It’s no secret, Google Search Network is becoming increasingly expensive and many businesses can simply not afford it. Believe it or not the cost per click can reach as high as $100 dollars and frequently reaches between $15 – $30 for common commercial industries. Don’t believe me?
Now, although this isn’t the norm you can quickly see that for some industries the cost per click to compete in the search network is simply too high.
On the other hand, Google Display Network can be the traffic you’ve always dreamed about. It’s clean, when optimised effectively, and you can still get clicks from $0.50 to $2 dollars which makes it a source of visitors that are too good to be ignored.
So how do you set it up to get clean, targeted and relevant traffic that converts for your campaign?
1. Separate mobile and desktop campaigns.
You might not realise it but the intent, objective and frame of mind that mobile visitors have, in comparison to desktop, can be significantly different. While your advert might work for one device type it won’t necessarily work for the other.
For a past campaign we noted that on average visitors would spend 3:40 when coming from desktop but only 1:16 when coming from mobile. In most cases mobile sessions are often much shorter than desktop visitors and they want to take action quickly.
Think about it, users on a mobile don’t want to spend time sifting through information to find what they want, instead just want a number to call, a button to press or immediate access to the information they need.
Don’t forget that the dimensions for adverts on mobile will also be much smaller too, so it’s important for you to design them effectively.
2. Learn how to turn mobile targeting off
If you want to action our advice above, you’ll need to know exactly how to turn mobile targeting off. Google doesn’t make it easy and there are a few areas you’ll need to learn if you want to effectively manage which devices your campaigns will show on.
There are three configuration features where Google lets you control it.
1. Under the devices tab
2. Exclude “adsenseformobileapps.com”
This setting will exclude your advert from appearing in mobile applications such as games.
3. Disabling the “gmob mobile app interstitial.” In the site category options.
3. Opt out of bad placements
One of the biggest concerns we have when configuring a Google Display Network campaign is where our adverts will show. We want to ensure that our ads show in the most relevant locations to give our campaign the best chance of converting.
Running ads on low performing, fraud websites, error pages or even parked domains is unlikely to gain relevant visitors to your sites, so they should be excluded from the start.
As part of the Google Display Network, Google provides us with the ability to control and opt out of certain categories of websites so we can filter out malicious or low performing categories in our campaign. This feature can be a defining factor in turning around an under-performing campaign so set it from the start.
Select the display advertising campaign you want to edit. Go to the Display Network tab and look for the Add campaign exclusions button.
4. Tightly structure your ad campaigns
It doesn’t matter which Google AdWords network you’re using, either search or display, the structure of your campaigns is critical to its success.
If you want to convert clicks into customers the key is to ensure you present the most relevant offer to potential customers. Relevance is controlled using campaigns and Ad groups which allow you to keep everything organised while allowing for easy optimisation.
For example, if you’re selling a treatment for anxiety and your ads are running on webmd.com then you can set your ads to only appear on pages about “anxiety” or “panic attacks”. This provides you with laser like control to ensure your ads are viewed by the most relevance audience.
5. Set frequency capping
This featured is often missed but it can be really effective, frequency capping represents the number of times a user sees your ad.
Campaigns, ad groups and ads can all be adjusted to provide a limit on impressions per day, per week and per month for your target audience and doing so can improve results and ensure that you’re spending your money effectively.
To add frequency capping go to the campaign settings and under advance settings you’ll find Frequency capping.
6. Split image and text ads into unique campaigns
Just because it’s called the Google Display Network (GDN) doesn’t mean you can’t use text-based ads. Don’t think for a second that one format will work best, regardless what articles say, run different ad formats for both image and text and see which one works best for you.
Ensure you split your image and text ads into unique campaigns and test, monitor and optimise them accordingly to get the best results.
The advantage of text ads is the amount of time it takes to launch one Ad. Small businesses or companies without access to a graphic design can benefit significantly, and lower their costs, by using text only adverts.
There’s no one sized fits all but if you want to start using the GDN network quickly than text ads can be a great place to start.
7. Test different ad dimensions
The size of your display ads will affect where it shows and the number of impressions it receives. While some formats will be most effective on desktop and others more effective for mobile.
The most popular formats for receiving a high number of impressions are 728×90, 160×600, 300×250 and these are likely the best place to start. For a full list of Ad dimensions view the info on Google display ads here.
Each dimension will provide you with a limited amount of space and not all of your ads will be the same. The important thing is to try to keep the same format and message for all dimensions in an Ad Group. Using different Ad Groups to test different copy and Ad Formats but keep all Ads within a single Ad Group consistent.
Think about it, if you change copy and imagery for different dimensions in an Ad Group then it will be challenging to view the data and understand whether it’s the format or the copy that’s impacting conversions the most.
8. Exclude keywords that under perform
Just like the Google Search Network you want to exclude or remove keywords and placements that aren’t profitable. In the past we’ve found that certain automatic placements can be click intensive and you need to be wary of websites that bait visitors into clicking ads, even when they don’t want to.
TIP: Websites owners sometimes deploy dodgy strategies to ensure adverts are click on their sites because it helps to increase their Adsense revenue.
Check the list of keywords and placements that are not profitable and exclude these so your ads won’t show there anymore.
9. Know what works
Like any form of paid advertising you absolutely need to be tracking conversions for your campaign. However, for every new campaign you will need a period of time before you can begin to see patterns, in clicks and conversions, so you can understand what works.
We recommend that you start your campaign by “optimising for clicks” and setting a cheaper cost for each click. When you’ve had 50 – 100 conversions you can switch to optimising your campaign for conversions. Google will know more about your campaign, the longer it’s active, and will get smarter about finding more customers and providing the most relevant sites for impressions.
10. Restrict campaign settings
When you setup your campaign, make sure you select Display Network only from the drop down. This ensures that your ads will run only on the Google Display Network. It’s very important that you separate Google Ad Networks into their own unique campaigns, for example you don’t want to mix display with search.
Finally you can set the location as well as restrict your campaign in other ways in the campaign settings too.