Display Network: Friend or Foe?

11 Feb 2011 | written by Heather Garbe for the PPC section(s)

Display Network: Friend or Foe?

If used incorrectly, Google’s display network can be a huge headache to any pay-per-click search campaign. However, it also provides a vast market that compliments a search based marketing campaign. From the available features and tools currently used or beta, small business owners should be utilizing what it has to offer.

First, the purpose of the display network needs to be clearly understood. Using search engines to reach customers, focuses on users that are in a “ready to buy” stage of their shopping. The display network, and all of its gadgets, targets “browsing” users based on websites they like, blogs they read, and sites they are purchasing from. This initially requires convincing that browsers need to purchase from your industry but results in useful brand association. By giving browsers association with certain types of websites, the classic reason to use the Display Network is branding your company.

Second, If there is not comprehensive tracking on your site, having a campaign set up for the search network, and not removing settings of showing ads on the display network, will blur your ability to know what people are searching for- or stumbled upon and were convinced to click.

Lastly, some awesome features every display campaign should utilize are as follows:

Site Specific Placement

Google’s comprehensive targeting gives us the option of deciding which websites display our ads. This ranges from blogs that contain AdSense, to retail sites across the web. This ability narrows your browsing audience to associate your company brand with whatever you choose. However, when you haven’t chosen specific websites, Google associates your ad with the content on relevant sites based on your keywords. Keeping the impressions completely relevant is slightly more challenging if your keyword lists are broad. Luckily, you can exclude websites as well.

Multimedia Ads

AdSense also offers the options of uploading video ads and image ads. This is one of my personal favorite features of the network. Being able to make your ads interactive and eye-catching is a great way to advertise online. They also bump out competition for each impressions by covering a much larger space on each webpage. For guidelines visit the AdWords Policies.

DoubleClick Ad Planner

This tool is similar to the Insights for Search Beta tool, except specialized for display websites. You can see daily visit trends, demographics of visitors, common subdomains, and ad specifics for any website in the network. The other half of the tool is reverting those statistics into options. You can narrow the selection of all websites in the network, to the specific type of browser you want to target. After you compile a list of sites you want to use, you can directly implement them into your AdWords campaign targeting.

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