Previously known as the Google Content Network, the Google Display Network gives the owners of those websites a share of the revenue generated by visitors clicking on the ads. 

When you advertise using Google AdWords, your account will have the Google Display Network enabled by default. Many AdWords users don’t realise this, and only become aware of it when someone recommends they turn it off. For best results, you’re advised (even by Google!) that these two sides of your Google advertising campaigns should be handled separately and differently. Below are the five most important issues for you to consider. 

Lower conversion rates

Visitors that arrive at your site via Google Display Network ads are not in the same mindset as visitors arriving from the search engine. The latter are actively searching for a particular product or service, while those clicking on Display Network ads are more likely to be clicking on impulse or out of curiosity after seeing your ad on somebody else's website. 

With that key difference in mind it is easy to understand why those visitors are less likely to convert into sales for you. However, this type of advertising tends to be cheaper than AdWords advertising on the search engine, so despite the lower conversion rate, Display Network advertising can turn out to be good value if you buy it at the right price. 

Separate your campaigns and budgets

I recommend that you set up a separate campaign for the Google Display Network and keep both the ads themselves and their budgets distinct from those of your other AdWords campaigns. Set it to run on the Display Network only, and limit your keyword bids to approximately half what you’re prepared to pay for your search ads. (This is just a starting point, as you should be tweaking those bids from time to time anyway).

Tailor your text

It is also worth changing the text in your ads from that used in the search ones, because Google Display Network ads are not subject to the same stringent click-through requirements as search engine ads, so you can afford to experiment more. Additionally, you’ll probably find that your ads need to be catchier to attract clicks. 

Streamline your keywords

Keyword choice becomes less critical in the Google Display Network as you really only need to indicate the general themes you’re interested in so that Google can work out what types of sites to display your ads on. Avoid using long lists of keywords as they can confuse the system. 

Be very careful about using negative keywords as they can have enormous impact in the Display Network and reduce your ad impressions massively. 

Track your results and target your investment

Track conversions from all your campaigns and run a placement report after a few weeks to see if any particular websites your ads appear on are performing well for you. If so, you might want to set up a separate campaign specifically targeting those websites to display your ads using Google’s placement targeting. Collect lots of data over a few months and you might even decide to use specific placements only rather than the whole Display Network. 

Using Google’s Display Network can be a little tricky at first, but with a little perseverance you can get more customers, and may even get them at a lower cost than those from the search engine. 

Got any questions about Google Display Network or have some experiences to share? Please leave your comments below.

“ Visitors that arrive at your site via Display Network ads are not in the same mindset as visitors arriving from the search engine. ”
 
Aidan McCarthy

Aidan McCarthy is a Google Advertising Professional and longtime online marketing consultant who enjoys working with small business owners on websites, SEO, AdWords and all things online.

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