Context in Digital Advertising

Search vs. Display AdsThousands of companies advertise online and in many ways.

The two most popular digital avenues are Search and Display ads.

Which is the best method for you to invest in?

The truth is, it depends. While both methods can drive excellent results, it really comes down to how they’re used. 

Success will boil down to understanding customer intent and aligning your messaging in a way that it will be well received. 

A good ad should offer value and the context of your advertising has to match the intent of your customers.

Intent is everything when it comes to digital advertising.

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When to Invest in Display Advertising

Display advertising is typically effective for introducing customers to your brand or reminding them of it. 


Think of the design of a display ad. There’s a graphic with a small amount of copy. 

People tend to see display ads when they’re doing something other than shopping, like when they’re reading a blog post or are scrolling on their newsfeed. The idea is to grab the users’ attention and quickly convey a single message designed to stick.

A good display ad should either replicate a brief introduction and a handshake or a quick reminder.


  • Lower Cost Per Impression
  • Lower Cost Per Clicks


  • Lower Conversion Rates
  • Lower Quality Traffic

Reasons for Search

Search advertising differs in its practice because text ads appear on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). For search (or text) campaigns. The idea is to bid on specific keywords that you think will drive clicks and sales.

In this case, the user is actually searching for something, demonstrating interest and possible intent to buy. 

Naturally, this makes the ad space more valuable, therefore competitive.


  • Higher Quality Traffic
  • Higher Conversion Rates


  • Higher Cost Per Impression
  • Higher Cost Per Clicks

The Verdict

So which should you invest in? Search or Display?

Well, it depends on your business and how you generate leads.

Both methods are great, as long as you use them properly. Customer intent is everything!

Having trouble with your pay-per-click advertising campaigns? Contact the experts at Active Web Group for a complimentary analysis or call (800)978-3417! With over 20 years of experience, our professionals will be up to the challenge.