Written by Sam Yadegar on Mar 3 , 2020

If Google Display Ads aren’t part of your digital marketing strategy, you could be missing out

Here, you’ll find:

  • An introduction to the Google Display Network (GDN)
  • The benefits of display ads vs. paid search ads
  • Different types of ads available via the GDN 
  • Targeting best practices for generating leads and increasing ROI

When it comes to online marketing, Google is the place to be. They field more than 2 trillion searches a year — that’s 5 billion a day. Generally, people in the market for a specific good or service are the ones making these searches.

Google Ads allows you to capitalize on this astounding amount of daily searches and quickly earn the attention you need to build brand awareness. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to promote your business, generate leads, and increase ROI.

HawkSEM: The Best Google Display Network Ads for Lead Generation

A Display Ad on the homepage of the New York Times.

Why you should consider Display Ads

Google provides online advertising through two channels: the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network (GDN). Ads delivered via the Search Network allow companies to buy real estate in Google’s search results through keyword optimization. 

Alternatively, the Display Network delivers those visual-based ads you come across while reading a blog article, watching a video on YouTube, or using a mobile app. The GDN consists of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear. With ads on these sites, you can potentially reach more than 90% of Internet users worldwide. 

The GDN’s benefits

The GDN is designed to help you reach the right audience at the right time. You can capture someone’s attention early in the buying process, reaching them before they start searching for what you offer. This allows you to influence your prospect before your competition does. It’s a move that can be instrumental in your overall advertising strategy. 

Display ads are affordable, as each cost per click (CPC) is typically less than $1. Whether you’re a small business with limited advertising dollars or a larger company looking to invest in multiple campaigns, Google ads are a budget-friendly option.

Additionally, through the power of visual imagery, digital ads enable you to better establish your brand and keep your company front of mind. You can appeal to users through a variety of vibrant, engaging ad designs, including:

  • Responsive display ads: Allow Google to automatically test different combinations of headlines, images, descriptions, and logos, and then display the best-performing combination 
  • Uploaded image ads: Created outside of Google and can be uploaded via multiple file types into Google
  • Engagement ads: Use the same flexible targeting options as normal display campaigns
  • Gmail ads: Show up in the Promotions and Social tabs of your inbox and, when opened, may expand just like an email

Of all the benefits display ads offer, the ability to target an audience with great specificity may be the most helpful in increasing ROI. Companies who target a niche market by topic, interest, demographic, and even location can see a boost in lead generation and sales.

HawkSEM: The Best Google Display Network Ads for Lead Generation

While specifying your target audience through qualifiers like topics or interests does narrow your focus, it also causes Google to guess which sites would be a good fit. (Image via Unsplash)

4 targeting tactics to optimize your Display Ads

The best GDN ads for lead generation are those that take advantage of the targeting capabilities display ads offer. When creating your display ad campaign, follow these targeting best practices to help maximize your ROI.

1. Leverage remarketing campaigns  

By depositing cookies (soon to be replaced with new Artificial Intelligence technology) via the browser of your online visitors, you’re able to show ads targeting those visitors whenever they view other sites on the GDN. 

People seeing your ads are already familiar with your brand and will be more likely to visit you again. Remarketing (also called retargeting) has been shown to deliver lower cost per action (CPA), so it’s a budget-friendly advertising option.

HawkSEM: The Best Google Display Network Ads for Lead Generation

A look at choosing “similar audiences” on the Google Display Network (Image via SEMrush)

2. Reach similar audiences

Google Ads offers a “Similar Audiences” targeting option. This enables you to increase the reach of existing remarketing campaigns by driving new users with similar browsing habits to your site. Create a new display campaign and choose “Similar to remarketing lists” in the target settings. From there, you’ll select the audience(s) you’d like to reach. It’s that easy!

3. Apply managed placement targeting 

You can also control where your ads are being delivered through managed placements. Specifying your target audience through qualifiers like topics or interests narrows your focus. It also causes Google to guess which sites would be a good fit. This means your ads could be posted to websites that won’t yield results. 

With placement targeting, you can select specific sites you’d like your ads to appear. More focused target audience means more lead generation.

4. Reach in-market audiences 

Google uses browsing trends and history to select potential customers for your offers. These are in-market audiences, and they’re comprised of users who are looking for goods and services that match your offerings. 

Consider creating a campaign under “Interests and remarketing.” You’ll choose In-Market Audiences before selecting the audience type you’d like to reach. 

The takeaway

Navigating the digital marketing world is no simple task. Luckily, the Google Display Network makes creating display ads as seamless as possible. Google’s algorithms help you identify and reach your prospective customers, often before they even know they need you. 

Affordable, eye-catching, and completely targetable, display ads are a great way to generate leads, boost sales, and increase your ROI.

Ready to take your display ad campaign to the next level? Let’s chat.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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