Managing a display campaign requires a different strategy and set of tactics than managing a search campaign, even if the purpose of both campaigns is to generate new leads. It’s important for marketers to note that performance will differ by network, especially in terms of click-through rate and traffic.

While display ads tend to work well for building brand awareness, the quality of traffic and the clicks and conversions tend to be lower than search ads. Historically speaking, search ads are employed to garner clicks, and display ads are best for gaining visibility. Marketers should determine if the search or display network is best for meeting a specific campaign objective and for attracting more potential customers.

So what can you do to optimize your display campaigns for success? Here are three best practices.

1. Have a clear call to action (CTA)

For most marketers, this won’t come as a surprise: display ads must have a clear and concise CTA. This is especially important in image-based ads because customers may not know what part of the ad is clickable. Bearing this in mind, many marketers often include the CTA in the form of a button to pop from the background image. Keep the CTA brief and direct, for example: “Shop Now,” “Buy Now,” or “Sign Up.” You may also consider testing the button color as well as text to determine what works best in your ad. Help remove the guesswork for your customer by incorporating stronger and clearer CTAs into your display ads.

2. Test, test, and test again

Testing is just as important in display as in search. The testing options are vast, but start with the elements that can most impact your conversion rate: CTA, messaging, and images. Create three to four ads per ad group and test different messaging and images. Then evaluate which ad performs best with your customers and use these insights to inform your overall strategy. Build on what you’ve learned from testing by incorporating learnings into your active campaigns.

3. Manage placement of ads

Placement targeting can bring a new level of control to online marketers in their display campaigns. Third party retargeting tools such as Marin enable marketers to quickly identify high-performing placements to save more money. Accurately valuing display campaigns across the complete path to conversion can maximize your ROI.

For additional best practices and tips for optimizing your display campaigns, sign up for our co-webinar with Marin Software on April 21. Register here to learn more.