We’ve previously discussed Google AdWords’ Search Network. In this blog, I’ll give a plain English description of Google’s Display Network, how its pay per click (PPC) function works and how you should be using it to market your firm. 

By the time you’ve finished reading this blog you’ll know:

  • What PPC and Google’s Display Network is
  • A bit about how PPC works
  • How you can make even a small budget go a long way when using Google AdWords

Did you know… For high commercial intent search queries, the top three ad spots take about 40% of the clicks on the page. (Source: Wordstream)


Just to recap…

PPC Google AdWords: The two networks

You can use Google AdWords to advertise in two ways, through two different networks: search and display.

Earlier this year, I talked about search advertising, in this blog I’ll focus on PPC display advertising.

Display advertising: What it is and how it works

PPC display ads are the visual banners you see on advertising-supported sites everywhere. They can appear in four different forms:

  • Text ad banners on websites
  • Image ads on websites
  • Video ads on websites
  • Ads on mobile websites

They commonly look like this…

(Source: Hallam Internet)

Rather than bidding to place your text ads in a search engine’s results page (as you do with the search network), when using display network advertising, businesses bid to place their visual banner ads on a huge network of websites across the internet. Not every website will support display ads, websites have to ‘opt-in’ to a platform’s advertising network. By doing this, businesses are signalling that they’re happy for Google to promote adverts on their page for a percentage of the ad fee. This means your ad will only ever be shown on Google vetted platforms.

Where your ad ends up depends on your targeting choices, the relevance of your ad content and landing page.

The targeting options available to businesses using Google AdWords Display Network are extensive but they can be broadly grouped into:

  • Placement/ audience targeting: which means showing your ads to the right type of people.

The benefit: You ensure that your ad is only being put in front of the people you want it to be seen by.

  • Contextual targeting: which means putting your ads in the right kind of places. This is usually determined by those who’ve already expressed an interest in the type of service you’re offering.

The benefit: You can attract new customers with similar interests and demographics to your target audience, catching them at an earlier stage in the buying process.

How you can get a lot from a little

The key to smart spending is first understanding what you’re actually paying for. Google AdWords PPC Display Network spending is no different. It’s a difficult concept to grasp (even for the best of us) but mastering the basics will allow you to focus your spending in an efficient manner.

There are 3 simple-to-implement steps you can take to increase the mileage of your ad spend.

1. Focus your targeting

Google’s Display Network has a surplus number of targeting options that fit under the two umbrella terms mentioned above.

Just some of these include retargeting (putting your ad in front of people who’ve already visited your site), interest targeting (targeting specific individuals regardless of the site they’re on – (they are identified by stored user data and cookies)) and topic targeting (choosing from a pre-existing list of page topics which you want your ad to appear on).

The narrower you are with targeting your campaign, the less you’re spending on putting your ad in front of those who aren’t fully invested.

N.B. It’s important to note that with a small budget, narrowing your target audience will reduce the quantity of enquires but will produce a slower burn of high-quality potential clients who’re specifically interested in your service offering.

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2. Exclude irrelevant audiences/ categories

Once you’ve set up your PPC Google AdWords Display Network campaign, you’ll soon start producing automatic placement reports. These are reports Google generates to show you, the advertiser, where exactly your ads are showing.

Google’s display network is dynamic, meaning you can make changes to your ad while it’s running. This allows you to identify any sites you don’t want your ad to show on.

For example, if you’re advertising your B2B employment law services using Google’s display network, and a large amount of your budget has been spent displaying on recruitment platforms, you may want to list recruitment sites as a negative/ irrelevant category to free up budget for more appropriate and engaged users.

3. Keep up to date

Those who use Google’s Search Network will regularly monitor keywords, run multiple ad groups under one campaign, up-date their copy based on searches and add new features. But the same care and attention are usually forgotten when it comes to the display network. It shouldn’t be!

By using Google AdWords reports you can work out which ads are performing and which aren’t. Drawing inferences as to what’s successful about each advert will enable you to make appropriate changes to those that are underperforming, rather than spending money running ones that simply aren’t getting the traction.

The Google AdWords display network is simple to use but not always easy to understand. If you’re struggling to get your head around what exactly you’re paying for, we can help. We regularly run marketing training courses specifically designed for professional services firms. To get notified when we host one near you, sign up to our mailing list.

Alternatively, if you want Google AdWords support or training from our expert PPC team here at Propero, contact Kelly O’Connor at Propero on kelly.oconnor@www.properopartners.com, to arrange an initial consultation.

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