Have you ever wondered what display advertising is?
Display advertising is a way to effectively build your Brand awareness, express your Brand Identity, and generate leads for your company.
What is display advertising?
Display ads, also known as banner ads, are a form of pay-per-click advertising. Display advertising visually conveys a commercial message using text, logos, animations, videos, photos, or other graphic elements.
Display ads, similar to paid search ads, include a headline, ad text, and URL.
The idea is that using more than just plain text will make your ad stand out among competitors and engage potential buyers, driving them to your website to take the desired action (filling out a form or making a purchase). Many marketers love running display advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness and re-engage users who have previously visited a website.
Google Ads is divided into two networks: the Search Network and the Display Network. When advertising on the search network, companies place text ads in search engine results. On the Display Network, instead, companies publish display ads on a vast network of websites across the Internet.
As with other forms of online advertising, you can choose to target specific demographics, zip codes, and interests to reach people who will be most interested in your business. This makes your money well-spent and helps you create a targeted audience.
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How to do display advertising: 5 types of display campaigns
Let me introduce you to five different types of display advertising campaigns that you can start using to expand your brand reach and grow your business.
1- Remarketing: remarketing (or retargeting) allows you to reconnect with people who have visited your website in the past. Remarketing campaigns are generally highly successful display advertising campaigns and can significantly increase ROI.
How to set up a remarketing ad?
You will need to add a code snippet (provided by Ads) on all pages of your website. Then, create remarketing lists, which are specific segments of visitors to your website that you can target with remarketing ads.
For example, you can create a list of visitors who viewed a specific product or category page.
Finally, you can create a remarketing campaign in Ads with various ads targeted to each of your lists. And that’s it!
Now, whenever users visit your site and leave, they will continue to see your brand, to build trust and exposure, increasing the chances of a purchase.
2- Site placement targeting: This is generally the safest and most effective targeting option for display ads because it allows you to choose which websites to display your ads on, rather than letting Google select the “best” sites for you. For instance, if you sell sports equipment, choosing sports-related sites could be your first choice to reach interested users. If you’re unsure about which sites to target, you can set up the display advertising campaign to automatically target all sites: I recommend reviewing the specific sites where Google has placed your ads and excluding sites unrelated to your business.
3- Interest targeting: this option allows you to target visitors based on Google’s interest categories.
The two types of interest targeting are: in-market audience segments and affinity audience segments.
In-market audience segments include people who are likely to make a purchase or need a specific product or service soon. Google knows when people are actively in the market for a particular category of products or services based on search history and social activity.
For example, people reading car review sites, searching for local car dealerships, and using price comparison sites send a strong signal to Google that they are in the market for a car.
Affinity audience is a broader option, targeting users who are not in search mode. In this case, Google places users into categories of “long-term interests” by analyzing their profile, general interests, passions, and lifestyle.
An example might be someone consistently reading a car blog they subscribed to or checking websites on auto industry trends. This would mean that Google will place these users in the “Auto Enthusiasts” affinity audience available in Google Ads.
4- Contextual targeting: it is a form of display advertising that targets ads to webpages based on their content. Instead of targeting specific users or demographics, contextual targeting matches ads to the context of the webpage’s content. Display advertising that uses keywords to find the relevant website to show your ads. Using keywords in display ad campaigns works slightly differently than using them in display ads. When you enter keywords in a display campaign, Google analyzes the content of all web pages and selects the relevant ones.
5- Topic targeting: it allows you to choose specific topics of web pages on which to display your ads online. Google will then select web pages related to the chosen topics to match them with your ads.
For example, an automotive dealership might want to select the topic “Autos & Vehicles” so that their display ads appear on any web page related to cars. If they want to further narrow down the targeting, they could also choose subtopics like vehicle brands, trucks, and SUVs, or commercial vehicles.
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Choosing the target for display advertising
How do advertisers know whom to target?
Cookies can track whether a user has left a page without purchasing so that the advertiser can later retarget the user with ads from the site they visited. As advertisers gather data from multiple external websites about a user’s online activity, they can combine this information to create a picture of the user’s interests to provide even more targeted advertising.
This aggregation of data is known as behavioural targeting. Advertisers can also target their audience using contextual and semantic advertising to display relevant display ads based on the content of the web page where the ads are being shown.
Retargeting, behavioural targeting, and contextual advertising are all designed to increase an advertiser’s return on investment, or ROI, on non-targeted ads. As advertising needs become more sophisticated, display ads can also be personalized based on a user’s geographic location through geographic targeting.
Basic information like the user’s IP address can indicate their approximate location with some degree of accuracy. This information can be further enhanced through the use of a phone’s GPS or nearby cell tower locations to have a clearer indication of the user’s current location, opening the door to an incredible range of advertising possibilities.
How to make display advertising effective?
As with any advertising, it’s important to have an irresistible offer and a clear call to action so that users want to click on the ad and know exactly what they will get by clicking on it. Below are the most important features of an effective display ad.
- Landing pages: when a user clicks on your display ad, it’s unlikely that they will immediately take the desired action when redirected to your website. Effective display ads lead to specific landing pages that provide all the necessary information for users to complete the CTA.
For an effective landing page, maintain consistent design and messaging between the display ad and the landing page. This ensures a seamless user experience.
- Real-time bidding: demand-side platforms (DSPs) and real-time bidding can enhance the effectiveness of your display ads. Demand-side platforms are used in the process of buying ad space, allowing marketers to reach their desired target.
