Google Display Network

The Adwords display network (formerly known as the content network) consists of more than a million websites where users can place their ads. Very few Adwords users actually run display network campaigns when compared to search, they claim it’s not worth it, are they right?

The short answer is that it can be absolutely worth it. In fact, the display network can sometimes outperform normal search ad placement 10 to 1 and on occasion even more. Those who fail with the display network typically set it up wrong or do not optimize it properly. When this occurs, it can lead to nothing more than a big time and money sink.

First, let’s point out some advantages that the display network has over normal search.

  • Access to millions of placement locations. Search is limited to a few spots per keyword.
  • Each placement can receive thousands of impressions per day or more.
  • The ability to use text, banner and video ads.
  • Bigger potential for increasing brand awareness and engagement.
  • Generally the CPC (cost-per-click) is cheaper.

Now that we know the main advantages, what are some of the biggest blunders that lead to failure on the display network?

  • Not separating out display network from the search network. (most common)
  • Not utilizing banners. Using banners opens up many placement locations.
  • Insufficiently bidding to reach visible placements.
  • Not utilizing “conversion optimizer” once available.
  • Improper use of geographical targeting. Either too wide or too narrow.
  • Not removing poor performing placements. (This is the big one)

Every few months Google releases more tools and functions to help users utilize the display network. It’s now easier than ever to make a profit with these types of campaigns. If you’ve previously tried but failed or simply haven’t gotten around to setting up a display campaign then I highly recommend you do. To make sure you have the best chance of success avoid the blunders listed above.

Just like with the search network, you have to allow a certain budget for testing and optimization. That means that you may lose a bit of money while you find placements that work and get rid of the ones that don’t. There is a lot of “golden nuggets” to be found and once you find them you’ll be glad you didn’t ignore Google’s display network. That being said, there is a chance that things don’t work out despite your best efforts but that’s why it’s important to test it out properly, that way you will know for sure.

As always, if you’re not confident in your ability to setup display campaigns then reach out and get help. Make sure the person helping you has past experience running these types of campaigns as not every account manager does.

I hope this article has encouraged you to start, or perhaps revisit your display network campaigns and I wish you the best of luck in getting the results you want!