It is every online marketer’s question; “Which will result in a better ROI, search or display advertising?” Traditionally the two were measured independently and with little regard for how the two advertising methods interact with one another.  However, a recent study by The Atlas Institute set out to “…determine what role display media plays in combination with sponsored search.” (read the study here).

The results of their study were quite interesting.  The concept of “the whole is more than the sum of its parts” is one we are all familiar with and dates back to Aristotle.  But the Atlas study has proven it to be true when it comes to online display and search marketing.  When a single advertiser exposed searchers to both display and search ads the conversion rate jumped 22% over search alone.  That is an impressive conversion rate increase that most any advertiser would be thrilled with.

The study also discovered that 44% of internet users who clicked on a sponsored search ad had also seen display ads from the same advertiser.  The display ads often act as a brand building tool that seem to make users more inclined to click on and convert on search ads.

So now that you have the “which is a better ROI” question answered (you need to be using both) you have to be asking yourself “what does this mean to my online marketing strategy?”

It means:  Optimize, maximize reach, measure conversions, test and test again, track and analyze data…a lot of work.  If that is more work than you have room on your plate, you are not alone.  But results like these cannot be ignored.  A consulting firm like WebShare can be a great resource to get your online marketing strategy on course and your conversions well on their way to seeing numbers like this study has proven possible.