What is the Google Display Network (GDN)?

To many, Google Adwords are just those pay per click adverts that appear on the Google search result pages. These ads, which display when someone searches for keyword or phrase, appear on the Google Search Network. However, there is a whole other way to get your ads in front of your target market using the Google Display Network (GDN).

The Google Display Network, sometimes referred to as the Google Content Network, is a huge, and ever-increasing group of websites that have agreed to allow Google to display ads on their webpages. These range from small niche websites receiving handfuls of visits, to popular news, auctions, and social media sites visited by millions. Your ads could appear on the website of anyone who has added their site to the AdSense programme.

The Google Display Network is vast and very flexible. You only need a bit of marketing text and a selection of background images in varying dimensions to appear on a plethora of websites advertising your wares.

Why should you use the Google Display Network?

Google lists the benefits of the Display Network as allowing an advertiser to:

  • Place ads on websites that are relevant to what you’re selling.
  • Show ads to the people that are likely to be most interested.
  • Manage and track your budget, campaigns and results as you go
  • Create all types of ads – text, image, interactive and video ads.

Yes, the Display Network offers more ad options and can place ads in front of people interested in what you may have to offer, but we think the GDN is so much more than that. This is because it:

  • Is not limited to people searching on Google
  • Is not restricted to text ads (although text ads do work very well!)
  • Gets you in front of people researching, reading & wanting content that matches your activity, such as the example below

Google Display Network example Ad image
So if you have a product or service with a clearly defined audience, the Display Network should certainly be on your test list.

“A complicated animal that is not easily tamed”

Optimising & Working with the Google Display Network

There are many ways to get your ad onto the Display Network including – Remarketing, Audience Targeting, & Standard Keyword Targeting. The potential benefits are great, but the GDN is a huge and complicated animal that is not easily tamed. Advertising on the Display Network can massively increase the exposure of your ads and display them on a huge variety of websites. But with this comes the danger of paying for traffic from countless websites that could be completely irrelevant to your business. To avoid that you must optimise and focus your required audience reach.

Creating a normal Google Adwords Keyword campaign, switching it on and just leaving it is a very expensive plan, it’s even more so on the Display Network. Your Display Network strategy must be managed correctly, which includes:

  • Building it right
  • Regularly monitoring
  • Optimisation of ads
  • Optimisation of targeting
  • Bid optimisation

Due to its sheer reach, ads on the Display Network generally receive hundreds, thousands, or even (and in some cases) millions more views than your Search Network ads. If the ads you serve to the end user aren’t totally relevant you could just be throwing a lot of your budget into a very deep hole. Constant review and management of your ads is crucial. Whilst, this may be time intensive, the benefits (especially around lead generation) can be the difference between simply maintaining your business or opening the door to the next level.

Drive new business for less than you think

Investing in the Google Display Network as part of your marketing strategy is an ideal way to drive traffic and attract new customers to your site but it doesn’t have to be a resource drain. Here at Digital Gearbox, our paid search experts are on hand to help you implement your requirements and manage the day to day bidding, and all at a cost that is relatively minimal.
If you’re interested but not sure how much you could benefit from harnessing the power of the Google Display Network, feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion about your business’ suitability. We are here to help and guide.

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