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How to plan a display campaign

There are five main stages to planning a display campaign:

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 your targeting choices, pricing model, creative messaging, and even the metrics you choose to track.

2. Find your target audience: Finding potential customers distributed across thousands of publisher websites can be difficult. Google's targeting technologies help you determine which sites would be most relevant for your campaigns, allowing you to connect with your customers when and where it matters. Relevant ads are more valuable for both consumers and advertisers. You can find your target audience for your display campaign by:

  • Targeting based on a webpage's content: Contextual Targeting uses keywords to automatically match your ad to the content of a webpage.
  • Hand picking sites: Use Placement Targeting to choose ad placements, from entire websites to ad positions on specific webpages.
  • Defining relevant concepts on handpicked sites: Find niche audiences with a combination of Placement and Contextual Targeting.
  • Finding users in specific interest categories: Interest-Based Advertising reaches users based on the types of sites they visit.
  • Optimizing by demographic, location, and time: Demo bidding, geo and day-parting controls let you focus your spend in the right areas.
  • Excluding irrelevant content and sites: Advanced targeting controls provide your full control over where your ads appear.
  • Managing Frequency of ad impressions: Frequency capping lets you focus your impressions on more interested consumers.


3. Create your custom display ad: Use Google's Ad gallery, formerly known as the display ad builder, to customize a new ad, or upload your own. Customize your messaging to be specific to your product and audience, and to drive the desired user response.

4. Set your bids and budget: With Google, you only pay what an ad is worth to you. In our unique pricing model, every ad is an auction; you bid the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click or an impression. Cost-per-click (CPC) pricing is most appropriate for advertisers who are looking to direct traffic to their website or online store. Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) pricing is appropriate for advertisers who are familiar with traditional ad industry metrics and are looking for brand name visibility with potential customers.

5. Understand performance management tools and features: AdWords offers several tools and features to help you evaluate and manage the performance of your display campaigns. It's important to understand these tools upfront so that you are comfortable using them when the time comes to optimize your campaign. For example, if you have direct response marketing goals, you should set up Conversion Tracking after you've set your bids and budget in order to better measure your success later. Learn more about the available AdWords Tools.

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