AdWords Display Advertising 101

Adwords Display AdvertisingAs the internet’s biggest contextual advertising network, Google Display Network (GDN) consists of millions of websites and enables you to place your advert in many formats to a huge audience range globally. As you place your display ad, you also can use a vast array of targeting methods.

Why Should You Use AdWords Display Ads?

On top of covering over 90% of all internet users, Google display network helps you target your audience in a number of ways. This makes the network quite lucrative for all advertisers.

Types of Display Ads

While you might think that Google Display Network only allows you to display image ads, you can advertise in a variety of formats through the network. You can freely use different formats & sizes, static adverts, rich media, image ads, and video adverts.


  • Text Ads


You can run text ads on the Google Display Network, as is the case on Search Network. Text ads have a headline and to text, lines to allow you to have a range of ads to test and know the copy that generates the most clicks.


  • Video Ads


Since the display network was introduced on YouTube, video ads are becoming more and more popular. You can use AdWords to put ads near YouTube videos.


  • Rich Media Ads


These include animations, interactive elements, and other elements of change based on who is viewing your ad and how he or she interacts with it. This could even be a moving carousel of products.


  • Image Ads


If your ad does best in the form of an image, you can add it here. Google Display Network allows you to add custom imagery, colors, backgrounds and layouts on your image ads.

What is the Best Size for a Display Advert?

Within the Google display network, there are over 20 different sizes of ad blocks. Every website that signs up for carrying Google ads chooses the ad block which fits the layout of their website most. Hence, if you intend to have your ads showing on a number of websites regardless of ad block sizes, you then should have your display ads in different sizes. Create ads that fit different blocks provided by Google.  If you do not do so, your reach on the GDN will be limited. If you are lacking the resources for creating image ads, use the Display Ad Builder by Google, and ensure you include a clear branding message or a good call to action.

Targeting on Google Display Network

You can target your Google display network’s audience so as to narrow down your reach to people that will be more likely interested in the product or service you are advertising. You can achieve this through:


  • Contextual Targeting


This is a common type of targeting and uses keywords that are related to your products and services. You start by creating a list of keywords and leave Google to display those ads on websites that relate to your provided keywords. Other than creating search queries as is the case for a Search Network campaign, compose a list of 5 to 20 short phrases or words that have a close relationship with your Ad’s subject.

You also will have to be keen on the list of sites your ad appears on and ensure your keyword list is accordingly twerked. You can monitor this through a data analysis in AdWords’ placement tab.


  • Placement Targeting


Here, you have the option to chose the websites you intend to appear on. You thus will look for sites that are geared towards interests which closely match your target audience.  You thus are given the chance to advertise on the sites and forums you think are relevant to your business or industry or those sites whose visitors will most likely have an interest in your ad. AdWords Display Planner will enable you to find the site that carries GDN ads that are similar to websites you want your ads to appear on.


  • Topic Targeting


Here, you Select a list of page topics online that you intend your ads to appear.  The disadvantage of this targeting method is you cannot deeply drill into many topics and your ads could end up appearing in topics that are entirely unrelated. Again, some topics are too broad thus denying you the chance to target a specific audience.


  • Interest Targeting


Interest targeting helps you target the user and not the content of a page.  With this, the user could be looking at anything at the time your ad appears. How does this happen?

Google stores cookies on people’s computers when they visit pages within an advertising network. While Google does not save the information on the identity of these people and visitors cannot view data on a single level, someone who browses regularly on a certain category is added to Google’s list of people who seem “interested in the category.


Remarketing gives you and other advertisers a chance to deposit cookies on computers of people who visit your site. Thereafter, Google displays ads to those specific people any time they visit sites on the GDN.

Can you Combine Different Targeting Methods?

AdWords display targeting becomes more efficient when there is a combination of different targeting methods. If you apply two or more methods of targeting to your ad group though, your ads will display only to people matching both criteria. This means that the combination will decrease your ad’s potential impressions, but give you ad groups that are incredibly well targeted.

Tips for Optimizing Your Display Campaigns

  1. Review your automatic replacement reports regularly
  2. Add poor-performing or irrelevant sites on your automatic placement campaigns as poor placements
  3. If you have placements that are well performing, add them to your managed placement campaigns
  4. Exclude irrelevant audiences
  5. Exclude irrelevant categories
  6. Review your ad performance on the basis of your geographical region to exclude poorly performing areas
  7. To increase your reach, increase your budget
  8. Mobile apps might not be much beneficial since people click ads accidentally and get bask to game
  9. When targeting mobile devices, add click-to-call extensions

In conclusion,

It’s clear that Display advertising boosts most business’ paid performance. Just as it works for big businesses, display marketing helps small businesses boost their visibility in a big way. Search networks are quite costly more so on fields such as legal, customer services and employment. If your budget is low and has probably been priced out of search network, you may benefit much from display networks. You will gain even more from GDN if you have a bigger budget.

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