The Google Display network is the world’s largest collection of sites.  Advertisers are able to create text ads and non-text ads, which include images, flash, video and animation ads. Using these unique ad formats, we are able to make ads stand out and increase our brand awareness. And while search ads are more ideal for potential customers who are farther along in the buying cycle, they are a great way to interact with people who otherwise might not realize they are interested in your product. In this article we will discuss the “who, what, where and why” of the Google Display Network (GDN).

All the Right People, In All the Right Places

While Search Network ads are great at influencing a buyers decision to purchase a product, the Google Display network captures the attention of people who are at all different stages of the buying cycle.

Another group you are able to target are users who have already visited your website, which is called remarketing. It’s quite simple actually. You place remarketing code on your site. This code places a cookie on the computer of anyone who visits your site. Afterward, your ad will show to that user on any site across the GDN. You can even show ads to visitors who have visited certain pages of your website to further hone your targeting. Seems a bit like big brother, eh? That’s because it kind of is. But don’t let that throw you off, it is actually a very successful form of advertising.

the google display network blog

It’s Kind of a Big Deal

The Google Display Network, as I said before, is the world’s largest online ad network – reaching 90% of all Internet users with over 2 million websites. This includes the mobile display network, which is featured on over 300,000 apps and mobile websites.

For example, if you are nursery advertising gardening equipment, then showing your ads on gardening related websites gives you an opportunity to make your company known while your potential customer is browsing content that is closely related to your product. This is called contextual targeting. You can target based on placements (specific websites) and keywords to decide what content your ads appear along side of.  You are also able to target topics (specifically gardening) and interests (gardening related).

One of the largest Internet properties on the GDN is YouTube. You can advertise on YouTube in two different ways: by using Google Adwords’ auction based model – or you can purchase ads from YouTube ad sales. With Google AdWords you can target your display ads contextually using YouTube as the targeted placement; or you can target a video on your YouTube channel by demographic, topic, interests and keyword. With contract-based ads through YouTube, you have access to a different inventory of placements than you do with AdWords – like the YouTube homepage. The price for these ads usually cost a lot more than they do through AdWords. For example, an ad on the homepage of YouTube can cost you an upwards of $375,000… a day. That is because about 45 million people can see it worldwide.  Nowadays, these ads are a lot more effective than television ads. I’m guessing the invention of the DVR has something to do with that.

Brand Awareness and Direct Response

Brand awareness is the best way to utilize the GDN; by allowing advertisers to control brand messaging, where it appears and cost. If you are more focused on getting your ads shown, instead of clicks, you are able to bid per thousand impressions (CPM bidding).

Direct response advertising can also be very effective on the display network. Mostly due to the fact that you will typically pay a far lower cost per click.  The key to driving conversions on the Google Display Network is targeting content to show your ad next to content that is closely related to your product. For example, if you sell gardening equipment, you can choose to show your ad on the Better Homes and Garden’s website – and then further refine that targeting by choosing keywords that describe your product and use negative keywords to exclude content that isn’t relevant to your ad.

To Sum it All Up

The Google Display Network is a great and inexpensive way to reach new audiences that you never could reach by search alone. As long as you understand your goals and your target audience, you can create a successful and lucrative display campaign on the GDN. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create a great display ad– using Google’s Display ad builder, you can build some great ads in minutes. It’s best to start with a lower budget if you are new to this, to help you get an idea of what to expect. Since the display network is so huge, it is pretty easy to burn through your ad budget quickly.  Get started on yours today! But remember that testing and refining your ads, even on the display network, is essential to PPC success.

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