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What is the Google Display Network?

If you are looking to expand your AdWords campaigns beyond the traditional search campaign, the Google Display Network is a great addition. The Google Display Network (GDN) is a great way to increase exposure and really, get your brand out there.

What is the GDN?

For those of you who don’t know, the GDN is where you can place your ad on literally millions of other people’s websites who are displaying Google ads. So, instead of your ad showing up for search queries, it will show up on other people’s blogs or news sites – provided they choose to display Google ads. Essentially, you can be as general or as specific as you would like. Really, the opportunities are endless.

The GDN is huge and extremely vast, so it can be a great way to acquire new customers quickly. But it can also be a great way to churn through your ad budget in no time. That doesn’t mean it should be avoided – it just means it needs to be set up correctly and managed on an ongoing basis.

There are two ways you can decide where your ad should show:

  1. Automatic Placements (Google decides where your ad should go)
  2. Managed Placements (you decide where your ad should go)

Managed placements are definitely the preferred option on the GDN. You can target people based on their interests, topics, a specific set of keywords, a specific website, gender, age etc. You can even target a specific placement on a particular website. For example, if you think your target customer likes gardening, you can target the gardening page of a very popular news site, like NY Times (see the picture below). As we said before, there are many ways to slice and dice the GDN and the opportunities are limitless.



As for automatic placements, whilst we actively manage all GDN placements, letting Google decide where your ad should go can be a great way to discover good placements. But tread carefully. Automatic placements can be great, but I cannot stress enough the importance of monitoring where your ads are placed. Also watch your conversion data closely to see if there are any particular placements which need to be excluded. If your ad is showing up on a large site, it may be worth excluding the homepage of that site, rather than the entire domain. So have a look at the specific URL where your ad was placed. Conversely, if a particular placement is successful, perhaps it needs to be placed in its own ad group.

You will also want to exclude certain placements from the outset – before you even start! And those are mobile apps! You can refer to this particular article we wrote and also this case study we published highlighting this common mistake.

Do me a favour, don’t make this mistake like so many people do. Google really do make enough money – they don’t need your hard earned marketing dollars as any additional donation.

If you wish to speak to someone at Green Arrow Digital about getting started on the Google Display Network, give a call or fill in the contact form below.

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