What exactly are google display ads?

Unlike with Google Adwords, google display ads are those visual ads that automatically seem to pop up when let’s say you’re searching for something, or browsing through your Facebook feed, reading an article, or even looking for a certain landing page. They are among the biggest Google ad trends for 2020. These ads have a way of tracking you down and planting themselves directly in front of you. This is the ingeniousness of the google display advertising. If you’ve recently done a google search for mountain bikes, for example, you are probably well aware that you will be seeing display ads of such bikes pretty much wherever you go online for the next few days at least.

The Google Display Network

Google display ads are actually dispersed through the Google Display Network. This is essentially a network comprised of over two million sites and apps and consequently reaches pretty much all of the internet–from Facebook to other search engine pages as well.

What does this mean for your google display ad? It means that it has the potential to be seen by tons of people. The key though is ensuring it is seen by the right people, your target market audience. What happens when random inconsequential users see and click on your google ad…it costs you money and yet there is very little chance to convert.

In this article, we look at a few tips and tricks for not only getting more clicks on your display ads and thereby increasing your conversion rate, but also making sure you’re getting the right kinds of clicks.

Why Use Google Display Ads?

Why utilize part of your budget on a google display ad versus say Google Adwords? Perhaps you have other marketing/advertising strategies in place that are working just fine. Not to mention, because of how the Google Display Network works, there’s the fact that display ads pop up when people are generally looking for something else. In other words, they may not actively be searching for whatever the ad is featuring. A major part of why brands do rely on display advertising of this nature is because of the rule of seven. And while it’s not necessarily a hard and fast rule, it is one to pay attention to in your digital marketing strategy.

Basically, it is suggested that people need to see an item or product seven times prior to making a move on it. It is all about frequency on a given search network. So whether they click on it or actually purchase, they are going to need it in front of them, in some capacity, a handful of times. This is where the display ad comes into play. What after all has more persuasive power than the visual. A user happens to be scrolling through an article and lo and behold, your item framed within a professionally crafted ad comes up. They are intrigued and so they click on it. You now have a potential customer on your hands.

So how do you get the relevant clicks? How do you create a display campaign that checks all the right boxes and thus gets you a better click-through rate?

Here are eight things you can do in terms of your Google ad display campaign that will actually make a difference…

1. Remarketing Your Display Ads to the Right Audience

It is all about your click-throughs in the end. You want more clicks and high-quality clicks. This is why remarketing those ads is so important. Via the Google Display Network, you do have the option to remarket and/or retarget. This simply means that with those people who’ve previously visited your site or your app, you are able to get your display ad in front of them. Google, much like Facebook, will also give you the ability to select specific audience settings for your remarketing campaign. Again, this goes toward getting those quality clicks on your display ads.

Affinity Audiences.

One of your choices with respect to audience setting within all Google ad spaces, from Adwords to display ads, is an affinity audience. This allows you to target/retarget users based upon interest. So what are they passionate about, what are their likes, search behavior patterns, and so forth. This could be extremely useful especially if yours is more of a niche brand.

Audience Selection Based on Intent.

That is to say, what are users actively searching for. Setting up your retargeting campaign for those who are in fact interested in purchasing your product right now can be a smart move resulting in more clicks through the Display Network. 

2. Focus on Geotargeting with Your Google Ads

Geotargeting is an effective approach that many brands take when launching a display ad campaign, be it through Facebook or Google. The internet is vast. There are billions of users in tons of different areas. You can’t possibly target them all, nor should you. Which locations are the most relevant to your campaign? Including location information in your ad, not to mention utilizing Google Display Network settings to this end will net you higher quality interactions.

Google Location Extensions.

You have the ability to add Google’s location extensions to any display ad campaign. Basically what this does is to alert mobile users about your business when they perform a google search within a relevant category. So for example, let’s say you have a bakery in Los Angeles. When people are searching for “pastries near me” or “cake makers in LA” if you’ve utilized location extensions (you can even add a phone number), you have a better chance of coming up in their search query.

3. Foreground Those CTAs

What good is a google display ad if it isn’t eliciting action from users? After all, can your budget tolerate ads that no one takes action on? In other words, that call to action has to be present. It should actually be front and center so there’s no mistaking what you want someone to do who encounters your ad. Furthermore, your call to action cannot be bland. Give it that sense of urgency. You want a user to feel compelled to actually do as instructed lest they miss out on a limited offer or promotion. 


Examples of Powerful Calls to Action.

What is the ideal CTA? What will up your click-throughs and get them to your landing page? A couple of examples of powerful CTAs:

Lyft managed to triple its number of customers with this and similar CTAs

Google Display Ad example: Lyft Ad


This simple yet powerful CTA helped Instagram increase the number of marketers who engaged with the social media stalwart:

Google Display Ad example. Simple blue ad

4. It’s All About the Buttons on Display Ads

Buttons are fast, easily identifiable, and not difficult to navigate. This makes them the perfect vehicle for directing people to where you want them to go within the context of your google display ads, be it your landing page or some other such page. This also increases the chance you will convert. And as far as click-through rate is concerned, studies have shown that buttons tend to get it done better than any other sort of link you could include in your display ad.

Pay Attention to Color and Placement.

