Search Advertising is One of the Best Options for Marketers

Posted August 4, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:54 am

In online marketing, search advertising is one of the better options because it is consumer-driven and based on keyword search

search advertising

The process of displaying ads on SERPs (search engine result pages) showing results after a particular keyword has been searched by a user on a search engine, is search advertising. Search engines also display ads on web pages across different websites using similar advertising methods. For advertisers, this kind of targeting that matches the searched keyword is a highly attractive advertising option. Consumers feel encouraged to click on such ads that appear on SERPs as these are directly related to the keywords they search, that again could be directly linked to what they intend to buy, e.g. ‘white formal shirt.’ Customers are inclined to click on such ads on the search engine as it offers them wider purchasing options in addition to the other results on the SERPs.

Better quality

The other advantage with search advertising is that most consumers consider them less intrusive than popup and to some extent banner ads that play havoc with the user’s search for specific information or even his purchase journey. Generally, the ads on the SERPs are in line with what the consumer is looking for and in many cases it could even be way better than many of the results on the first SERP. It’s well-known that in search metrics that the first SERP is what matters as 90% or more of the users don’t go to any other page. These are not free ads made available Google and other search engines; these ads have to be paid for and that makes them qualitatively better and closer to the search term.

Time is of great essence to the online consumer because he needs to look up as many options as he possibly can. If his search is disrupted by unwelcome popup ads that may not be as close to what he is searching for, it will only add to what he considers, wasted time. However, with sponsored or paid ads, that is not the case as they are mostly in line with the searched keywords and they are as good and sometimes, even better than the other results on the first SERP. Over time, search advertising has become another viable option for the online marketer in addition to search engine optimization and social media marketing.

How it works

Search engines sell these ads to advertisers and media buying agencies on the basis of keywords. In many ways, it is based on what is known as organic search wherein the user’s keywords generates the SERP. This SERP determines the cost of the ad as keywords are ranked according to their popularity. Hence, an ad on an SERP for a keyword that is very popular is going to be way more expensive than one on an SERP which is not as popular. The cost is also determined by a few other factors but primarily, it is the popularity of the keyword being searched that determines the cost of the ad.

Advertisers interested in buying search advertising space on SERPs are required to bid for the space on auctions that sell such space based on keywords and their popularity which determines revenue potential of the SERP. We know that search engines have indexes of web pages that list the pages on various attributes complying with the specific updates of the search engine. A particular kind of software robot, known as web crawler is used by the search engines to build the index listing the web pages. They use this indexing technology to determine the value of the ad space on the particular SERP based on the keywords.

Consumer-driven search

When the website owner makes his web page available for displaying ads on a search engine, the embedded indexing determines the cost the buyer of the ad space will have to pay and the ad revenue the web page owner will earn. There are many ways to look at the opportunities that search advertising offer to not just the search engines and the web site owner but also to the advertiser or marketer. For the marketer, it amounts to organic traffic into his site which often ends in sales conversions since the consumer comes with a predetermined aim of making a purchase. After all, he had searched with the specific keyword which is the item he wants to buy.

In any website analysis, organic traffic, which is the traffic that comes to a website from search engines, has a special place. It indicates higher quality of the website getting this traffic because it is most likely that the user would have searched with a particular keyword that is relevant to this website. It therefore means that this website ranks very high on the first SERP, especially on the top five. That’s the space for which the most popular web pages compete and it is sometimes occupied by ads because even search advertising depends on the popularity of the website that is displaying the advertisement.

Filed under: Display

Pop Advertising is a Like Double-Edged Sword that Needs to be Used Rightly

Posted August 3, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:14 am

When used optimally and on the basis of well-planned strategies, pop advertising can deliver excellent results

pop advertising

The history of pop advertising began in the 1990s when a young web developer by the name of Ethan Zuckerman came up with a code to develop a window that was needed for a ‘fire-fighting’ operation of an automobile manufacturer whose online ad campaign came under malicious manipulation. The ads of the automobile maker had begun appearing on a porn site, which the advertiser hadn’t planned for or approved, and was anxious to neutralize. Zuckerman, who worked for a web developing company named Tripod, was part of the team that was working on the solution to the problem, and eventually came up with the code that is sometimes compared with discovery of the nuclear bomb with all its nuisance value in addition to its normal uses. It was the first pop up window and it was for a good intent – to cover the ads of the automobile maker every time it appeared on the porn site.

