Google Display for Beginners
Published: May 19, 2015
Author: Molly Shotwell
What happens when you’ve gotten your bearings in the game of Search and are ready to tackle another channel? Some may dread having to learn a whole new process while others may be excited to discover something new and hopefully game-changing for the business – and some may be both! Enter the Google Display Network. The GDN caters to an assortment of goals from pushing brand awareness and influence to driving sales from new customers.
Let me start off by saying it is unlikely you will see amazing performance right off the bat, but if you follow some of my tips below, you’ll be on the right track. GDN campaigns require gathering data before being able to make any real optimizations, but using tools like Managed Placements can help you identify the winning websites where you’d like to get traffic. Also, while you have the option to use either text or image formats, clients typically see the best performance with image ads. Make sure to have creative for the following sizes as they typically see the most volume and perform best: 300 x 250, 728 x 90, 336 x 280 and 160 x 600.
But now to the fun part: what to target? There are an endless number of ways to set up your first campaign. For businesses wanting to drive a sale/subscription/etc., it’s always easiest to start by engaging users who are already aware of your company. Remarketing campaigns allow you to go after existing users who have visited your website; you can choose to go after repeat customers, customers who have abandoned their shopping cart, or even those who just couldn’t make a decision about what to buy. While it may take some time to get started, once you have decent-sized remarketing lists of users to pursue, you will be on your way to re-capturing users and making them paid customers.
For those more interested in new user acquisition, it is best to start out knowing the type of ideal persona you would want to target. You can use tools like Google Analytics demographic data to see where your conversions are coming from and then opt into those demographic options in AdWords, as seen below:
As you begin to create a new campaign, Google will give you the option to show ads based on demographic data or selecting specific interests relatable to your product and ideal consumer. For example, if you are in the business of selling heavy-duty trucks, you may want to target men in the 25-44 age range to start. Or maybe you just opened up a new yoga studio and want to look for new customers in the area; you could target something as specific as Yoga & Pilates under the Topics section or something as broad as Fitness. These options can be found under the Topics section:
Don’t forget, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, make sure to opt out of mobile traffic. And if you are app-friendly, be sure to check out App linking that can take users from your ad directly to the App store for direct downloading.
I definitely recommend experimenting with different types of Display campaigns and targeting. The key is to continue refining settings until you find what works best for you. Happy experimenting!