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PPC | PAID SEARCH: What Are Display Ads: A Complete Guide for Digital Marketers

Article by Justin Lugbill

What are display ads? How do they work? How can you optimize them? Here's everything you need to know - Justin Lugbill explains.

I used to run an ecommerce company that spent $40k monthly with Google and Microsoft Ads – primarily on search. And while I ran test after test to get prospecting-focused display ads to drive sales, it was all to no avail.

Fast-forward to now (nearly a decade later) and display targeting and ad unit capabilities have improved dramatically.

I now find myself a fierce advocate for display ads – including those of the prospecting variety.

In this article, you’ll learn what display ads are, things to consider when running display campaigns, and recommendations on why and how you should incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy to drive both immediate revenue and long-term branding.

What Are Display Ads?

Display ads are image and video ads shown to people as they browse websites, apps, social media, and more recently, connected TV devices.

Broadly, they are any digital ad format outside of paid search and audio-only ads.

Marketers use display ads across the entire buyer’s journey, promoting brand awareness, specific products, promotional sales, apps, content, or services. They can be static, animated, or video-based.

These types of ads are often associated with top-of-funnel marketing, where making an individual aware of your brand is paramount.

When Are Display Ads Used?

All the time. They have value across the entire buyer journey.

While the traditional funnel is more conceptual these days, given how convoluted buyer journeys are, I still find it helpful to think of things in terms of the funnel stages as it brings definition to tactics, use cases, and KPIs.

Case in point, here’s a slide I often find myself updating when educating clients on the benefits of a full-funnel approach.

Note that there are display components at each funnel stage.



PPC Consultant London, Google AdWords Consultant London, PPC Specialist London, AdWords Specialist London

Original artcle by Justin Lugbill on

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