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The Mixture does the Trick: Display Advertising and SEA

The importance of online marketing has increased over the years. In all disciplines, whether it is search engine advertising (SEA), search engine optimization (SEO), affiliate marketing, or display advertising you can see greater investment. The Internet is now one of the most important – if not the most important medium for customer acquisition, customer retention and customer service.

The mixture to success

The mixture to success

Advertisers now use multiple channels to reach their target groups. Although it is one of the oldest disciplines in online marketing, many companies neglect display advertising as performance channel – mainly for financial reasons. In fact this channel is particularly useful for advertisers who offer their products or services online in order to generate awareness among online surfers. Additionally, sales targets can be reached on the basis of performance oriented compensation methods, such as CPC, CPL, and CPO. Display advertising can also be efficiently used in the entire marketing mix to generate leads.

Currently however, for cost and efficiency reasons, advertisers focus their online budgets on search engine advertising. Brand related keywords with low CPCs and a high conversion rate are seen as particularly successful; so many advertisers restrict themselves to keywords. However whilst the strategy of relying solely on this channel may be profitable in the short-term, in the long-term it can make it more difficult to win new customers and to address existing customers about new products, as you are only targeting those who were looking for you and your known products. At this point, another channel could help solve this problem: display advertising.

Banner advertising can be used to generate attention and interest for a product or a service, and to evoke a desire to buy in the customer. This online marketing tool introduces the product to the customer at a very early stage of the decision-making process. QUISMA conducted a survey about this illustrating that display advertising mixed with SEA brings added value to a company.

In November 2011 we carried out a test for a client from the insurance industry. Until then the company focused its marketing activities on search engine advertising and didn’t use display advertising. The company’s SEA strategy contained generic and brand campaigns. In an SEA campaign it is important that the keywords which are used are relevant to the landing page, this relevance is measured by Google and determines the price of the keywords.

To increase brand awareness, we started an intense display campaign over a period of seven days for our client. Another goal of the display campaign was to generate direct leads. To avoid errors in the test, neither the SEA strategy nor the landing page was changed.

To monitor the effects of the display campaign, we documented the SEA figures each day, including impressions, clicks, and conversion rates – divided by brand-related and generic keywords. We then compared the parameters before and after the implementation of the display campaign, in each case over a period of seven days.

Pleasing results

Both in the generic and in the brand-related SEA results significant differences could be noticed. The click-through rate had increased significantly for both SEA campaigns through display advertising, achieving an increase of 6.8 percent. Due to the increased brand awareness more users clicked on the link to the insurer’s landing page. The increased traffic volume led to the generation of new leads. For the generic SEA campaign a significant increase of the conversion rate could be observed, and the leads increased disproportionately in comparison with the newly gained traffic. Overall, the conversion rate could be increased by 10.5 percent. The following diagrams show the results of the survey:

Conversion increase due to Display Advertising

Conversion increase due to Display Advertising

Improved click-through rate

Improved click-through rate

The test proved that display advertising increases brand awareness on the Internet, and consequently both the click-through rate and the conversion rate in the search sector could be improved significantly. Hence, it is a wise move to use several online channels at once to achieve optimal results for your brand.

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