Reno Tahoe Tonight Article (September, 2013) Blog

Reno Tahoe Tonight Article (September, 2013) Blog
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Display or Search?  Digital Advertising 101

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]You can create a campaign based on how your audience searches for you.[/quote]

Most businesses understand the importance of advertising.  You run a commercial with a special offer and people come in.  It sounds simple but digital advertising is often anything but simple.

There are two main types of advertising, Search and Display.  Search advertising, often called PPC (pay per click) are the text ads you see at the top and to the right in your search query.  They are often highlighted in yellow and appear based on the search term you type in.  Display ads are the box ads that appear when are reading an article.  They come in many forms; can be static or dynamic and even pop up when you first land on a page.  With each form of advertising you have the ability to target your customer by content, placement, behaviors, demographics, and geographics.

Most businesses have limited budgets so where do you start?  First you need to determine your goal.   Are you a retailer who wants to sell seasonal items?  Are you a lawyer who wants people to know about you at all times so that when you need a lawyer you are thought of first? Or are you a jewelry store and its two weeks before Valentine’s Day?   To you want to find your customers who are ready to make a purchase today or do you want broad reach?  Once you have determined your goals, you can then work on your digital advertising.

If you are looking for broad reach with a generic message like the lawyer who is looking to reach customers over a long period of time, display advertising can be very effective and inexpensive.  You can target by geography and if you buy second tier advertising, your dollar can stretch.  The downside is your message will have some waste as it will reach people who either already have a lawyer or are not going to need a lawyer.

If you are a business who wants to reach people now who have the need and are searching online like the jewelry store near Valentine’s Day, search advertising is very effective.  You can create a campaign based on how your audience searches for you.  Google has a convenient tool that provides search term suggestions and pricing.  You then determine the most you are willing to pay per click and your daily budget.  You pay only when someone clicks on your ad.  Display advertising can also target by behaviors.  For example, a man is looking for the perfect necklace for Valentine’s Day and types in “heart necklace”.  Your display ad with images of your Valentines selection appears.  You determine how and when your ad appears and the price is set based on your requirements.  The price is lower for broad reach and increases in price depending on how you target.

Digital advertising has many options.  We’ve discussed search and display and within each you can target to your audience using age, gender, location, content targeting, behavioral targeting, and even re-targeting your customer who’s already seen your advertisement.  If you’ve determined your goal, go online and try a test ad campaign.  If you need help, find an expert who can stretch your dollar.

Do you have a digital topic you’d like me to write about in a future column?  If so, please let me know by emailing me at

-Amber Howland
Dragonfly Media,, (775)746-4690

Amber Howland is General Manager of Dragonfly Media, based in Reno, Nevada.  Dragonfly Media works with small to medium size businesses to increase their digital influence through SEO/SEM, social media management, website/app development, and email marketing.