A guide to display advertising optimisation: 9 top tips for success

When it comes to Google Ads (PPC), most businesses utilise Google Search campaigns. However, Google Ads offers much more than search campaigns for businesses to take advantage of and get in front of potential customers.

When it comes to Google Ads (PPC), most businesses utilise Google Search campaigns. However, Google Ads offers much more than search campaigns for businesses to take advantage of and get in front of potential customers.

When it comes to Google Ads (PPC), most businesses utilise Google Search campaigns. However, Google Ads offers much more than search campaigns for businesses to take advantage of and get in front of potential customers.

From your Google Ads account, you can create the following types of ad campaigns:

  • Search (text ads displayed in the Google results pages)
  • Display (image ads displayed on websites)
  • Video (YouTube video ads)
  • Shopping (Google product listings)
  • App (app promotion across a number of channels)

In this blog, we’ll be looking at display advertising and how you can optimise your campaigns to get the most from them.

What are Google Display Ads?

Google Display Ads are adverts that appear on the Google Display Network instead of just within or on top of Google’s search query results.

The Google Display Network uses a huge network of independently owned websites and mobile applications that allow Google to place ads. This network reaches up to 90% of internet users worldwide.

These ads can be banners, images, text or video and are shown across millions of web pages. If you want to raise brand awareness among potential customers at the top of the funnel, you should be running display ads.

Display advertising allows you to showcase your brand on relevant websites, apps and social media platforms to expand your reach online and earn more qualified leads for your business.

The graphic nature of display ads makes the more eye catching for your potential customers, unlike search ads which are strictly text based and are limited to the number of characters you can include.

Whilst display advertising is mainly used to increase online presence, it can also lead to sales and outperform Google Search ads.

How to optimise your Google Display Ads

Optimising your Display ads will help you to get the best return on investment. Here are some of our top tips for optimising your Display ads.

Target the right audience

Making sure you target your ads to an audience who are likely to be interested in your business and benefit from the product or service you’re selling will be key to success.

If you have the right audience in mind, you can offer the best solutions and help to drive engagement with the right people. Targeting the wrong audience will mean less interest in your ads and you won’t get the clicks or conversions you’re looking for.

It’s recommended that you look beyond basic demographics when it comes to targeting your display ads. This means looking at gender, age and location but also considering your target audience’s interests, the brands they interact with online and the way they behave online.

This will allow you to make sure your ads are shown in the right place and, most importantly, to the people who are most likely to engage with your ads and who you can help with your product or service.

Create custom audiences based on competitor’s websites

Custom audiences allow you to make sure your ads are displayed to the audience most suited to your business’s needs. Creating an audience based on your competitor’s websites allows you to find more people who are in the market for the products or services you provide.

If someone is already looking for the products or services you offer, they’re more likely to be near the bottom of the funnel and are more likely to convert when they see your ads.

Look beyond search volume when choosing keywords

Keywords are one of the targeting options on Google Display ads. Google will use your keywords to find relevant websites that include your keywords and as well as the audiences who are interested in those keywords. You can add a huge budget to your campaigns and have great looking creative but, if you’re not targeting the right audience, they’re not going to interact with your ads and you’ll be wasting your budget.

There’s more to choosing keywords than just choosing the words and phrases that people are actively searching for. You will also need to consider search intent too.

Look at keywords that are likely to resonate with your target audience to increase your chances of success. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think about where they are, what they’re looking for, when they might be looking for it and when they might be interested in your product or service.

Keyword targeting allows you to be more granular with your display campaign targeting. You can also create and test a number of ad groups to include keywords such as competitor brand names or the types of product or service you’re selling.

Creating different ad groups and monitoring ad performance will help you to understand which campaigns work best and deliver the best return on investment.

Use remarketing

Remarketing provides an extremely powerful tool for your digital marketing campaigns. It shows your ads multiple times to people who have already interacted with or demonstrated an interest in your business, allowing you to focus your budget on the people who are most likely to buy from you.

Remarketing campaigns are usually the most effective display campaigns because you’re showing ads to your own website traffic. As a result, you will be targeting users who already have some knowledge of your business and your ads act as a reminder until they’re ready to take action.

Create responsive ads

As we have already mentioned, the Google Display Network contains over two million websites across the internet. These websites are designed in different ways with different capabilities so different ad sizes are required to cater to them all.

Space is allocated on these sites for selling advertising space but a one size fits all approach does not work. The Google Ads interface allows you to upload and input multiple elements to create responsive display ads.

Google Ads gives you the ability to add the following elements:

  • Two or more high quality images
  • Your company logo
  • Video content
  • Up to five 30 character headlines
  • Up to five 90 character descriptions
  • The name of your business
  • The URL of your landing page

Once you have uploaded these elements, Google chooses from the elements when your ads is placed on a website and takes care of the design itself. Having ad formats that match the site they’re displayed on will help your brand reputation and make sure your ad looks its best, no matter where it’s displayed.

Use in-market audiences

In-market audiences can be used to target people who are searching for similar products to the ones you offer. It allows you to connect with customers who are actively researching or comparing products and services across the Google Display Network, YouTube and partner sites. Google categorises users so that you can target the people most interested in your products or services.

Optimising your ads using this feature means that your ads are more likely to be shown to people who are likely to be looking for and in the market for your product or service.

Optimise bids for devices and placements

The device someone uses to browse the internet can suggest a higher or lower level of purchase intent so this is something you should bear in mind when optimising your display campaigns.

You can bid on devices and placements to keep control over where your ads appear which will help to increase engagement from the right people, at the right time.

Bid adjustments allow you to invest more or less in particular areas, depending on how your campaigns perform over time. Once you have enough data, you can decide where and when your bids are applied to get the most from your campaigns. You can adjust your bids based on certain times, specific locations, on different devices, and more.

Set up relevant exclusions

Exclusions help you get more value from website placements. You can use the following types of exclusions to get the best return on investment from your ads:

  • Topic exclusions – you can target pages in the Google Display Network around particular topics related to your business but you can also exclude certain topics too. This will prevent your ads from showing on pages that are not relevant to your audience.
  • Demographic exclusions – if you’ve set up your audience targeting correctly, you’re probably already targeting specific demographics but it’s also important to exclude demographics you don’t want your ads to be shown for.
  • Content exclusions – you can also opt out of showing your ads alongside certain categories of websites, videos, and mobile apps that don’t align with your target audience or goals.

Monitor results

One of the key ways to assess the success of your ads to make sure they’re as effective as possible, is to monitor results and adjust different factors based on your findings.

The main objectives of display campaigns are to drive brand awareness, generate qualified traffic and increase visitor engagement. If any of these are your objectives, metrics to track to monitor the success of your campaigns include:

  • Conversions – look at the types of conversions you’re trying to achieve and how many you were able to achieve through your campaigns. Think about the factors you could change to make the campaign more successful or, if you achieved your goal, have a look at what worked and apply it to future campaigns.
  • Engagements – look at the types of engagements you’re generating through your campaigns and assess whether this meets your objectives.
  • Site visits – monitor whether the number of site visitors has changed since you launched your campaign. Have a look at how you could improve your campaigns to gain more visits in the future.

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Blog written by

Mark Skinner