Should You Invest in Search, Display, or Retargeting?

As a digital marketing agency, we often have clients ask us what marketing channel they should invest their marketing dollars in to drive lead volume. From a pay per click (PPC) perspective, depending on their budget, we recommend starting with search and retargeting.

The reason we recommend search is because of the efficient cost per click (CPC) as well as the fact that you can take advantage of buyer intent. For example, you can directly target long-tail keywords such as “leading SEO company” to maximize conversions. Retargeting is recommended because you get a higher click-through rate and efficient cost per lead (CPL).

For clients that have larger budgets, we also recommend display advertising. The reason we recommend display advertising is because it increases the volume of searches and the click through rate on the search network for your keywords. Not only does this drive down the CPC and CPL, but it also increases conversion from clicks to leads.

In addition to using the various PPC channels recommended above, we also recommend uncovering direct display advertising opportunities where you purchase advertising directly from targeted Websites. There are several hidden lead generation gems in display advertising on well-targeted Websites. The key is that you can’t buy rate card inventory. The price is simply too high to work from a lead generation perspective. It may work for brand building campaigns, but not if you are a small business that needs to generate leads cost-effectively. So, how do you find discounted display advertising opportunities? You contact the various Websites and ask them if they have any remnant inventory. Yes, some of the online publications will tell you that they simply don’t offer discounted display advertising, but some of them will.

You’ll find the rate card pricing is typically between $10 to $25 per thousand impressions (CPM). This CPM rate simply will not work for display advertising if you’re running a lead generation campaign, unless your average or lifetime revenue per sale is very high. To make a lead generation campaign work, you typically need to be somewhere between $3 to $5 on a CPM basis.

Generally speaking, if you have a limited budget, start with search network PPC campaigns and retargeting. Then, move on to display advertising through a search engine such as Google or Bing. Then, move on to finding display advertising opportunities where you purchase inventory directly from the Website.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.