Users’ worry; marketers’ joy

Much like Albert Einstein, who is credited with developing the formula to make the atom bomb, Zuckerman, also realized that he had created a Frankenstein’s monster which has gone out of control. In 2014, he apologized in a post he had written for The Atlantic – “I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. I’m sorry. Our intentions were good. It’s obvious now that what we did was a fiasco, so let me remind you that what we wanted to do was something brave and noble.” It’s quite another thing that today, if there’s anything a user dreads other than his device malfunctioning, or his internet connection running out, is a pop advertising window ambushing him every now and then.

For the marketers, it has never been better as more and more sophisticated ways of grabbing the attention of consumers are developed by marketing automation companies. For instance, when a consumer goes to a shopping portal to buy a red shirt, she would be bombarded with pop advertising right through her purchase journey, offering her not just shirts of other colors that she prefers, along with trousers or jeans from brands that she likes, or any other thing that she has shown her preference for. Online shoppers have come to accept it as a way of life but it is also true that this has turned the entire online shopping environment into that of a flea market with sellers hollering all over.

Technology comes to the rescue

Internet users have always lived in the most interesting of times, with advancements and innovations in the use of the technology taking place like nowhere else. In fact, every aspect of life is now connected to the internet in some way or the other. If it is not, it’s not what has come to be known as “smart” – smart phone, smart watch, smart TV, smart microwave oven, etc. In other words, if you’re not using devices or appliances that are not connected to the internet in some degree, you’re not smart. Similarly, for the smart internet user, there is now a tool available, called pop up window blocker.

So, it’s not only the marketer who’s having all the fun. The consumer too has been blessed with some of these tools that can help him outsmart the marketer at times. However, it’s not always that pop advertising windows can be blocked by the consumer. For instance, there may be sites that are designed to outsmart the popup window blockers of the user. In fact, these websites invest huge amounts of money on marketing automation technology that can overcome these barriers – yes, for the marketers, these popup window blockers are barriers on their way to getting closer to the consumers.

Marketers would surely like a good return on their investment and their technology providers are only too happy to provide them the ‘solutions’ that help them overcome these barriers. On the other hand, there are another set of technology providers who ‘specialize’ in developing these barriers to pop advertising, like pop up blockers. Of course, like so many other things in the internet, there are also ‘free’ pop up blockers that users can install on their devices, but understandably, they’re not really effective. For the consumer using free services, even 25-40% effectiveness of the popup blockers would be considered quite good.

The way pop advertising windows are used by businesses to upsell their products is not something the online shopper likes because it is nothing less than annoyance for him. But in a fiercely competitive world, privacy comes with a premium price tag attached, which the common consumer can’t afford. In the meantime, marketers bring ever more powerful technology to break through the popup blockers that many smart consumers employ. It’s a tug of war which the consumer is not winning right now but who knows, there could be a time when pop advertising can be regulated better.

Filed under: Display

Banner Advertising is an Important Part of Display Advertising

Posted July 31, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 2:55 am

The objective of banner ads are the same as any other form of display advertising – a click takes the reader to the advertiser site’s specific page

Banner advertising

The most common form of banner advertising is what we see in any commercial, corporate or social website for that matter, in most websites these days. Here are some of the different types of ads that fall in this category. To begin with, there are small ads within or on the left of articles that can either be banner or half banner ads. The large and medium rectangle ads can be found within or at the end of the articles while leaderboard ads are found right at the top of the page or within an article. Although there are no full page ads in the banner category, there is something called a half page ad which can be found on the either the right or left hand side of the page. Then, there are the skyscraper ads with an additional category known as wide skyscraper ads that are found on the sidebars and on top of the web pages. Finally there are the square and small square ads that are found on the right hand sidebar.

Effectiveness of banner advertising

One of the biggest benefits of online advertising over conventional advertising is that its effectiveness is measurable in comparison to other forms of advertising. The customer’s purchase journey begins with a click on the banner ad which takes them to the advertiser website’s specific page where the complete details of the product or service being offered is available. If the customer likes what he reads on this page, there are further links here to take him to the payment gateway through which he makes the payment, thereby completing his sales journey.

There cannot be a better way of measuring the effectiveness of an ad than this indicator known as the click-through rate (CTR). It is calculated by using the number of times the ad was displayed (impressions) to divide the number of users who clicked on the ad. A CTR of 7% will suggest that out of 100 impressions, the banner was clicked on seven times. Banner ads are one of the best ways to increase awareness of a brand and their effectiveness increases proportionally depending on the amount of traffic there is, on the sites where they are displayed. They are also excellent lead generators whereby incomplete click-throughs can be retargeted.

