If you’re using Google’s Adwords program to advertise your brand on the web, you’re likely familiar with the pay-per-click search network where your text-based ads show up on the search page for certain keywords. It’s a great tool for showing up on keywords you don’t rank for organically. But what about display ads? We all see these every day, even if we’re not aware of the Google Display Network (GDN) as an advertising option. So what is this GDN and how can you optimize it for your business or blog? We thought you’d never ask…
According to Google, their Display Network reaches over 90% of global web users across 2 million websites. Unlike the search ads, display ads are visual images that show up on the top or sides of websites you visit every day, including Huffington Post and your favorite blogs. These ads are designed by you and only cost you money when someone clicks on them. The best part about these display ads is that you get millions of impressions (people just seeing your ad) for free. So even if people aren’t in a shopping mood and aren’t clicking on the ad, you’re still getting brand exposure in relevant places on the web.
If you’re just starting to dip a toe in the Google Advertising waters, it’s best to start with Remarketing ads first. These ads are served up only to people who have visited your website in the past and is very useful for reminding a potential customer that you’re still there, waiting for them to return and complete a purchase. It’s a great way to communicate with people you know are already interested in your brand (since they visited your site, duh).
When designing ads for the Display network, keep them simple and highly visual. People ignore text in those ads but a solid image with a clear, concise call to action will perform better than cluttered ads every day of the week. You should also create the in every format available and in all sizes, especially when starting out. This way you can see which ads are served more often and which ones convert.
Targeting and selection can be the difficult part, but it’s best to tinker and test your options to find what works best for your brand specifically. Google’s Display ads can work well for almost any business but each company and product requires different targeting and messaging to make the display ads successful.