Companies looking to stand out among the competition know the importance of being found and being remembered, making online advertising a valuable component to any marketing strategy. With a larger reach than ever, the internet has become one of the most popular places for businesses to place ads. There is a vast range of online placement options and each one is just a piece of the puzzle, fitting into different methods to meet varying business goals. The proper combination can be what separates you from a company a customer skims by and a company a customer remembers.

To know what type of piece you’re holding and get the puzzle started, here are the basics of paid search and display advertising:

Search Ads

Text based ads that appear alongside a list of search results with key words. These ads are typically used in situations where customers are searching for a specific product or service.


Photo Credit: Google Adwords

Display Ads

Can be ads in text, but tend to be rich in images, media, or video format that appear on websites with related content. Instead of the customer searching directly for these products, they are displayed within websites the customer is visiting and are placed based on their relevancy to topics or interests on the display website. For example, if you were visiting a camping related website an ad for tents or backpacks from a sporting goods store may appear within the camping website.



Photo Credit:

Retargeting Ads

Ads used to reinforce customers who may not be ready to make a purchase. These ads target customers who have already visited your website or have left their contact information in your database.

Retargeting ads serve as a reminder of what was left behind on other websites and encourages potential customers to return and make a purchase. There are two types of campaigns, pixel-based and list-based. Pixel-based is the most popular type and refers to the topic we all know as “cookies.” Once a customer visits your site, their browser receives a pixel, which turns into a “cookie” and causes specific retargeting ads to appear on other sites they visit. List based is a more personal form of retargeting advertising as it uses information customers have provided the company to create a more personal message.Now with a basic understanding of a few placement methods, it is time to cover the main metrics used in placement pricing and measurement.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost per Click (CPC), also commonly referred to as Pay per Click or PPC, is the most a business is willing to pay for a customer to click on its ad. The main goal of CPC is to drive traffic to your website or landing page by creating an ad customers are compelled to click on. CPC is great option for companies who are focused on increasing sales or boosting website traffic where the goal is to have the consumer take action via a purchase, contact form submission, etc.

Cost Per Mile (CPM)

Cost per Mile (CPM) or Cost per Thousand Impressions is a method aimed at delivering a message and increasing brand awareness. Companies pay based on the number of “impressions” or times an ad is viewed and a CPM strategy is very useful for businesses focused on building brand recognition or product familiarity.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Cost per Acquisition (CPA) is where a specific action is desired and a company pays each time this action is completed. The CPA required action is generally a conversion to a sale where the ad has led to a customer order and this acquisition is tracked electronically.

After a basic understanding of both ad placement and pricing strategies it is time for you to decide which one you believe will work best for your company. Always remember to establish your goals you want to achieve beforehand; as this will help you better determine where you place ads and how much you are willing to spend.

If you are still unsure or just want to discuss if you are making the right decision, call Millennium today for a free consultation and we can help create a digital advertising strategy that best fits your goals. Please also feel free to reach out to me via email at or catch up with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.