Google display network

What is the Google display network?

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There are two distinct networks on Google AdWords: search network and display network. Search network ads are text-based, and they’re placed in the search engines. Google display network ads are display based, and they can be placed on multiple sites across the Google network of sites. For instance, your ads can be placed on industry blogs, Gumtree, YouTube and millions of more site.

Google Display ads are a smart way to get your business advertising straight in front of your target audience at the time when they are ready to buy. By tracking calls, visitors to a page such as a contact, product or checkout page we can report on exactly which ads and keywords triggered the conversion and what it cost you for that enquiry, lead or sale.

Placement Banner Ad – Display Sample

display network ad sample


You see, display ads are quite possibly the most common form of promotion. These are the visual banners that you see when casually browsing blogs or news sites. They are usually promoting a service or product based on what you have typed into Google’s search engine or a Google partner search engine. In fact, Google estimates that the display network spans 2 million websites and reaches 90% of all online users.

This isn’t to say that all businesses are jumping at the chance to use display networks. Some feel that investing in this type of advertising is useless because the users may not be in the mood to buy. This is especially the case if they are simply browsing the internet or catching up on the latest news and entertainment. However, when one considers the return on investment, it’s easy to see that display networks can be a very lucrative option. Sure, advertising in the local paper or on billboards can bring in impressions, but these impressions could cost you thousands. However, with display networks, you have options on how you pay and one of the most popular choices is per click. Reporting can be setup easier to show the cost per click and the cost per conversion.

Let’s take a moment to discuss 5 crucial display network tips.

Display Network Tip #1: Start with Remarketing

The key to a successful display campaign is remarketing-something that is done across many industries. What is remarketing? Well, remarketing is when you cookie your website visitors. This allows you to display your ads to them no matter what website they visit as long as it’s on the Google display network. Sure, this may seem a bit invasive, but what makes this technique so useful is that the visitor has already shown a genuine interest in what you have to offer by visiting your website. The more the visitor sees your display ads, the more likely they are to engage with your business again.

Display Network Tip #2: Utilize Managed Placements

Why let Google decide where your ads are going to be placed when you have the power to do it yourself? Many businesses don’t realize that by targeting interests or topics, they are allowing Google to make the decisions for them. And in most cases, Google is having to guess which sites will be the most relevant to your ad. The only way to take control over your ads is through managed placements. In this way, you can pick the exact sites that you would like your ad displayed on. And this means that your targeting and conversions will be more consistent and your advertising will cost less. It’s a good idea to start with 5-10 domains that are most relevant to your product or service and if the campaign does not render much success, add more. Take a look at your top referral sites in Google Analytics to find the most relevant websites. A great option is to think about the types of sites your customers visit, ie industry blog sites or maybe you sell cheaper items and people are also looking for them on Gumtree or buy sell swap sites. You can show your ads to those users. An architect might go to interior design site or commercial builders site, and you can target them there. Good stuff aye.

Clients ad on display in Gumtree under the kayak category section targeting users who are looking to buy kayaks

display ad

Display Network Tip #3: Create Ads in Every Format Available

At first, glance, creating an ad in every format seems counterintuitive. Image ads have been statistically proven to outperform those that text-based. However, keep in mind that there are some sites that only support text ads. So, by creating an ad in every form, you not only ensure that you get attention, but it’s very likely that this will put you ahead of the competition because not everyone takes the time to create text-based ads. Yes, images tell a story that entices the user, but it’s best to be safe than sorry and create both types. Google now offers responsive text ads and these work very well. Consider all options and change the text and offer if your conversions are low on a regular basis. Don’t just set and forget your banner ads. A great way is to come up with a monthly marketing list and promote current offerings.

Display Network Tip #4: Create Ads That Are Simple and Visual

Make sure that your ads are simple and visual. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many businesses lack visuals. In fact, 67.5% of display network ads are text-based! Even though text ads have lower click-through rates, businesses continue to base their entire campaign solely off of this type of ad.

It’s important that you remember how well image ads perform. And this is especially the case if your niche is one that is visual–situations in which the image basically sells itself, such as travel and destinations, interior designers etc.

Even if you do not have the knowledge to create the ads that you need, you could always consider outsourcing this particular task. If your budget is not large enough for outsourcing, you could always take advantage of Google’s ad builder. Most people assume that you have to be a whiz at Photoshop to create the perfect ad and this is why so many people don’t take advantage of the ad builder.

Display Network Tip #5: Give Your Display Campaigns the Same Love You Give Search

The experienced ad campaign runner understands that to remain successful, you must continuously monitor your account. Not only that, but you have to make adjustments as you go along. You can’t put your campaign on auto-pilot. You need to evaluate your search data and keyword bids. You must be willing to set new negatives, restructure your campaign and tweak your under-performing ads. Display ads are no exception. Yes, the display is somewhat different than text ads, but they require just as much attention.

If you would like to find out where your display ads are being placed, go to your Adwords and visit the “Display Network” tab and then choose “Placements.” Exclude a website by selecting the site and choose “Exclude” from the drop-down menu.

Why is it so important that you monitor your campaign? Well, it’s important that you know you’re reaching the right audience and at the right time. Also, Google’s algorithm occasionally changes. This means that your ad could be showing on one site one day and then lose placement on the very next day–these are changes that you need to be aware of.

Remember, you need to consider your goal and then monitor the metrics that is best for helping you reach it. For example, if you’re interested in improving your branding then spend time on impressions and the number of clicks; if you would like to improve your sales, then spend time on your view-through conversions.

No matter what your goal is, always consider metrics such as time-on-site. Consider what your top conversion paths are so that you can figure out which ones have the biggest effects on your overall conversions. If you notice that either your organic or paid search increases, then its a sign that your display ads are paying off.

For more tips on Adwords, SEO or Online Marketing, please follow our blog or email [email protected] for more information and our free e-books including online marketing tips.

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