each website visitor.

Refine your approach based on what you learn from these metrics to improve your display and search ads continually. For example, the click-through rate can help determine whether your target audience relates to your ads.

That way, you’ll know what works and what to enhance. Improvements to your CTR can also influence your conversion rates and CPC.

Get Started Today

So, there you have it, the ins and outs of search and display ads. Keep in mind that the choice between the two isn’t one-size-fits-all. It depends on your unique business goals, target audience, and budget.

If you’re new to the digital marketing landscape, consider seeking the expertise of digital marketing professionals.

These industry professionals can assist you in keyword research and crafting compelling ads highlighting your brand’s uniqueness to help you succeed in online advertising.

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Blogger and Entrepreneur. You can follow him on Twitter. At, he writes mostly about Blogging and Technology Tips

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