Designing banner advertising

In principle, there is no difference in the two critical rules of communication that are necessary in either online or offline advertising – the message being conveyed in the ad and what you want to achieve from the ad. For instance, if you want to sell a particular type of running shoes, show a pair of the shoes on your ad and give a simple sales headline that doesn’t require any amount of pondering or thinking to understand. That’s because you barely have a few seconds to grab your customer’s attention. Because of the small size of the mobile, tablet or PC screen, your ad won’t have much space to either provide a big enough picture of the shoes or the accompanying details.

You will have to optimize both the visualization and copy of your ad to make the most of the limited space on the mobile, tablet or PC screen and grab the attention of your customer in those critical few seconds. You have to ensure that your product is displayed with a lot of open space all around it and your headline is short and to the point. Many people make the mistake to cramming in too much copy into a banner ad assuming that the customer needs more details at very the moment he sees the ad. That’s a big mistake because unlike offline print, ambience or outdoor advertising, in online banner advertising, the customer should be guided all along the purchase journey in one seamless, continuous and consistent click-through run.

Process of banner advertising

It needs to be remembered that unlike in print or TV advertising, an online banner ad is a quick-fire medium intended to produce fast and effective results. The creative director simply doesn’t have the time or space to play with abstract ideas that sometimes intrigues the reader. For the online audience, there are scores of options right in his device – mobile, tablet or PC and as it happens when one has an abundance of choices, the process of flipping through options is done at a fast pace. It doesn’t require a doctorate in psychology to realize that the online customer is in a hurry to see all his options.

True, there are online video ads that run as long as a TV commercial or even longer sometimes but where does it begin on the mobile, tablet or PC screen? Of course, it all begins from a banner ad where you have to attract the customer with a simple and meaningful headline and a clean, clear and uncomplicated picture of your product. Even if it’s a video, it will start only after the customer clicks on the banner ad. Therefore, the advertiser needs to follow the simple thumb rules of online banner advertising to get the maximum results from his ad.

Filed under: Display

Display Advertising Trends That are Driven by New Innovations

Posted July 28, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:39 am

display advertising trend

Like everything online, display advertising trends keep evolving at great pace. Gone are the days when there used to be just a banner on the mast and a box ad on the top right corner of the screen. Today, if you enter an ecommerce portal (a website which is like an online mall) to look up trousers and shirts, it may be that you would get ‘bombarded’ with various kinds of ads trying to attract you with things that you have a weakness for, other than what you have entered the portal to buy. For instance, if you have a weakness for stiletto shoes, you might find ads popping up in every page you visit, trying to attract you with different kinds of stiletto shoes, even though you don’t intend to buy them now, since your shopping list just includes trousers and shirt for now. If you’re alert, you might ponder – “how is it that these advertisers know I like stiletto shoes?”

Surely, for an ordinary customer visiting an ecommerce portal to look up trousers and shirts, it is difficult to understand how such ads are targeting her in this manner? Let’s get behind the scene to understand just how is it that the advertisers know this customer is fond of stiletto shoes? To put it simply, this isn’t the first time she would have visited an ecommerce portal, which means she’s a regular online shopper who has been visiting numerous ecommerce portals. It doesn’t require a great flash of brilliance to understand that during all these visits to different online shopping portals, this customer would have spent most of her time looking for stiletto shoes, which we know, is her weakness. Still, we don’t yet know how all these advertisers know her weakness.

Marketing automation is among the major display advertising trends

Not many people would know about marketing automation unless they’re connected to online marketing or the IT industry in some way. Marketing automation involves algorithms in a website that sync with big data (humongous loads of data) and artificial intelligence to perform promotional, selling and upselling actions at scale. This may not be an adequate definition of marketing automation but for the purpose of what this blog intends to convey about trends in online advertising, this should be enough. There is no doubt that this is highly sophisticated technology at work and it is also very expensive. On the flip side, marketers know very well that it is gradually becoming indispensible in display advertising but as it acquires scale, it is also becoming more affordable.

Let’s get back to the customer with a weakness for stiletto shoes and how marketing automation has been able to map her preferences. Understandably, there are several tools meeting different objectives that make up a marketing automation suite and these are customized as per the marketers’ or advertisers’ requirements. For instance the marketing automation requirements of a portal selling multiple products across different categories and that of a seller of say, stiletto shoes, would obviously be different not just in terms of scale but also in terms of the number of automation tools they need. The portal where the customer was bombarded with ads for stiletto shoes apparently uses a large suite of marketing automation tools which would know how to integrate details of customer’s preferences with advertisers on the portal.

