For many businesses advertising in the digital realm, there isn’t always a ton of wiggle room in regard to testing new ways to garner new customers. When you’re running a lean and mean program, you don’t always have the luxury to invest a significant amount of dollars to find out if a certain type of advertising works. However, there are many options out there to test out, and some of them offer a lot of reach — and a ton of potential to grow your revenue if you strike gold.

GDN (Google Display Network) is an area that can sometimes get a bad rap; many advertisers only see it as being useful for brand awareness. But it’s time to re-think that! There are plenty of targeting options geared toward driving conversions as opposed to clicks or impressions, as described at length here. Utilizing these targeting techniques and making your campaign nice and tidy from the get-go can make a world of a difference in making display work for you.

So without further adieu, here are the 5 boxes to check off before kicking off any campaign to make sure precious moolah isn’t wasted.

Make Sure to De-select Automated Targeting!

Google is sneaky here with the default selection for GDN campaigns, which allows them to extend your targeting to customers “like the ones you’ve targeted”. This isn’t just loose wording; it also produces loose expansion of the precise targeting techniques you likely have in place. Opt out!

Remove App Placements

To avoid serving on apps, where you run a significant risk of sucking spend that rarely results in conversions, you’ll want to make a few adjustments to your device settings. Previously, you had to exclude the placement adsenseformobileapps.com and also remove de-select AdSense for Mobile Apps under the Content exclusions settings. Those options will be no longer available come September! Google announced they will be sunsetting that capability. Control over whether or not you serve on mobile apps now lives in your device settings at the campaign level:

With the above settings, you actually get more options, with tablets broken out. All advertisers will want to make sure to make these changes to their campaigns, otherwise you’ll see an influx of traffic stemming from mobile apps come September.

Ensure You Heavily Limit Mobile Traffic

While mobile may over time prove to be a good avenue for driving conversions, for the large majority of campaigns, it will suck a huge amount of spend that you won’t be able to get back. I would recommend placing a -50% adjustment, if not a more aggressive reduction, potentially excluding the device completely depending on what you’re advertising. Obviously, this will vary by business, so make sure to consider your history before adjusting.

Use Topic Exclusions

Make sure to check off all appropriate topics you want to exclude! These are in campaign settings and are a must to include in your set-up before launching.

With all all these adjustment in place before launch, you put yourself in a prime position to be successful on the GDN!

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Trevor Morrissey
Originally from the Bay Area, Trevor was brought to the sunny beaches of San Diego in 2008 when he enrolled at SDSU. After graduating, he stepped directly into the paid search realm, working for multiple digital marketing agencies in the San Diego area. Now a member of the 3Q Accelerate team as an Account Manager, Trevor hopes to play a part in the continual growth of the department. Outside of work, he loves playing/coaching soccer and has played competitively since he was 12. Also likes to just be outside - beach trips, hiking and snowboarding. Lastly, he is into live music, going to at least a few different concerts each month.