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Profiting from the AdWords Display Network

There’s a whole lot of profit in Google’s Display Network.

Unlike Search, the Google Display Network gives you the ability to target an audience before they search for your product or service. Depending on your offer, you’ll get some direct sales of course, but that isn’t the main objective behind such a campaign.

Put it this way. If I’m reading about golf, I’m probably a golfer. I might be interested in improving my swing, buying a set of clubs, or a golfing holiday. I might be interested right now, at this minute, and I might click.

That’s a whole lot of might.

However, most importantly, I’ve seen your ads on a number of different sites that I’ve visited and I’m beginning to associate your brand with my passion for golf. To me, you must be a big company with a big presence in the golfing market. That makes you trustworthy and reliable.

Supporting Your Search Campaign

When I do search and click on a bunch of different sites, who do I choose: The cheapest? The best looking site? Both of those things influence me and more, of course – but I also buy on trust. Trust is worth EVERYTHING in a sales transaction.

The basis of the strategy is that you can show your ads to a wider target audience at a low cost to increase awareness of both your brand and your products and services. In marketing speak, referred to as “brand recall”, an important measurement of a marketing campaign’s success.

The first area then, as well as generating some direct sales, is to support the conversion rates on your Search Campaign.

For example, if you are advertising holiday cottages, you might target content such as hiking, water sports, fishing, bird-watching, etc. Your site and brand will then be exposed to an audience that might soon search for a holiday cottage. If and when they do, you can expect greater conversion rates from your search campaign.

Innovation = No Search Traffic

The second area this works well is the introduction of a new product or innovation. There is no search traffic, so how do you sell it on paid search? It’s tough, except perhaps bidding on a problem that it solves, but that’s a whole other article. What you can do though, is stimulate a relevant audience by introducing the idea.

Let’s pick something random. You’ve created a 30-something golfing holiday product where like minded individuals can meet and find love and play a bit of golf (Ahem. I did say random!). There’s no directly relevant search traffic for this at all – you could bid on “golf holidays”, but there’s a big chunk of that spend that isn’t your target audience. It won’t convert too well and you’ll burn your budget pretty quick.

On the Display Network, we can target golfers based on what they’re reading about: GOLF.

In some instances, we can even target the demographic; male, female, age range. The ads introduce the idea and those that are curious or interested will click and might enquire, request a brochure or sign up for your newsletter. Hell, you might even get some bookings. But the real value here is reaching your target audience to generate interest in something they didn’t even know existed. Over time, this will generate search traffic for your brand and what you do.

Having generated a good chunk of profit for our clients this way, we’d strongly recommend considering a Display Network campaign.

8 tips for creating a sound Display Network Campaign

  1. Always create separate campaigns for Search and for Content. The structure, strategies and ads are very different and you’ll want to measure performance and ROI separately too.
  2. In each ad group, pick 6-10 relevant, tightly-themed keywords to target content pages your audience would be reading.
  3. Create attention-grabbing ads that will stand out from the page and help your audience remember your brand, even if they don’t click.
  4. Image ads work far better than text ads – use the Ad Builder for the first pass and invest in professionally designed ads as performance warrants it.
  5. We wouldn’t recommend the Display Network without Conversion Tracking. Although we won’t necessarily expect many direct conversions from Content ads, measuring View Through Conversions is critical.
  6. Expect a much lower CTR from Content, but monitor which sites are generating traffic carefully. Increase your bids on sites that work well and add poor sites as negatives to stop your ads showing there.
  7. Be patient. Search data can be analysed for yesterday, but data from 30 days ago is more relevant for Content, depending on how long your buying cycle is.
  8. Create a small Search Campaign, perhaps even just bidding on your site name, brand or the name of your product. You’ll pick up the cheap clicks as the search volume increases.

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