Use of Big Data is another major display advertising trend

How many times the customer with a weakness for stiletto shoes visited this portal and other portals looking for stiletto shoes and how many other customers like her with similar weaknesses have been mapped with other aspects of their browsing habits is a matter of analytics at scale. Such analytics are powered by very sophisticated algorithms that compute all such data and make them useful for users of the marketing automation, like marketers and advertisers. It would be futile for ordinary shoppers to even think about the amount of data that gets processed by these algorithms every minute and we should simply be happy to know that the data is being optimized for marketing and display advertising among others.

The accumulation of data is a natural process in a society that is driven by information technology. The term Big Data evolved when this data load was threatening to go out of control. Some geek somewhere, found out the first rudimentary ways of getting a grip of the data and then one thing led to another. Today, humongous loads of data are no longer a threat because their optimum utilization have become much easier, thanks to Big Data processing abilities. In fact, businesses now want more and more data about their customers to be able to bombard them with relentless display advertising. As if that’s not all, we now have another great data processing innovation called Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is getting businesses ever closer to their customers and at this rate it won’t be long before they become our shadow.

Filed under: Display

Can Display Advertising Increase Brand Awareness?

Posted July 27, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:21 am

Display ads are the most effective ways to reaching out to a target group and get a good ROI for every advertising dollar spent

display advertising

How much time do you just piddle around reading scientific research, sports stats and café recipes? We all spend more time on our favorite websites than we do to search for a specific item. So, if you have a business and want to reach prospective customers, display advertising provides many benefits such as fast brand building and helps you reach your audience with Google Display Ads.

Today, online display advertising helps to revolutionize the market and proves to be boon for businessmen, who were struggling before as they were using traditional advertising for brand building. According to the Digital Banner Production Agency, it is an effective media to reach most of the audience within a target market as it has more power to educate the consumers to build trust for the brand. When you are purchasing for your own or if it’s personal purchase, you will be more involved where you remember or will look for the factors like the brand’s reputation, culture, quality, values, features, specification or social status of the product or company.

Once you come out of your comfort zone, you will automatically get pushed to choose differently. Assume you are travelling or moving cross-country and want to buy yogurt, you might like to visit the grocery store and walk down Yogurtland. After looking up for a couple of minutes, you were not able to decide, as you couldn’t find the best one. After looking up for a while longer, you see something familiar on a banner ad – Danone, and you are finally able to decide. This is the power of display advertising. Even though Danone isn’t your favorite yogurt or first choice at home, you chose it because it is what you saw on the ad.

How to make the best use of such ads?

When it comes to directing traffic to the website, one of the methods that social media marketing experts believe in is banner ads. They use these ads on the most visited or trusted sites, since generating high traffic on website will increase the chances of conversion. If you randomly ask a couple of passersby on the street about their favorite flavor of ice cream, the probability of “Vanilla” as the choice may be zero, but if you ask 10 people the same question, your chances of finding “Vanilla” as the likely response may increase. This rate will go up incrementally when the question is put to more people.
Similarly, traffic on your site increases when your target audience encounters your display ads across different sites. The larger the number of your ads, the higher will be the rate of responses, which will increase traffic into your site.

How can the branding increase?

The main reason why big brands spend so much money on display advertising is because it effectively reaches most people within a target market compared to other media. It affects consumers at every stage of the marketing journey from awareness, evaluation and education to purpose. The reason why such promotion is important and effective is that, this is quick way to build brand awareness because people are happy to see and likely to remember the things what they see rather than read and hear from somewhere.

So the display ad contribute to the traffic and conversion. As per Forbes, 90% of the advertising agencies and business consider display ads are a great way to increase branding.

Benefits of Display Advertising

Display ads are the graphic content that incorporates text, logos, pictures or images and company branding to attract the user’s attention on websites. Display ads are branded and styled and the user can gather information on brand simply by clicking on the ad.

Effective Targeting with Display Ads

In online advertising, it is necessary to target the people who are most relevant to business. You can create specific parameters like, which sites they will appear on, or which geographic area or niche market they are appearing in. The benefit of targeting is that you can maximize your reach. For example, apparels and accessories retailers target people of adolescent age and women who livein their zip code and are visiting fashion-style related websites.

With Display Ads – Increase Visibility

Display ads help your business to grow by getting you in front of a high volume of the right kind of people even if they are not searching for the product. Thereby display ads are likely to appear on the websites that are not even the highly trafficked but related to the offer.

Display Ads – Provide Data

Using Google analytics, you can measure your marketing activities and track the performance of your website. With the data, what the Display ads provide you can exactly know how many times your ads had been clicked.

Display Ads Allows Retargeting

Other than standard targeting capabilities Display ads support retargeting, where you can target people in more impactful manner, who have already visited your website and express interests in business.

Filed under: Display

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