How to succeed with Google Display Network

Google Display Network is a great way to reach a wide audience, and a powerful tool for remarketing. We show you how to use it.
Jan 19, 2020 • 7 minute read
Gauri Gautam @GauriMelb
Technical Co-pilot
Cover photo for How to succeed with Google Display Network

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If you're only focusing on text-based search ads, you're missing a massive opportunity

Google display ads are a few notches above the traditional Google search ads. This is because display ads can be viewed across the Google Display Network consisting of over two million websites, applications and videos.

Since the ads are displayed using information generated from your previous activity or searches, you might feel as if Google is following you! Rest assured, these are designed to help you optimize your search.

When should you use Google display ads?

The search network is working just fine for you. Users can search for your product and your sales have never been better. So, does it make sense to dive into a display ads campaign when everything is going just fine?

The essential difference between getting on a search network and running an ad campaign is that users you target through search networks are looking specifically for products like yours. However, when you see a display ad on a website, you're not actively involved in a search for that product. It's a subtle and passive way of suggesting that you may have a need that the product can fulfill. In other words, a display ad works where there is no inherent need or desire to immediately purchase a particular item or service. Therefore, you're generating awareness of your product; you're creating demand rather than answering a demand.

Keeping this in mind while using a display ads campaign, your focus should be on creating content that increases awareness of your brand or product. For instance, Facebook is an excellent platform for display ads. However, users don’t browse Facebook with an intent to buy. It's primarily for social networking. Even so, successful display ad campaigners use such platforms to build brand loyalty by handing out content that's in line with the user’s profile.

How you can benefit from Google display ads

According to Google’s data, its display network is capable of providing over 90% coverage of all internet users. This figure is appealing enough to invest in Google display ads for your brand and products. The other enticing reasons are listed below.

Affordable

Running display ads is definitely cheaper than television or radio ad campaigns. With Google display ads all you require is an image, some attractive text, and a fraction of the investment cost to start a marketing campaign that will divert traffic directly to your website. Further, the cost per click is much lower than the default Google search engine. Therefore, using the Google display network is an excellent way to generate maximum benefits from your investments.

Retargeting capabilities

Retargeting and remarketing are, possibly, the most unique capabilities of Google display ads. If you can master the art of retargeting by placing your ad in front of the users who had previously visited your page, then it is an excellent way to reinforce your product subtly. It is an effective way to convert prospects into customers, especially the ones who left your website without making a purchase.

Increase brand awareness

Display ads increase brand awareness without being disruptive.

Trackable

The data that gets generated from digital ads makes them extremely trackable, since you know exactly how many times your ad was displayed and clicked upon. It's easier to connect this data with the actions you need to take to make your website and product more attractive.

Such an intelligent and powerful tool is definitely a handy one for your business. And, while there's plenty of information regarding how to use Google display ads, this article is designed to explore the most optimum use of these display ads. So, read on to find out how, when, why and where you should run display ads of your business to generate maximum revenue.

The power of remarketing

It might sound like duplication of effort when we suggest that you market your products to users who have already searched for them. But, because they've visited your site once, remarketing becomes that much more effective.

Remarketing is a process where your website visitors get "cookied" when they visit your site. This allows you to follow them around to the next sites that they visit, and, if there's a Google ads banner on that page, then your ads get displayed.

Remarketing is an excellent way to keep your past visitors engaged. It also helps increase the recall value of your brand. Most of us have experienced remarketing in recent times. If you've browsed for that gorgeous bag, then it is likely that the product has followed you around by popping up in between texts in an article or a blog and tempting you to buy it. Most of us will buy things if we need them. Remarketing helps sell products and services users already have some familiarity with. Therefore, remarketing remains the best way you can optimize your Google display ads.

Optimize use of managed placements

Topic targeting, or interest methods, takes the control away from you as Google ends up deciding which sites are relevant for your ads and where they should be placed. On the other hand, the managed placement method gives you, as the advertiser, more granular control over where you should place your ads. Since you're likely to compete with others advertising their brands on the Google display ads space, by knowing where you're most likely to get maximum benefit, you can hand-pick and select where your ads should get placed.

The managed placement feature is highly beneficial if you're already aware of the websites that your customers are more likely to visit. You can then choose to place your ads on these sites where your clients spend most of their time online. With the data that gets generated, you can which third-party website ad placement translates into maximum sales or footfall for your business. You can then use this data to increase your placement for that specific site and reduce placement for another which doesn't contribute similarly towards increasing your revenues.

Simplify

It might sound like a cliché, but we can’t stress enough to keep your display ads simple and easy to read. You can place them anywhere and they'll still attract attention if they have simple and relevant content that's placed over an attractive background.

It's great to create more visually appealing ads. However, it's nearly impossible to create an impactful ad with just images. So, create a balance of image and text. For instance, when you're creating an ad for a travel agency, the visuals must be compelling enough to let the viewers picture themselves in that destination. At the same time, the text should tell them how they can make that fantasy a reality (usually with a discount or an offer).

Visually appealing display ads are also more likely to have a higher click rate than their text counterparts. This is where the help of a good graphic designer and a good copywriter pays for itself several times over. A good designer can make an ad that grabs the attention of potential clients, while a good copywriter can close the sale for you with compelling text.

Explore all formats

Don’t make the mistake of restricting yourself to a specific ad format. Yes, image ads do outperform text-based ads, statistically speaking. However, you can’t be sure if all websites will support the one format that you've chosen. Some sites may support only text-based display ads and some sites will only pull up image-based ads. Therefore, make sure you design in every possible format.

Since image-based ads are more popular, most of us tend to ignore the benefits of a diversified portfolio. If a placement accepts only text-based display ads, it places you in an advantageous position if you create display ads in different formats. For instance, you could be the sole advertiser in a certain format. You're not only going to get maximum exposure here, you're also likely to get it at a discount. So, try and utilize both text, image as well as video and other formats equally. See what works best for your business and tip the scales in its favor once you have the data to make an informed decision.

Monitor and adjust

Google display ads are very much like the search campaigns that you might have run in the past. Display ads also require continuous monitoring and adjustments to ensure they remain successful.

Even if your display ads are performing well, continue to monitor them on a weekly basis. You can reset new negatives, tweak your keyword bids, or restructure campaigns. Analyze the week gone by and find out underperforming ads. If your display ads aren't showing the expected results, then it is time to regroup and adjust your strategy.

Google also releases frequent algorithm updates. Considering this, it's even more important to make sure that you're tracking consistently. While metrics like "time on site" are important, aim for higher conversions.

Budget clarity

The basic principle is to start small with a figure that you're comfortable with. Once you're happy with the results and your campaign is running successfully, you can allocate more funds towards it. It's also important to have a predefined budget allocated towards managed placements. You can take funds away from the managed placement that isn't giving returns and pump it into the one that's showing excellent results.

A Google display ads campaign is all about how much ROI you can generate. Some e-commerce business owners have actually taken money out of the search campaigns and shifted that budget to grow their display ads.

In conclusion

Now that you know the nuances of effectively creating and using the Google display ads campaign, it's time to take the plunge and consider how you can engage your prospective clients. Google has made it extremely easy to create text, visual and video based display ad campaigns. YouTube advertising is the biggest testimony to this. Further, display advertising is an excellent way to create familiarity for your brand and re-engage any past or dropped customers. Don’t stop at just launching a display ad campaign; monitor it, reset the parameters regularly and expand your reach. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the end results.

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