A Look At Google’s Untapped and Under-Utilised Display Network
For many Google AdWords advertisers, the Search Network is all that they ever use. In fact, for some it’s all they know.
Looking for prospects who are actively searching for the product or service you sell this very second.
However, for some niches, the Search Network is getting a bit crowded. The cost per click can start to be prohibitive for smaller businesses.
There is, however, a solution for a lot of businesses and it’s a solution that is under-utilised and often misunderstood – the Display Network.
So how does the Display Network work?
There are over 2 million websites that are part of the Google Display Network. These are websites which have some advertising space to sell. Instead of each of them trying to attract advertisers, they have all become part of what is known as AdSense.
Basically Google acts as the space seller on behalf of all these websites and the website owner and Google split the advertising revenue.
The secret for us advertisers is to find those websites which are visited by our target audience and then get a compelling and engaging ad in front of them to catch their eye and drive them to one of our landing pages.
It’s a great way of targeting people who, frankly, don’t know you exist. But be clear – don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is a branding exercise – its not! It’s about making a profit at the lowest possible cost per acquisition.
With the Display Network, you can target and reach your audience using a combination of text ads, image ads (often referred to as banner ads) or video.
I often hear clients say, when I ask them about the Display Network, “Oh you mean retargeting”. Well yes and no. Retargeting just happens to be one type of audience you can market to using the Display Network. In fact, you can construct six different campaign types in the Display Network.
1. Managed Placements
This is the easiest of the six types of campaign to set up and the most widely used but its not as powerful as the other types. An example of a managed placement is having your ads show on The Daily Mail website. Its easy to do but not too e ective as that’s where most other Display Network advertisers are too. This is a bit like [exact] match in the Search Network. Your ads will only be shown on your chosen website(s), so there is little opportunity to discover new placements. Also, as competition is higher so are the costs. There’s a tool within the AdWords interface called the Display Planner which will help you identify appropriate placements. Unlike the Search Network match types mean nothing – so everything is broad matched and punctuation is ignored.
Your ad is placed by Google on pages which match your chosen keywords. You can have up to 50 keywords per Ad Group. If somebody is reading about fishing on a fishing website, they are more likely to be more receptive to your ad for fishing tackle.
4. In-Market and Affinity
Affinity is about reaching prospects with a long term interest based upon their browsing history – which sites they’ve visited most often and which sites they linger on. Whereas In-Market is targeting those prospects with a really short term interest – i.e. whose very recent (can be as recent as within the last hour) search behaviour suggests that they may well be in the market for your product or service. Google knows an awful lot about us and what we do on the internet – our search history, our browsing patterns, which web sites we visit, which ads we click on, the brands we search and how often we buy or convert. So Google has a very good idea when you are “in the market” for something. Google has over 500 In-Market audiences for you to chose from and the list is growing.
A source of very cheap clicks but possibly lower quality leads – more about YouTube in a later article.
6. Display Select
This is the one that’s least used, and most misunderstood but is absolutely brilliant for most niches. In the Search Network single word keywords tend to be unprofitable – not so with display select. The real beauty of Display Select is the ability to have your ads shown to people who have very recently visited your competitor’s website – its just like being able to pop a remarketing pixel on your competitor’s website. Powerful or what!
Of course, on top of these six campaign types we can add demographic targeting such as gender, age and even parental status and of course geo targeting.
A Display Network campaign is set up in much the same way as the other campaign types Search and Shopping. By the way, never ever set up a campaign using the Search and Display Select option – just don’t!
With the Display Network always set up separate campaigns for each different type of campaign.
In the Display Network, there’s a whole host of exclusions that you absolutely must invoke to prevent Google showing your ads on inappropriate sites and failing to do this is why most advertisers think Display Network eats up their budget.
By not adding the exclusions, your spend can be up to 80% higher than it needs to be. I’m clear, the Display Network is where a lot of my marketing budget will be spent in 2016. How about you?
Here’s to a successful 2016.