Search advertising is widely considered to be the gold standard of online advertising. One measure of success is that search has achieved recurring line-item status in the advertising budgets of almost all major advertisers. Another measure is that despite consuming only 4% of consumers’ time online, search accounts for 46% of internet ad revenues, according to the IAB Internet Advertising Report. Display, on the other hand, generates only 33% of Internet ad revenues, despite consuming almost all of the remaining 96% of time that users spend online.
While highly successful, search does have some significant limitations. Limited frequency is one issue, in that advertisers only have the opportunity to communicate with prospects at the time of their search. Another issue is search’s limited effectiveness as a branding tool, as search ads consist of several lines of text, mostly without graphics or animation.
This is where display advertising enters with its broad reach, high frequency and wide-ranging graphical capabilities. Exchange-traded display, real-time bidding , demand-side platforms and the like have the potential to combine the effectiveness of search with the reach and brand impact of display. But display still has a long way to catch up with search in terms of advertiser spend.
So what lessons can display advertisers learn from search to become effective and attract more budget? Here’s a look at a few of the most important lessons.