DSPs collect data about users from across the web, such as age, gender, demographics, and interests. This information is used in real-time bidding, where a display ad is selected for a page as the page is loaded.
DSPs and real-time bidding help advertisers target online users who are more likely to purchase their product or service, giving them maximum convenience.
- Simple design: display ads should stand out but not distract or annoy the user. For this reason, use a clean and eye-catching design, with visual elements that grab attention: graphics, alternating font sizes, complementary colors, and compelling messaging.
- Clear information: to increase brand awareness with your display ad, make it easy for users to identify your business as soon as they see your ad. Your business name and/or logo should be immediately visible, and it should be clear at a glance what you have to offer. This helps potential customers recognize you and know right away if your business is relevant to what they’re looking for.
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How to measure the success of display advertising?
If you want to embark on a display advertising campaign, it’s important to understand some key metrics you will encounter during the process: Reach, Clickthrough Rate (CTR), Bounce Rate, Conversion Rates, and of course, ROI (Return on Investment), to have a clear picture of the performance of your Online Display Marketing activities.
Let’s understand the meaning together:
- Reach: the number of people who can potentially see your online ad. Typically, this data will be represented by the number of users visiting the advertising network you plan to use.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR): the number of clicks compared to the number of views of your advertising. This data will be very useful for evaluating the performance of your advertising campaign.
- Bounce rate: the percentage of user visits that exit the site after landing on a page. When a user bounces on a page advertised by a display ad, we can deduce that they were interested enough to click on the ad but, once they reached your site, they didn’t find relevant content.
Several factors contribute to the bounce rate: poorly designed site, slow loading, poor usability, and lack of relevant content.
- Conversion rate: tells you what percentage of people who click on an ad have completed an action or the goal you desired. The requested action could be an online purchase, newsletter sign-up, or request for further information.
- Return on investment: when a brand undertakes a display campaign, it undoubtedly has a goal to achieve. ROI measures the return on an advertising investment, calculated by comparing the percentage of revenues generated by the campaign to their cost.
7 strategies for a winning display campaign
- An excellent account structure.
A well-structured Ads account is a must if you want your advertising spending to translate into profit. The basis of a well-structured account is all about relevance. The Cost per Acquisition (CPA) can drop by up to 60% simply by improving the structure of an Ads account. The keywords, ads, and ad groups in each campaign must be closely related. In turn, Google will reward you by reducing advertising costs.
- Start with search network campaigns.
The Search Network is perfect when it comes to targeting potential customers who are most interested in your products and services. So, without a doubt, Search Network campaigns should be your first reference point.
Unlike Display Network marketing, which interrupts your potential customers while they browse the web, Search Network potential customers have taken action by seeking a solution to their problems, already qualifying as leads. They are closer to the bottom of your funnel and easier to convert into leads or customers.
The Search Network also provides excellent keyword ideas that can be transferred to the Display Network.
- Reduced daily budgets and Cost per Click (CPC).
When launching new Ads campaigns, it’s difficult to determine the amount of traffic your ads will receive and how quickly you will spend your budget. The last thing you want to do is spend a few hundred or thousand euros in the first hours or days without getting many conversions.
To avoid wasting money, I recommend setting a daily budget at half or even a quarter of the actual budget you have in mind, especially when you are just starting. This will allow you to monitor traffic performance based on targeting.
For campaigns where you select manual CPC bidding, I also recommend starting with lower CPC bids and increasing bids based on needs and keyword performance.
- Advertising copy and images are important.
The advertising copy is probably the most important part of your Ads campaign. I suggest conducting A/B tests by creating a copy of your ad and modifying the text. This way, you’ll be able to determine which copy performs better. You can then use the winning ad copy to scale the campaign.
For ads displayed on the Display Network, images are as important as the copy. The images you choose for your ads must grab potential customers’ attention and convince them to click.
For images as well, I advise conducting A/B tests and using original images, avoiding those seen everywhere.
- Accurate testing and tracking.
Testing and tracking are not negligible options if you want your Ads campaigns to be successful.
In most cases, when you start a campaign, the initial CPAs will be higher than the desired CPAs. Testing different keywords, ads, and bidding strategies will help you find the best option to achieve your CPA goals.
To properly track conversions, Ads conversion tags must be correctly placed on the thank you pages that customers receive after completing the desired CTA.
Google Tag Manager is an excellent tool for managing tracking tags. Its user-friendly interface will help you track Google tags, as well as third-party tracking and testing.
- Campaign set up by device type.
With the increasing use of mobile devices, there’s a good chance a large percentage of Ads traffic comes from mobile. I recommend segmenting campaigns based on device type.
Setting up campaigns by device type allows you to manage desktop traffic separately from mobile traffic. This will enable you to set bids separately, create different funnels, and easily track results for each device, ensuring you have total control of ROI regardless of the device type.
- Set up a list of excluded keywords.
Your ads will not be shown to users who perform a search with specific keywords that you want to exclude. This mechanism is also known as a negative match.
This way, you will avoid showing your ads to people who are conducting searches that are not relevant to your products and services.
In Ads, you can set negative match keywords at the ad group or campaign level. Setting up a list of negative match keywords at the campaign level will cover all ad groups within each campaign.
All that’s left is to launch your first Display Advertising campaign: let people know about your company and services!
It’s the first step to generating leads and converting contacts into customers.
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