Search, Display and Retargeting: The Trifecta of Online Advertising

  • 1 September 2011

That title is misleading. To have a great online presence you need more than just search, display ads and retargeting, but these points are a good starting place for any local business who wants to convert more online shoppers and increase its revenue.

Each of these parts can be used on their own, but function stronger when used together. Just look at the title, we called it a trifecta, and everyone knows that a triangle is the strongest shape. If you didn’t, well you just got a geometry lesson as well as a digital advertising lesson. You’re welcome.

Lift in Online Sales Per Online Strategy

If you want to visualize how these three aspects work better together, take a look at the chart below. As you can see, using search and display ads together gives much higher returns than using them separately.

The first part of the equation is search. As we covered in a previous post, search is huge, and should not be taken for granted. Search has become the gateway to the Internet, so you need to start using search advertising to appear at the top of search rankings. It’s called SEM, and it looks like this:

Search Engine Marketing

Those big red circles are where your ads show up. That means that when someone searches for products or services that your business delivers, your ads appears, increasing hits to your website.

The only problem with search is that only 4% of time on the Internet is spent in search engines, and 96% is spent doing everything else. You might think search isn’t worth it, but everything on the Internet stems from search, so it should remain an important piece of your online strategy. Search gets your foot in the door, but the next two parts help you walk through it and sell your products.
Display Ads
The second aspect is display advertising. Display ads show up on websites around the world, and their main goal is to boost traffic to the owner’s website. The first display ad was in 1994, and looked like this:

AT&T Banner Ad From 1994

Since 1994, display advertising has grown tremendously. In Q2 2011, more than 1.1 trillion display ads were served across the world, and this number is only going to increase as more and more people come online. The only problem with display advertising is that, a lot of the time, it gets ignored. Internet users train themselves to overlook the ads, thinking they’re irrelevant. That’s where the third part comes in.

Retargeting is the last piece of the puzzle, and the part that ties it all together. If you weren’t aware, 97% of your website visitors leave and never come back.  Retargeting is display advertising that essentially follows up with the customer after they visit your website. It works like this: the consumer visits your website; they pick up a special line of code that places a cookie in their browser; your ads get delivered to the consumer as they are surfing the web, reminding them of your website.  ComScore created a handy cartoon to show how it works from the consumer’s end:

Retargeting Process

Retargeting is unique because it displays ads to consumers who have already shown interest in your products, making them easier to convert. It’s a win-win situation because the user gets ads that are relevant to their desires, and you get more sales in return.

Let us Help you!

As you can see, our trifecta of online advertising will help you see a greater return on your online ad spend. Check out our website and our past products and see how we can help you. Fill out a form on our site or call us to learn more.

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