Paid Search or Display Ads: Which is Better?

JAF Digital Marketing Services

JAF Digital Marketing Services

Paid Search or Display Ads Which is Better | JAF Digital Marketing Services

Paid Search and Display Ads can be used together but there are factors that businesses can consider when they need to choose between the two. Deciding between these two types of advertising campaigns can be difficult but these factors can help organize the decision process.

Search and Display Ads are both effective but are completely different. They target different audiences and intentions. Having an understanding on how both work can help choose which type fits your company better. This can help maximize your advertising budget by focusing your advertising to your goal.

Intent and Target Audience

Before choosing the type of campaign, decide on what you want out of it. Paid Search and Display Ads have distinct purposes. This can simplify your decision process.

Search Ads connects you to people looking for your products or services while display Ads connects you to people who may be interested in the type of products or services you sell. 

When targeting customers, Search Ads look more appealing but Display Ads don’t appear randomly either. While Search Ads target customers who already have intent to buy, Display Ads target customers who have expressed interest in the product or service you provide through their browsing history or have similar browsing behavior to your target customers. 

If you already have a target in mind and can easily choose between these two, then, you have found the campaign for you. If not, you can look at the search volume.

Search Volume

Search Ads have a smaller target but these customers are already towards the end of the sales funnel while Display Ads can reach a wider audience and can introduce your company to new customers.

If you don’t know which of these two fits you better, the AdWords Keyword Planner tool and Google Trends can help you choose. You can look at the search volume of your brand, product or services you sell. If there is a big amount of people looking for what you sell, Search Ads is a good starting campaign. Knowing that your target audience already exists and in big volume assures that your campaign has a target to reach. If there are not a lot of people searching for your brand or product, then a search ad wouldn’t be as effective. A display ad would fit your company better. Display ads can help build your brand awareness. You can keep tracking your search volume and see when and if you need to switch the type of campaign.

This is tied with another factor, which is brand awareness.

Paid Search or Display Ads Which is Better second | JAF Digital Marketing Services

Brand Awareness

Similar to Search Volume, this is related to the amount of people you are targeting. If the product or service you are selling is generally unknown or if your company is new, a Display Ad campaign is a good place to start. It is a great way to put your brand in front of people to build awareness. Recall goes a long way when they do decide to buy.


Display Ads generally require a bigger budget than Search Ads. If working with a limited budget, search ads may be the better option to start. Display Ads may also take longer to convert to sales and Search Ads have a higher conversion rate because they already target customers with intent to buy.

If you have the budget, do both. Search and Display Ads work well together to build brand awareness and target customers at the end of the sales funnel. When you do decide to do both, run the campaigns separately. This will allow you to track and compare their performance and adjust your campaign accordingly.

JAF Digital Marketing Philippines, one of the top digital advertisers in the Philippines, provides Paid Search Management, from ad design to performance tracking. If you haven’t decided on which type of campaign fits you better, you can contact JAF Digital Marketing Philippines for advice. We also provide competitor analysis to see which ad campaign your competitor is using.

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