Complete Google Display Network Guide

December 31, 2022

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While Search Network ads are likely the most known ad types you can run on Google, if you’re ever ready to break from the pack then you may consider running ads on Google Display Network. It’s a group of around 2 million sites that can reach an estimated 90% of internet users.

Running a display campaign presents unique advantages for marketers and business owners. But, how do you use them and what can you do to make the most out of this type of ads and grow your bottom line, not just throw money out the window?

Let’s look at how these ads work, and what exactly do they bring to the table.

GDN Ads 101

In Google search, a particular ad is delivered when a user types in a query in the search engine. The ads appear right above the organic results, and apart from them being clearly marked as ads, they look the same as the regular results.

Google Display Network ads are designed a bit differently. They are a form of banner ads that appear on the website part of the Google Display Network, allowing you to potentially tap into a wider audience by leveraging the established community of other websites.

Some benefits of running these ad types include:

  • Finding how customers
  • Driving more conversions
  • Increase brand awareness, etc.

GDN ads also differ from search ads in terms of how they engage users. Because they are banner ads, they present the opportunity to visually attract a target audience member’s attention to them, which could potentially spark their interest and end up with a click if everything goes to plan.

Some ad formats available are:

  • Responsive display ads – ads that contain text, image, and brand logo. They are called responsive because Google will optimise them automatically to improve their performance. They appear as native ads on a publisher’s website;
  • Image ads – classic banner ads you can upload yourself in different sizes or HTML5;
  • Engagement ads – image or video ads run on YouTube and across the Display Network;
  • Gmail ads – these appear on the top tabs of the inbox.

Like search ads, you can create GDN ads and organise them as campaigns, ad groups, or singular ads, and you can even mix multiple types of ads within the same campaign or ad group.

Targeting in GDN Ads

Google presents plenty of creative ways for businesses to reach their potential customers, both in search ads and display network ads. Audience targeting is one of the most important things to focus on in a display campaign, sometimes even more than the banner itself.

You can have the perfect image created to promote your products or services. But if you show them to the wrong people, it’s unlikely they will visit your website, so the campaign itself may end up generating fewer results than desired.

And Google Display ads have a lot more options for targeting audiences because they no longer depend on keywords that need matching with search queries.

Below you have all the targeting options display advertising in Google presents:

1. Website Targeting

Here, you target all the visitors to a certain website or type of website. This works particularly well for niche websites that tend to have a more homogeneous audience, as that makes it more likely for most of their visitors to also be interested in your website.

For instance, if you sell car insurance you’ll likely want to advertise on websites related to cars, such as car dealerships, auto shops, or even review boards. You can choose the exact websites on which to place your ads.

Advertising on, say, a news site may still put your ad in front of some users interested in your offer, but news sites come with a much more diverse audience base.

2. Topic Targeting

If you don’t have the exact websites in mind, you can choose ad placement based on topic, such as “vehicles”, per the above example. This is less restrictive and may increase the visibility of your ads.

3. Keyword Targeting

Contextual keyword targeting is even less restrictive than topic targeting. Instead of choosing a pre-determined topic, you choose relevant keywords and have the ads display across all matching websites.

4. User Targeting

This is the classic targeting methods – creating ads with a specific user profile. Similar to the Search networks ads, this type of targeting let’s you create the ideal user who should view your ads in terms of:

  • Age and gender
  • Location
  • Devices used, etc.
5. Remarketing

If you have previous visitors on your site which did not convert, Google allows you to get them back. You can build remarketing lists from data you collect in your Google Analytics, and then leverage it in your ads to reach these people again.

Remarketing is a powerful marketing strategy because it often has one of the highest chances of converting users.

6. Similar Audience

If you have a remarketing list, you can use it to attract new visitors that share similar interests. The similar audience feature will look for users who match the descriptions of those who’ve visited your website and is one of the best ways to bring new potential customers to your website.

7. Interest Targeting and Affinity Targeting

Interest targeting will match ads to users who’ve recently started browning sites that relate to the same topic. A person who has recently become interested in something is likely to visit multiple websites for personal reasons. Google tracks this behaviour and provides that user with an ad that matches their interest.

An affinity audience also works on the principle of interest, but more long-term interest. It connects your ads to users who have a habit of visiting the same websites over and over because they are loyal to those particular websites.

8. In-Market Audience Targeting

Like interest targeting, in-market audience matches ads with users who are interested in something, only in this case it’s a product or service, and they have clearer intent to purchase. They are literally users who are ‘in the market’ for certain products or services.

Over to You

Display campaigns have the potential to bring many new potential customers to your doorstep, but to see that happen you first need to create a marketing strategy that fits your business goals. And we can help you make it!

Book your free strategy session with the Google Ads team from Australian Internet Advertising now to discover how to leverage Google Display ads and grow your business! We can help you understand how these types of ads work, how you can leverage them, and how to set a profitable GDN campaign. And, if you still feel overwhelmed by all things Google advertising, we can simply take charge and handle everything for you, from setting to monitoring.

Get in touch now for a chat with one of our Google Ads Experts and we will find a way to help your business grow.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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