Manage And Optimize Google Display Network Campaigns
The Google Display Network (GDN) is the second most popular network offered by Google Ads. We typically think of Google Ads in terms of search ads, but it also offers great display advertising opportunities.
What is display advertising? Instead of using text-based messages that appear on search engine results pages, display ads use images, videos, animations and other rich media formats. And, display ads can appear on websites all over the Internet.
This is a significant difference that highlights just how different Google Display Network campaigns are from regular search campaigns in PPC marketing. This discussion will look at how to manage and optimize these display ad campaigns to help marketers get a head start in developing successful strategies on the GDN.
Creating A Google Display Network Campaign
If you haven’t launched your campaign on the Google Display Network yet, here is a quick, step-by-step guide to get started. Luckily, if you’re familiar with creating search campaigns, the process will be very similar.
Log into your Google Ads account (if you don’t have one, you will have to create the account first).
From the main Google Ads page, click “Campaigns,” followed by the blue “+” sign. This will start the process to create a new campaign.
When asked to select the “Campaign type,” go ahead and choose “Display Network.
As you create the display campaign, Google will ask that you name it, enter a bidding strategy and budget, a location for your business, preferred language and other general information.
You can also enter the “Additional settings” menu to set up an ad schedule, select content exclusions, targeting options, audiences and more. We’ll get into what these options mean shortly.
When you are satisfied with your campaign, you can save your work.
Managing A Google Display Network Campaign
“Manage” is a very broad term that is going to encompass a number of activities and tasks associated with maintaining your display campaigns. Many of which were mentioned during the setup of your display campaign.
You have a lot more options when it comes to bidding strategies on the GDN. A key part of managing is choosing the best bidding options for each campaign, as well as exploring other strategies for spending your ad budget.
On the topic of budget, another management responsibility is to see how money is being spent and whether or not the budget needs to be increased, decreased or allocated differently.
You need to select when your ads will appear. For some businesses, ads appearing 24/7 is no problem. However, you may want ads to only appear when your business is open. This is especially important if you’re driving phone or email contact because you need someone available to receive them.
Apart from a lot of bidding options, the GDN also provides advertisers with way more audience targeting choices than on the Search Network. Some of these options, like retargeting audiences, are major reasons why so many advertisers come to this network. As an account manager, you need to explore these different options and manage multiple campaigns that leverage useful audience targeting selections.
As you’re targeting audiences and even websites on the Display Network, you’re going to run into some irrelevant targets that don’t serve your marketing needs. Your exclusion list are all of the sites and audiences that you don’t want your ads to appear beside. Adding exclusions is an important management task that will save you money and ensure that your budget is spent on the right audiences.
Optimizing Google Display Network Campaigns
The bulk of your time as a Google Ads account owner is going to be spent on the above list of duties. Ultimately, your goal or hope through each one of these activities is to improve performance and help your account and campaigns grow.
This is known as optimization. It’s the ongoing process of finding what works and what doesn’t within your display campaigns. Then, using those insights to maximize the results from new opportunities and minimize or avoid the damage of possible risks.
There are several strategies you can implement to optimize your display campaigns.
Listen To Your Data
Data is your friend when it comes to optimization. Account managers need to have a statistical mindset and be able to understand how key metrics are fluctuating and what the causes and effects of these changes are.
The more you listen to your data and use it to find insights on how to improve your results, the better your campaigns will ultimately perform.
That said, don’t neglect your common sense and what you know to work. Data should be used as suggestions for course corrections. It should not be driving the ship entirely!
Use Third-Party Tools!
Data analysis is very difficult. It becomes almost impossible to manage on your own once your accounts grow to include multiple campaigns. Your advertising strategies will eventually produce more data than you can reasonably handle. Don’t feel like you need to do it alone!
There are a number of third-party tools on the market that can help marketers make sense of their data. Invest in one! It will make your life a lot easier and your campaigns will grow more efficiently when you have a sophisticated tool at your side.
Try and find a Google Ads tool that fits your unique needs. Look for features that solve the problems you’re facing and ignore solutions with a lot of bells and whistles that you don’t actually need.
Keep At It!
One of the best optimization lessons to learn is that it is an ongoing process. It’s not something that you can achieve overnight or in one short burst of activity. Instead, it is something that you are constantly working towards achieving.
A lot of campaign managers become annoyed when they can’t seem to get their strategies perfectly optimized. This is a really incorrect way to approach your campaigns. You’ll never be 100% optimized because your campaign data is always changing.
Rather than try and be perfect, just try and be consistent. If you dedicate just a small bit of time each day, your campaigns will grow and that success and performance you want will come.
There is no one way to manage or optimize Google Display Network campaigns, nor should there be. Every marketer has unique objectives and goals that they hope to achieve through display advertising.
Once you understand what those objectives are for your organization, then you can manage and optimize your campaigns with the intent of maximizing your progress towards reaching these goals.