PPC, Calls, and Display: Choosing the Best Method For Your Business

By Melissa Duko, March 23, 2017

When a company decides to invest resources into digital advertising, it’s a smart move. But deciding to do digital advertising is just the first step. Digital advertising is a broad umbrella term. There are many subsets or types of advertising: pay per call, pay per click, and display.

Choosing the right one for your business can be overwhelming.

There are many factors to take into consideration: your target audience, budget, and vertical. Carefully weighing the pros and cons is essential before choosing a method and diving in.

To help narrow down your choices, we’ve created a “Cliff Notes” guide.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click (PPC) ads are online advertisements that you pay for by the click. They appear when you perform a search online, or as banner ads on websites. Without PPC, it isn’t easy to make your business stand out from the rest online.  


Source: Memegenerator

In addition to helping your ad rise above the competition, other benefits include control of your budget, instant exposure, and measurable results. The great thing about PPC is you can target specific criteria with:

  • Keywords so your ad shows up in keyword searches.
  • Geotargeting to capture the right locations for your prospects.
  • Devices that your ads appear on.
  • Dayparting to schedule your ads to display during prime traffic.

You can also A/B test multiple campaigns to further fine-tune your ads.  

Related Post: 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid in Your PPC Campaign

While PPC is a great way to keep your customers for the long haul, customers who need to talk to a customer service rep ASAP, won’t necessarily bite. In a situation where perhaps they have a legal question, they’re going to want to talk to a live person who can provide answers.  

If that’s the case, pay per call might be the better solution.

Pay Per Call Advertising

Deemed the fastest way to get a response, pay per call caters to the audience who still needs to talk to a live customer service rep.

Related Post: Why Pay Per Call Is the Smart and Proven Way to Boost Your Business

Pay per call offers multiple ways to target consumers: TV commercials, warm transfers, mobile click to call, and abandoned phone calls. Plus with optimization tools like call recordings, you can listen for feedback and improve your call process.


Source: eZanga

While pay per call has its advantages, call advertising isn’t one size fits all. It works best for specific verticals, typically industries that focus on lead generation (e.g. insurance, legal, auto). Plus, if you don’t have the manpower to handle a high volume of incoming calls, pay per call probably isn’t for you.

But don’t fret, maybe you’re only looking for impressions, which brings us to...

Display Advertising

Visually enticing, display ads capture the attention of consumers with short-attentions spans. Display ads come in many forms: images, banners, text, video, and sponsored content.

Related Post: The Definitive Guide to Display Advertising

Like pay per click, display advertising also offers the ability to optimize and keep your budget under control with tailored targeting. Targeting options include demographic, dayparting, geotargeting, behavioral/category targeting, and even language targeting (e.g. native Spanish speakers).  

And if a viewer doesn’t click the first time, display retargeting provides a gentle reminder to entice visitors back to your site to complete a purchase.


Source: Mabo

Still not sure display is right for you? Ask yourself these four questions:

  • Is your campaign direct response or branded?
  • Does your campaign need click-through or view-through conversions?
  • How are your display ads being viewed?
  • Are you considering the channel when calculating CPM rates?

If you answered yes to any of these, definitely give display advertising a try.

Maybe You Need More Than One

It’s not unusual to use more than one type of digital advertising tool. Maybe you’re targeting Gen Z with affordable car insurance for new grads. Here, mobile display video ads, which resonate well with Gen Z, works. But you know there’s also a good chance they might have questions that require a live person to answer. Then it can’t hurt to throw in click to call, too.

Related Post: Sip on This: Why You Need PPC and Pay Per Call

Remember before choosing a digital advertising method, to always consider your goals (search volume, brand awareness) and ability to handle business (e.g. call volume). A combination of methods may end up providing you with the best of both worlds.

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Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko

Melissa Duko is the Senior Editor and Digital Specialist for eZanga and its ad fraud management platform, Anura. She brings to her role more than a decade of journalism and editing experience. A graduate of the University of Delaware, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, concentration business and technical writing, minor Art History. She also has a Master of Science in professional writing for the public and private sector from Towson University. She isn’t afraid to admit that her love for Starbucks is at gold member status. (Since 2011!) More Articles by Melissa Duko