Many advertisers are reluctant to use display due to lack of control and poor ROI, but with the right set-up and optimization, display can be a great source of leads, and not just a branding tool. Display includes websites, such as blogs, articles, and other sites that will show ads relevant to their content. The Display Network has the advantage of reaching potential customers at different points of the buying cycle, and capturing the attention of those that were not yet considering searching for your services. For example, someone reading an article on how to clean a carpet might decide that they’d like to hire your carpet cleaning company after seeing your ad next to the article they were reading.
As you get ready to advertise on Display, keep in mind that users browsing online content behave very differently than those searching for specific information. Also, you will see different results from the two networks. Lower CTRs on display are normal and will not affect the quality of your search keywords. Most advertisers see higher conversion rates for search, but that’s not always necessarily the case. Some of my clients get most of their conversions from display. Then, there are advertisers who see lower conversion rates on Display but still get valuable traffic at lower costs than Search. The only way to know how Search and Display will perform for you is to test them both.
Here are my top 5 recommendations for optimizing display campaigns:
- Display only campaigns: When advertisers create their AdWords campaigns, they’re automatically opted into both networks. However, I do not recommend simply enabling Display within your existing campaign, keep the two networks separate. To get you started, create a mirror version on your search campaign, opt it out of search and leave it opted into content only.
- What placements to target: You can either run display ads by choosing Automatic Placements, where AdWords chooses for you what websites are relevant based on your current keywords and ads. or, you can target specific websites you’d like to show on by selecting Managed Placements. At this initial stage, I recommend going with Automatic instead of Managed Placements.
- Budget: While you test effectiveness of Display for your website, I recommend setting an initially lower budget for Display than for Search (10-20% of your total AdWords budget), and lowering your bids by about 20% for Display.
- Display ads: Create different ads for display to capture attention of users that are at different staged of the buying cycle. Also, create image and rich media ads. AdWords offers a free Display ad builder that will help you get started. Image and rich media ads tend to get better CTR on display than regular text ads.
- Exclude poor performers: Monitor what websites your ads have appeared on and exclude poor performers, which are sites that generate a lot of impressions but few clicks, and sites that you get a lot of clicks from but that don’t convert.
Keep monitoring your campaigns and adjusting based on incoming data. Display could prove a valuable source of cost-effective traffic you’ve been missing out on! What strategies have you tried that worked?