How to effectively use GDN within your business?

01 July 2015

What is it?

GDN (or Google Display Network as it is termed) is a display advertising network consisting of numerous websites selected by Google. Such websites include Gmail, YouTube, Blogger and Google Finance, along with Google sites, the network contains around 2 million other sites and has become the world’s number one ad network. It reaches around 90% of the world’s Internet users, making it a very diverse ad serving platform.

When to use GDN?

If you are currently using Ad Words and are looking to expand your online presence, then the display network is an ideal place to leverage brand awareness. GDN provides lots of opportunities seeing as you can choose various targeting options including kind of websites your ads show on and hence appear to the target audience you deem most relevant.

Are you wondering if you should be running on display? If you want to increase brand awareness, have a lengthy sales process, deal with visually appealing products/services or have excess budget, then this is a great platform to leverage that ad spend. Automotive companies are a good example here whereby they can encourage the consumer with interesting and scheduled ads, aiding the purchasing funnel during extended purchasing time frames. Products that require greater consideration will benefit greatly from GDN.

How it Works?

GDN is managed through the Google AdWords platform and allows you to use various types of ads, these include Text Ads, Image Ads and Video Ads.

When choosing how to serve your ad, there are a range of targeting methods. These range from Contextual, Placement, Interest, Topic, Geographic/Language and Demographic.

Targeting Methods:

Contextual- Enables you to select a group of keywords to allow the ad to show against relevant content referring to those chosen keywords. The engine tries to place your ad on pages that resemble a similar theme.

Placement- You personally select or specify those websites you’d prefer your ad to appear on. Placement targeting allows for much targeted control, allowing you to put your message in the desired space.

Interest- Allows you to choose from a range of interest categories, such as travel, sports and entertainment showing ads to people potentially interest in your product/service and most likely to buy.

Topic- This targeting criteria is pretty similar to interest targeting, whereby you target topics such as travel and entertainment, however the category is based on site topic rather than the audience.

Geographic & Language- Allows you to display your ads to a specific country, postcode or region and more specifically to those in the ad copy language.

Demographic- This category allows you to target your ad to specific age/gender ranges, focusing budget to particular individuals that would be most interested in your product. Companies with sensitive content such as gaming and gambling sites could extensively use this feature.

All the above targeting methods can be used in conjunction, whereby you simultaneously select different targeting criteria. The more you choose, the more channelled and specific your criteria will become. With this in mind careful consideration must be placed when deciding on areas to target.

Remarketing on the GDN

Remarketing is another powerful targeting feature that allows you to reach individuals that have previously visited your website but have not converted. It allows you to tailor ads to individuals that previously showed intent to purchase a product or service but never made that specific conversion.

Other Influencers

Following the different targeting methods, other elements to further consider include the following 4 areas:

Above the Fold Advertising- Enables you to ensure your ads show completely on screen despite the consumer’s browser, screen size and resolution.

Ad Scheduling (sometimes referred as ‘day parting’)- This feature allows you to schedule your ad for particular hours of the day and on different days of the week, as well as enabling bids multipliers to raise bids at certain times of day when demand is at its highest.

Frequency Capping- With the addition of frequency capping you can limit the amount of times your ad serves to potential customers, this method of scheduling is also used on remarketing.

Exclusions- This aspect works similarly to adding negatives to search campaigns. You can choose to exclude certain placements that don’t fit your brand, or decide on placements that have not performed well for your product/service.

What to expect?

Impressions on the GDN are very high due to the sheer volume of websites available, with this in mind marketers acknowledge it is a very good brand awareness platform. With increased impressions the CTR correspondingly decreases seeing as the network reaches a vast amount of people and hence less people are likely to click. It should be noted that CPC’s are lower than observed on the search network.