About Display Expansion on Search campaigns

Display Expansion on Search campaigns can help you get additional conversions on the Google Display Network using unspent Search budgets at similar cost per conversion as Search. This article explains the basics of how this expansion option works and how it can help you get better results.


How it works

You can enable Display Expansion for your Search campaigns by checking the “Display Network” option in the “Network” settings card. The settings for your Search campaign will be observed in the Display Expansion wherever possible, including:

  • Bidding and targeting, for example, contextual relevance.
  • The overall campaign budget cap will be observed and use of Display Expansion won’t typically affect your spend on Search and will aim to use only unspent Search budget.
  • Cost per conversion on Display will typically be similar or less than spend on Search.
  • Ads will be automatically created based on your Search ads, although you'll have the option to easily create image ads in the “Assets” section, which is under the “Campaigns” tab of your Google Ads account.
  • It’s recommended to use Responsive Display Ads to expand your reach even further and help improve your performance.

Your ads can appear when people search for terms on Google Search and search partner sites that match your keywords, and they can also appear on relevant website pages and apps on the Google Display Network. By carefully monitoring Search performance and after a limited exploration period, Google can selectively show ads on the Display Network while maintaining on average the same performance. It’ll stop spending if Search performance can’t be matched. Search campaigns that have spare search budgets and are opted into Display Expansion can deliver up to 15% more conversions at similar CPA to Search. You can expect to find an average of 14% more conversion value for Search, if your core Search campaign is using Maximize Conversion Value or Target ROAS.

Find the right audience

A Search Network campaign with Display Expansion increases your reach with no additional setup, and can help you find the right audience at the right place and the right time.

  • Additional impressions and conversions: Search campaigns that are opted into Display Expansion will only serve on Display if we predict there's unutilized Search budget and no other Display or Universal campaigns of yours are competing for the same impressions.
  • Performance: Search campaigns opted into Display Expansion and that have spare Search budget can deliver up to 15% more conversions at similar CPA as the current campaign's CPA.
  • Grow your potential audience: By adding the Display Network, your ads can appear on the Google Display Network, allowing you to reach potential customers who browse or research similar products on a collection of more than 3 million websites, videos, and apps.
  • Be strategic with little extra work: Since the Display Expansion is fully automated, your ads will be optimized to target across the Display Network with no additional setup.

Use responsive ads to reach more people

To expand your reach even further and help improve your performance, create a responsive ad for your Search Network campaign with Display Expansion. Responsive ads are a convenient, all-in-one format that serve across the entire Display Network. Using the assets that you enter, including headlines, images, and your landing page responsive ads, they automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit just about any available ad space. By creating one ad that fits almost any ad space on Display, a responsive ad can increase your reach and impact while also saving your time. If you’ve uploaded Google Ads image assets, from Search for example, Display Expansion may create responsive display ads automatically with no work required on your part. Learn more About responsive display ads.

Note: If you’ve been running Search Network campaigns and then expanding to Display, you may notice an increase in conversions and thus, an increase in daily spend. On average, your cost per conversion on the Display Network should be similar to that on the Search Network.



Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

Create a Search Network campaign with Display Expansion

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  3. Select a goal for your campaign, or if none of the goals fit what you’re looking for, select Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.
  4. Select the campaign type as Search.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Select the results you want from this campaign, and name your campaign.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. In the menu on the left side, click Campaign settings.
  9. In the "Networks" section, click View network settings and tick the “Include Google Display Network” option.
  10. Select your remaining campaign settings. Learn more About campaign settings.
  11. Click Publish campaign.

Upgrade a Search Network campaign

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Hover over the Search campaign you’d like to upgrade. You can also use filters at the top of the page to narrow down the list of all the campaigns.
  5. Click the Settings icon Admin Icon by the selected campaign.
  6. Click the Networks drop down to expand and click View network settings.
  7. Under “Display Network”, tick the “Include Google Display Network” option.
  8. Click Save.
  • The use of spare Search budget for Display Expansion doesn’t apply to shared budgets or campaign experiments and is calculated by predicting unused Search budget on a best effort basis.
  • For bidding strategies that consume the full budget by design, such as Maximize Conversions, Maximize Clicks, Maximize Conversion Value, Display Expansion shares budget with Search if similar or better CPA can be achieved. The majority of the budget will typically still be reserved for Search.
  • If you’re not using conversion tags, Google will use a best effort estimation to establish a baseline for performance.

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