When it comes to incorporating buttons, it is not solely about the wording. Of course, you want to make sure that users understand exactly what they’re clicking on. So along the lines of “learn more,” “buy now” “free trial”—think about the action you are asking them to take. Also, however, make sure the button stands out by virtue of its color. A button that is too similar in shade to the ad background won’t get noticed right away. Placement is also important. You want it somewhere where it is certain to get their attention.

5.      Use Animation in Your Display Ad

Who says your display ad has to be a flat, two-dimensional ad? Save that for Google Adwords. Sky’s the limit with these types of display ads. And yes, you can integrate animated elements. While it can be a bit more involved to use an animated banner ad, for example, the payoff might be huge in terms of click-throughs. Animated ads have more visual appeal and are consequently a more immersive experience whether appearing on a web page or on social media. If a user sees movement coming from a display ad, their eye is more apt to go to it. Additionally, animated images and ads have the capacity to tell a story.

GIF Ads.

This type of display ad will have a few different rotating GIF frames. And can tell your story through a series of slides for instance.

Flash Ads.

A flash banner ad utilizes video content made through Flash. Flash ads can offer a more video-like experience.

HTML 5 Ads.

These banner ads integrate animation and video elements and tend to have greater functionality across more devices.

6. Create Multiple Google Display Ad Sizes for Your Campaign

The ways in which users will come to view your display ad are going to vary–this is in large part because of the Google Display Network. There are a multitude of devices out there. And your banner or display ad is going to look different on each and every one of them.

Creating just one banner ad in one size isn’t the smartest move. You want to ensure that your banner ad will look seamless appearing on a website landing page and smartphone alike. Across the board, you want to ensure your google ad campaign is optimized and effectively reaches your target audience. 

Most Common Display Ad Sizes.

While certainly, sizes can vary, among the most common and easily viewed ad sizes are the following, so you want to keep these in mind as you design:

  • 250 x 250 – Square
  • 200 x 200 – Small Square
  • 468 x 60 – Banner
  • 728 x 90 – Leaderboard
  • 300 x 250 – Inline Rectangle
  • 336 x 280 – Large Rectangle
  • 120 x 600 – Skyscraper
  • 160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper
  • 300 x 600 – Half-Page Ad

7. Have Different Ads that Feature Different Messages

Beyond just changing up your ad sizes, you also may want to think about changing up the google display ads themselves. Your product likely has a variety of features. You don’t necessarily just have to stick with one catch-all ad. Looking at your audience, there are probably certain things that may appeal to one segment and certain things to another. Factor this into your display campaign strategy. Depending on the marketing budget, you could even have different ads directing users to different landing pages. 



Address Relevant (But Different) Pain Points

Your ad variations can speak to those different pain points that users have. For example, in the following, Dell utilized a couple of different display ads to account for a multitude of target audience needs–from timing to budget. 

This ad for example is focused on creating that sense of urgency for those who aren’t sure whether or not they should buy now.

Google Display Ads Example

While this ad focuses more on the technical aspects, putting those front and center and thus appealing to users who might be more interested in comparing products of this nature.

Google Display Ads: Using different messaging in ads

8. Make Sure Discounts & Promos are Relevant in Your Ads

Certainly, people often get excited about the prospect of a discount. However, if the discount doesn’t directly tie into the Google display ads’ content, then it really isn’t going to have much of an impact. What’s more, it needs to relate to the reason why users are primarily searching for your product and therefore looking at your google display ad. Simply throwing up a discount in the hopes of enticing someone to buy isn’t likely to work. This is where data comes in. Reviewing audience purchasing patterns and understanding the analytics can help you more effectively create the right message to target the right user and thereby convert them.

Understanding the Benefits of Google Display Ads

Yes, it is going to cost money to create, launch and maintain an effective Google display ad campaign Again, the question is why should you do it? Is it really necessary? Here are just some of the benefits of utilizing google display ads to help solidify your brand and increase your conversion rate.

  1. Google display ads are visually appealing. Versus a Google Adwords campaign, this gives you more of that “wow” factor. You are more apt to capture users’ attention and in turn, more apt to get that coveted click. And with the Display Network, your ad has a chance to really gain some attention. 
  2. Google Display Ads can hinder your competitors. Let’s say a user is searching for a certain product or landing page, you are then able to use retargeting to get them to take a look at your brand instead. Offer them a tremendous deal and you may just one-up the competition.
  3. Google ads of this nature, much like with Adwords, are trackable. Display ads give you the ability to actually measure how well an ad performs. You can see how often it is seen in tandem with the click-through rate. This is incredibly useful information, as you can then adjust or change up the display ad as needed.
  4. Google Display Ads can help solidify brand awareness. Because again they are visual, you can include those elements identifiable with your brand. Building your brand is about gaining recognition and display ads are an easy way to do just that.

So, should you have Google display ads?

If you have the budget, the short answer is yes. They only stand to gain your brand awareness and ideally, get you more clicks. Creating a visually appealing display ad doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. You don’t have to have a degree in graphic design or computer programming. Design Wizard gives you the tools necessary to create eye-catching and unique display ads for your brand. You can customize numerous elements and make it specific to your needs and your business. It really doesn’t get any easier than this!

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