What Are Display Ads and the Google Display Network?
Are you considering running display ads on Google’s Display Network to help grow your business?
According to WordStream, the Google Display Network serves over two trillion ad impressions per month to two and a half billion internet users. This network spans over two million websites.
The Google Display Network (GDN) is one of the most far-reaching ad networks. If you want to get your business in front of internet users, the GDN can be a powerful option.
However, Google’s Display Network, and display ads in general, have their limitations. They may be perfect for some businesses, but other companies might benefit from other advertising or marketing channels.
This article will explore what display ads are, what the Google Display Network is, and whether these channels are right for your business. You will also learn some tips to get the best results from display advertising.
So, let’s dive in:
What Are Display Ads?
Display ads are text, image, or video ads that are programmatically displayed on websites all over the Internet. The primary goal of a display ad is usually brand awareness, with the secondary goal being a click-through to a landing page.
You can show display ads within the content, sidebars, banners, pop-ups, and more, which gives display advertising a lot of versatility regarding how ads are delivered to the market.
The ability to serve ads in different mediums, like text, images, and videos, also allows advertisers control over how prospects view their ads and the messaging they receive. For example, advertising can use copywriting principles, attractive colors, and even sound to capture visitors’ attention.
The potential downside of display advertising is that it acts like a shotgun approach. You can reach millions of users very quickly, but you may not be reaching them at a time or place when they are ready to take action.
The primary goal of display advertising is brand awareness. Users are highly likely to see your ad, but they are less likely to take action on it.
Display ads are usually priced on a cost-per-click or a cost-per-impression basis. Cost-per-click agreements charge advertisers every time a user clicks on their ad. Cost-per-impression agreements usually charge advertisers for every 1000 impressions (views) their ad receives.
GDN serves over two and a half billion internet users per month. Learn how to utilize Google's Display Network and display ads to your advantage.
What Is the Google Display Network?
The Google Display Network (or GDN) is Google’s proprietary display ads network. This network serves ads on over two million websites, making it one of the largest display ads networks on the Internet.
The Google Display Network allows advertisers to choose from various targeting options not available to search advertisers, giving them the ability to be more selective about who sees their ads and where they are displayed. This targeting can increase engagement and optimize ad spending for the advertiser.
Google display ads network reaches over 90% of Internet users around the globe. So if you want to get your business in front of prospects, you can likely do it using the Google Display Network, no matter where your prospects live in the world.
This ad network also allows you to promote your products with ads on Google Shopping. Google Shopping often appears near the top of Google’s search engine results pages for product-based keywords.
It can be a potential alternative to more expensive search advertising while still allowing you access to Google searchers.
One of the GDN’s most compelling characteristics is affordability. Compared to other advertising channels, Google Display Ads are cheaper than Google Search Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Pinterest Ads on a cost-per-click and cost-per-impression basis.
The only cheaper platform than Google Display Ads is Twitter Ads on a cost-per-click basis (the GDN is still more affordable on a CPM basis).
Although costs can vary per industry, advertisers can get ahead of prospects for cheaper than almost all other online advertising platforms. The Google Display Network can be a cost-effective option if your goal is brand awareness or remarketing.
Who Should Use Display Ads?
Display ads are best for businesses already doing some type of marketing elsewhere and want to stay on their prospect’s radar as they surf the web.
Businesses often use display ads for remarketing purposes. Remarketing allows advertisers to show ads to people who have already engaged with their website and left, giving companies another opportunity to bring these people back and do business with them.
The primary metric here is the frequency of ad displays. Frequency relates to the number of times a user sees your ad or engages with your business. The more times they see your ad, the more likely they’ll be to engage with your business.
They will become more familiar with you, and if your advertising resonates with them, they will be more likely to do business with you.
Why Are Display Ads and the Google Display Network Important?
Google offers multiple types of display ads. These include:
- Responsive ads
- Uploaded ads
Responsive ads are the default display type for Google Display Network advertisers. Responsive ads allow advertisers to upload their name, logo, images, videos, and some basic ad copy.
Then Google creates and serves the ads for you while testing different combinations of each to see which performs the best. The ads also automatically adjust to the correct size for different web pages.
Essentially, responsive ads are almost a done-for-you solution to help optimize your display ads performance.
On the other hand, uploaded ads are created entirely by the advertiser, including all size specifications, visuals, and copy. While this gives advertisers more control, they can run into problems if they haven’t sized their ads correctly or uploaded them in the proper format.
How Display Advertising Fits Into Your Sales Funnel
Display advertising sits right at the top of your sales funnel. It can be a traffic driver, but it isn’t usually used for a large amount of traffic generation.
Instead, display ads help your funnel by blanketing the marketplace with your brand. This shotgun approach helps people get familiar with your brand before sending more targeted advertising on another platform.
Once people get familiar with your brand through display ads, it can make your other advertising and marketing efforts more effective as prospects start to know, like, and trust you.
Tips For Effective Google Display Ads
First, know who you are targeting with your Google display ads. You want to make every dollar count, and you do this with Google’s:
In-market segment targeting
Use in-market segments to target broad interests related to your business. These segments will help you get your ads in front of large groups of people who are likely to be interested in what you offer.
Affinity audience targeting
Affinity audience targeting puts users into more specific interest categories like gaming, travel, cooking, etc. However, you are likely to target too many people if you stick with the highest level of targeting. It’s usually best to niche down to Google’s sub-audiences to find who you’re looking for.
Custom intent targeting
Custom intent targeting is one of the most effective targeting options for Google display ads. This targeting lets you send your ads to users based on specific keywords or website URLs.
If you know which websites your target audience goes to often or which keywords they’re searching for in Google, custom intent targeting will allow you to deliver ads directly to these people.
To niche down even further, Google offers placement targeting to allow advertisers to display their ads on specific websites their prospects are likely to visit.
And topic targeting
Finally, you can also use topic targeting to only show your ads on specific web pages about a subject your prospects are likely to be interested in.
The best way to take advantage of the Google Display Network is to understand how its audience targeting works and tailor it to deliver your ads to the people most likely to do business with you.
Display advertising is the cheapest online advertising channel available, allowing many businesses to engage users at the top of their sales funnel or remarket to users and re-engage them with your brand.
Although display ads have been around for a long time, the Google Display Network is still a viable option for businesses to get the word out about their products and services.
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