If you’re new to display campaigns, spend time planning your campaign so you can get the best performance. In this article, we’ll walk you through the five steps of planning a display campaign and the tools available to you.
1. Identify your goals
Is your goal to drive direct response traffic and generate clicks? Or is your goal to promote your brand and measure user engagement?
Identifying your goals upfront will help you to better plan and implement your display campaigns. The ultimate goal for your campaign will influence the audience segments that you reach, your budget and bid, your creative and even the metrics that you choose to track.
2. Choose a budget and bidding strategy
Your budget influences the ability of your ads to serve throughout the entire day and how often they show. Your bidding determines the way that your budget is spent and how prominently your ads are featured.
Display campaigns support automated bidding strategies (such as Enhanced CPC or Maximise clicks) that look at auction behaviour on Google Ads, then automatically adjust your bids to get the best performance for you. Display campaigns also support Smart Bidding strategies (such as Maximise conversions or target ROAS) that use conversion and conversion value data to manage your bids for you and help you meet your performance goals.
If you’re looking to control your bid, you can also use manual cost-per-click (CPC) bidding. With manual CPC bidding, you can set a maximum price on the cost of someone clicking on your ads.
3. Find your target audience
With optimised targeting, you can find new and relevant customers likely to convert within your campaign goals. Optimised targeting uses Google's machine learning to look beyond any manually selected audience segments in your campaign, then finds audience segments that you may have missed so that you can improve campaign performance.
While not necessary, you can add criteria like audience segments or keywords (otherwise known as 'targeting signals') to optimised targeting. Optimised targeting uses targeting signals to find similar criteria to serve your ads on. If optimised targeting finds better performing traffic elsewhere, it may reduce or stop serving traffic on your signals.
You can also simply opt into optimised targeting without adding any signals for a hassle-free way to reach your precise audience. Or, if you’re not searching for new audiences, you can also opt out of using optimised targeting.
4. Create responsive display ads
Responsive display ads can take some of the work out of tailoring your creatives for your audience segments. With responsive display ads, you can upload your assets (images, headlines, logos, videos and descriptions), and Google will automatically generate ad combinations for websites, apps, YouTube and Gmail.
5. Understand performance management tools and features
Google Ads offers several tools and features to help you evaluate and manage the performance of your display campaigns.
In Google Ads, use the Reports page to understand users who clicked on your ads (conversions) and users who didn’t click but were influenced by your ads (view-through conversions). You can also see the path that users took to convert (or not convert) when they saw your ad using data-driven attribution.
If you’re more experienced in Google Ads reporting, you should also consider using Google Analytics to analyse customer paths to conversions and to see the value of display campaigns among other channels.
Finally, use Performance Planner once your campaign has been live for at least a week. Performance Planner looks at historical data for your campaign and then provides actionable recommendations for future campaigns. You can access available headroom, simulate different bid and budget scenarios, forecast conversions, maximise growth, evaluate seasonality and increase the efficiency of your campaign. Even better, you can use Performance Planner to examine multiple display campaigns at the same time.