Google Display Network Tips & Tricks

When engaging in Search Engine Marketing on the Display Network, the savvy marketer possesses many ways to fine tune his campaign to get to the desired outcome. From Campaign Structure to Conversions Numbers and most notably Targeting, here are our top Display Network Tips for running a successful AdWords campaign and be profitable…

Advertising on Google Display Network (or GDN) is a very different strategy than advertising on Search. On the latter, the searcher has expressed an interest on a product you sell; whether it’s by looking for a solution to a problem he encounters or suggestions for a present or future event in his life.

With Display, you basically advertise to someone who is not at that stage yet – you market your offering to an audience. This is why you need to set your expectations elsewhere.

Structure your campaigns

First things first, you need to separate your Search and Display campaigns altogether. You do not target the same individuals, do not offer the same products and do not report on the same numbers. It makes no sense at all to target both networks on the same campaign.

Make sure your Ad Groups also follow a specific tight-knit structure and only focus on a very small group of keywords, 20-25 at max. Create a solid architecture by separating products, services and offers in distinct Ad Groups.

Do not restrict yourself to text ads only

The Google Display Network offers many possibilities when it comes to ad formats. You can notably opt for images of various sizes and styles – make sure you consider different types of advertisement, notably if you are willing to engage on brand awareness.

Visual ads on the Display Network are a great way to emphasise on your brand. When setting up your campaign, keep in mind to focus on Topics to reach the wider possible audience (see below).

Look at the right numbers

If you run campaigns on the Search Network, chances are you keep a close eye on Click-Through-Rate and Cost Per Click numbers. On the Display Network, those metrics are close to useless.

By default, the Click-Through-Rate will be much lower on the Display Network: remember that you target a wider audience who is not actively looking for the type of services that you sell. Your focus should be on Conversions. This is how you will track, measure and establish success of your campaigns.

Target the right audience

If you are more interested in promoting particular products rather than building up on brand awareness, you will need to structure your campaigns’ audiences accordingly. Be very specific, do not try to reach out to everyone nor attempt to sell every single product or service from your lines.

Google AdWords offers many ways to segment your campaigns on audience basis:

  • Interests
    Users are profiled by Google, based on their browsing history. If they have visited lots of pet related websites, then there is a good chance they either own a pet and/or are keen to know more on that very subject. Displaying a pet-related ad to those users only would give you a better return on investment than, say, to movie buffs.
  • Topics
    Websites on which ads are placed show content on the topic you have selected. Again, to use the same example, you might want to target pet-related websites because you know there is a greater chance your audience knows about those and visit them.
  • Placements
    Specific websites you intend your ads to appear on. There are millions of websites on the GDN and some are better suited to your campaigns than others. You can pick (and discard) them individually, based on traffic numbers estimates from Google notably. Make sure you only pick the ones that target or discuss a similar audience than yours, notably geographically speaking.
  • A combination of some or all of the above
    Those three segment methods can (and should) be combined to offer the best possible result. By doing so, you will be able to reach out to a specific audience visiting a specific website on a specific topic.

Don’t be sentimental

So you have ran your campaigns for a month now and are looking at numbers to make sound marketing decisions. Our advice: get rid of your pink tinted glasses.

You might have thought of that website as a great Placement: after all, it ticked all the right boxes! Sure, it is discussing the right matters so it must be performing right in your campaigns, mustn’t it? Well, if it generates a very low ROI, drop it from the Ad Group or the whole campaign immediately. If it doesn’t produce the right result, replace it with another one.

On the other hand, if a specific website is performing really well (based on conversions numbers, that is), make sure you update your bids accordingly to increase your return from that placement.

Limit your exposure

By exposure, we mean the number of times your ads get served to their audience. To do so, make sure to implement Reach and Frequency caps. As defined by Google:

  • Reach is the number of unique customers exposed to a particular advertisement during a specified period of time
  • Frequency is the minimum number of times a unique user saw your ad over a given time period

No one likes to be bombarded with the same ad all over the web. Although you consider your products to be the finest in your industry and are eager to promote them to the widest audience, setting clear limitations will avoid damaging your campaigns results – but also your brand…

Have you tried Remarketing yet?

Remarketing lets you show ads to people who have visited your website before. A small cookie is placed on their browser and those individuals can be grouped in lists to which you can advertise your offering again. This is a very powerful tool in a way that those users have already shown interest in your brand or products – but haven’t converted yet. They might just need a gentle reminder after a period of time to finalise their transaction.

Generally speaking, Remarketing offers a great conversion rate but, as you are marketing to a smaller audience, you should expect a smaller volume of conversions altogether.

Advertising on the Display Network has many advantages and benefits, notably for marketers wishing to develop awareness around their brand or their products, but also to reach out to a very specific audience at an early stage of the buying process.

Should you wish to expand your reach and your visibility, Google AdWords Display Network advertising represent a solid and viable solution – as long as it is structured, refined and targeted appropriately.

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