Pay-per-click and paid search advertising

Advantages and disadvantages of display advertising


Online display ads can appear on select websites across the internet. They can be more useful for certain marketing goals than others, eg brand awareness. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses before deciding whether to create your own display campaign.

Advantages of display advertising

There are a number of benefits of using display advertising:

  • Visual - you can use eye catching imagery or rich media to get your audience's attention.
  • Awareness - you can build brand awareness and promote your products and services.  While search advertising reaches an audience intending to purchase, display can create an initial interest. Display ads have a high reach and can be seen by large numbers of people.
  • Targeted - certain targeting options aren't available through search marketing. These include topic and interest targeting and remarketing. You can also reach specific demographics such as gender and age.

Disadvantages of display advertising

There are some downsides to display advertising:

  • Lower click-through rate (CTR) - display ads typically have a lower CTR than search ads.
  • Lower conversions - a lower CTR also means lower conversions, such as sales and registrations. When users see your ad they aren't actively looking for your products or services, so they may not be ready to buy. Display ads are more suitable for long sales processes than for selling high volumes. 
  • Ad avoidance - while your impressions may be high, you can't guarantee that users paid attention to your ad. Ad blocking tools can also stop users from seeing your ads.