By |Published On: February 6, 2014|

You’ve probably heard that search engine optimization (or SEO) will help you acquire new customers. That’s true. But SEO is marketing, not advertising.

What’s the difference and why should you care? Glad you asked.

Advertise Online

Marketing is everything you do to find and be found by prospective customers. Advertising is just one slice of that marketing pie. Other slices might include attending trade shows or Chamber of Commerce events, publishing informative articles on your website, and being active on social media.

The main difference between advertising and the other slices I mentioned is time. Advertising produces faster results.

Advertising involves a publisher who owns a platform that reaches consumers in your target market. You pay the publisher for placing your ads in front of those consumers. Examples of a “publisher” could be:

  • An outdoor advertising company with billboards structures along heavily-traveled highways
  • A magazine or newspaper whose readership fits your target market
  • A Yellow Page directory with high consumer usage within your geographic area
  • A radio station whose listeners match the type of consumer you’re trying to reach
  • A direct mail company with the ability to mail your postcard to the exact type of person who would want or need your service

With online advertising, that publisher is Google and/or an ad network. Here are three types of online advertising that can be used separately or in conjunction with one another.

Search Advertising

With search advertising, Google and other search engines place your ad at the top or right side of their search results page whenever someone searches for your type of business, product or service.

Search advertising uses the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising model, which means you only pay when someone clicks your ad.

Display Advertising

With display advertising, an advertising network places your ad on sites in their network whose audience match your target market. Your ad appears next to content on news sites, blogs and other niche sites across the Internet.

Unlike Pay-Per-Click text ads, display (or banner) ads can include logos, images, and rich media, and come in standardized sizes.

While search advertising targets specific keywords, display advertising can zero in on your ideal audience based on geography, demographic and/or behavior. Suppose you want your ad to appear to women who have searched for a dentist in the greater Los Angeles area within the past 30 days. Display advertising can make that happen.


Retargeting brings back visitors who have left your website without calling or contacting you. Here’s how it works:

As they visit websites within the ad network, retargeting technology serves up display ads about your company, reminding them of their search intent.

Once a consumer abandons an ecommerce shopping cart, only 8 percent return to complete their purchase. But with a retargeting program, it jumps to 26 percent. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of website visitors leave without taking action. Retargeting is an advertising strategy designed to bring them back.

Search, display and retargeting are effective advertising methods in their own right. But companies who combine strategies have seen a 726 percent increase in site visits. That’s a powerful marketing punch that’s hard to beat.

Online advertising is an effective way for local businesses to acquire new customers fast. Find out more. Contact us today.


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