Optimize ads and campaigns for the Display Network
Ads on the Display Network are delivered to millions of websites across the Internet, so it's important that you spend time thinking about your advertising goals and optimize your campaign to achieve those goals. Here are some ways you can optimize your Display Network campaigns:
- Structure your campaigns for success
- Target your ads effectively
- Write great quality ads
- Adjust your bids
- Keep an eye on your ads' performance
Each of your ad campaigns is composed of multiple ad groups. An ad group is a collection of ads and targeting methods you choose, like keywords or placements. Well-structured campaigns can be easy to manage and optimize.
Group your keyword lists
When you include keywords in campaigns targeting the Display Network, each keyword is used for targeting and all keywords are considered broad match only. To help you better pair your ad text and keywords, try grouping your keywords based on your products or services. Then, you can create ads related to each group of keywords that we can show to potential customers when they're on websites relevant to those products or services. Doing this can also help you keep your account better organized.
When you set up your campaign, you'll need to choose how you reach people on the web. This includes the selection of which ad network you'll target, as well as the opportunity to target keywords, placements, topics, remarketing lists or interest categories, and use other targeting options like geographic or device targeting.
Choose the right keywords
Your ad group's individual keywords help determine where your ads show on the Display Network. Most advertisers find it useful to have somewhere between 5 and 20 keywords per ad group. The keywords should relate closely to the ads in that ad group. The more closely related your keywords are to your ads and landing pages, the more likely it is that your ads will be targeted to the right audience.
Try excluding keywords
Excluding keywords can help you prevent your ads from showing on pages about irrelevant topics, so you avoid paying for unnecessary clicks, which can improve ROI.
An advertiser named Sarah sells "dog doors" but not "sliding glass doors." She chooses keywords like "dog" and "dog doors," and excludes "glass" and "sliding." Excluding these keywords helps prevent her ad from showing on Display Network pages that focus on glass sliding doors, and reduces unwanted traffic to her ad.
- Choose keywords for your Display Network campaigns
- Improve your keyword-targeted Display Network campaigns
- Exclude keywords
Select placements and topics
If you target your ad to only one placement or a few placements, your ad is less likely to appear. Try targeting more placements about the same subject. Get placement ideas by using Display Planner. You can also add topics to your ad group if you want to target multiple pages about the same topic at once.
Try excluding sites and topics
Keep your ads from showing on irrelevant sites by excluding placements. You can either enter the URL of a specific website that you'd like to exclude, or select certain page types to exclude because they may be viewed as sensitive. You also have the option to exclude many pages about a specific topic at once.
Reach specific audiences
Reach people who visited your site before by creating a remarketing campaign, or reach customers interested in specific categories.
For the best campaign performance, it's important to create the best ad you can from start to finish, whether your ad is a basic text ad or a display ad like an image or video ad.
Important: Keep in mind that some websites don't show all types of ads, so you might want to create ads of all formats and sizes for maximum reach.
Here are some things you might want to ask yourself as you start creating your ads:
- What type of person is browsing the websites you're targeting?
- What action do you want that person to take?
- Do you have special offers or features available on your site for this person?
- Can you show this person a unique page that will make them more likely to take the action you'd like?
- Have you tested multiple versions of your ad to find the ones that work best?
A great ad should perform well no matter the format (text, image, or video), and regardless of the network you target. It should be no surprise then that our tips for text ads are just as relevant for image or video ads.
Use keyword insertion
For your text ads, try using keyword insertion to dynamically update your ad text to include one of your keywords that triggered your ad. Keyword insertion can make your ads more relevant to customers, helping to increase your clickthrough rate (CTR).
When you build a new campaign, you'll have the option to target both the Search and Display Networks, or one or the other. Depending on which networks you target, you'll need to monitor and manage your bids to ensure your ads get the best visibility possible.
We suggest that you use conversion tracking data and ultimately your CPA -- and not your clickthrough rate (CTR) -- as the true performance gauge for your placements and Display Network performance.
CTR is generally lower on the Display Network than on search because people behave differently on Display Network pages than they do on search sites. People on Display Network pages are browsing through information, not searching with keywords. When you advertise on the Display Network, keep this information in mind:
- If you have low CTR on a Display Network site, it doesn't mean your ads aren't performing well.
- You can use Relative CTR as a measure of how your ads are performing on the Display Network compared to other advertisers' ads that are appearing on the same websites. This is more helpful than CTR by itself.
- Your ad performance on the Display Network does not affect the performance, Quality Score, cost-per-clicks (CPCs), or position on Google search pages or on other pages in the Search Network.
Targeting only the Display Network
If you target only the Display Network, then you might want to set individual bids for your targeting methods (like a keyword or placement bid) or just leave the ad group default bid.
Check out the next section for guidance on how to monitor and measure your ad group performance to better evaluate your performance results and help you set your bids accordingly.
Find out which sites have shown your ads
Monitoring the placements where your ads appear can help you avoid impressions on sites where your ads don't earn clicks, and identify both sites to exclude and new sites to target.
Use Google Conversion Tracking
Track the number of sales you generate from your ads, both from search and from Display Network sites. Reviewing your total number of conversions and the value of these conversions can help you decide if you should increase your budget, change your bids, or further optimize your ad groups to receive more targeted visitors.
Maintain a high quality ad campaign for the best possible visibility
Most sites in the Display Network only display a few ads per page. Your ad's placement on the page is strongly influenced by your ad's Quality Score and bid. If you find that your ads don't show often on the Display Network, try improving your Quality Score by taking the steps described in the other sections of this article.
Did you know...
If your campaign has at least 15 conversions per month, you can use these tools to optimize your campaigns automatically, while still being in control of your targeting:
- Conversion Optimizer is a bidding optimization engine that can help you maximize your return on investment (ROI) by optimizing bids in real-time, impression-by-impression.
- Display Campaign Optimizer optimizes both targeting and bidding to help you find additional conversions for your Display Network campaigns.
- Learn more about where your ads can appear and how to evaluate your performance across the Display Network.
- Monitor your image and video ad performance on the Display Network.
- For more insights on how you can improve your landing pages, use the Website Optimizer to further maximize your conversions.