Display ads happen to be one of the most effective forms of online advertising and ALSO one of the most underutilized in the local small business market. Display advertising not only can be less expensive than Google Pay Per Click text ads, small local businesses find that display ads offer better branding, better targeting, lower entry cost and access to markets. Here are some of the main features of digital ads and how they work.
Display Ads vs. Pay Per Click Ads
Google Text Ads (Pay per Click) are effective and accessible to be sure. Choose a keyword, or a set of related keywords, write an text ad that will show up when someone searches on that keyword and send them to a page on your website. Simple right? Yes... except some of those clicks that you pay for can cost you dearly. The more popular and the more competitive the keyword, the more expensive. If someone searches "ac repair" and clicks an ad, the cost for that click is $19.84. Want a more extreme example? "Injury attorney" is $138 per click!! It's not difficult to see how easy it can be to blow through a modest budget and for most small. local businesses, this just isn't practical.
When we introduce our customers to display advertising, we normally enter the display advertising market at half the budget that we would have spent on Google text ads. At the same time, we usually get more clicks, more impressions and better conversions.
WHY IS IT LESS EXPENSIVE?
While Google does offer keyword associated display ads (or keyword retargeting), we tend not to use it. It's not that it's a bad idea, it is simply a matter of cost. Google has found a way to keep the cost associated with the keyword and as mentioned above, some of those keywords can be expensive. Truth be told, Google can't read a graphic. So if you can post an ad without associating it to a specific keyword, you should be able to reduce the cost of your advertising considerably. That is exactly what we do!
AUDIENCE TARGETING INSTEAD OF KEYWORD TARGETING
The Google Display Network reaches 90% of Internet users. From the MSN home page, Yahoo! to local radio station, news and media sites, the opportunity for display advertising is everywhere. And more importantly, the opportunity is everywhere you want to be. We use the same ad space Google does, however we don't go through Google to place ads - avoiding the high cost of keyword associated advertising. There are many ways to make sure your ads are matched to your audience.
You've seen how retargeting works if you've ever shopped on Amazon. All of a sudden, that thing you were looking at is everywhere! The process works by simply putting a snippet of code on your browser when you land on a page that is utilizing the retargeting feature. Now it "follows" you and you see that product advertised on other sites. One of the simplest and most effective forms of Display ads is retargeting your visitors. Not everyone who goes to your site is ready to commit. Statistically 90 percent will leave before engaging. Just take a look at your website traffic statistics (Google Analytics) and see how many visitors you had last month. Of those, how many phone calls and emails did you get as a result? Statistically, retargeting ads get higher click through rate and the lower cost per click compared to cold traffic or keyword retargeting.
COLD TRAFFIC TARGETING
Cold traffic simply means people that have not already been to your website. Google keyword retargeting is a form of cold traffic but as we mentioned above, we're focused on getting results at a much lower cost. Setting up an ad campaign to reach cold traffic can be targeted in many ways:
- AUDIENCE INTEREST AND DEMOGRAPHICS - Display ads can target a likely audience. Men, Women, Age brackets, home owners, fitness enthusiasts, golf finatics, health and wellness are all examples. You can also target your audience by anticipating where they will spend some of their online time. For example - local news or local weather. They might be using mobile apps. They might be working on their wedding plan. They might be shopping electronics.
- LOCATION - If you're a small local business in Dayton, obviously having ads show up in Chicago would not be effective. Your ads will be setup to reach only your geographic audience. If you clicked on a Display Ad to get to this page, the ad was only pushed out to the Dayton Ohio market. We are noticing in split tested ads that when the ad specifically mentions your home town, it has a higher click through rate. Perhaps that is because it's less common and stands out. Honestly we don't try to second guess why... we just see it happening and take advantage.
- GEO-FENCING - A more extreme version of Location based selection is GEO-FENCING. Geo Fencing works by targeting within feet of a particular location - whether it's an address or a pinpoint location on Google MAPS. Geo-fencing works only on mobile because it is using the GPS signal on the phone to determine the location of the ad recipient. This can allow you to target events for example. It also can allow you to target competitors. Let's say you are Burger King and you want to target the fast food market. You have the ability to post an ad to ONLY people who visit McDonald's and Wendy's. The fact is, Burger King was doing exactly this and giving away a $1.00 whopper to people on those competitive establishments.
Another more practical example: show display ads along your delivery route. Show display ads at a major event: wedding shows, business conventions, concert venue. Show display ads in major shopping areas: car dealerships, shopping malls and outlets. Wherever there are people, there are mobile phones and people looking at them!
Ultimately, this article just brushes the surface of what you can do with display ads. As the ad space takes over, the organic search and the local listings on Google are even taking a back seat to paid advertising, it's not a bad idea to get out in front in this form of advertising. You may find it to be one of the most advertising campaigns you've ever run simply because it is one of the most accessible and targeted.