Display advertising on the Google Display Network (GDN) is a remarkable tool, and when used to its maximum benefit, can help to transform your business opportunities. So many marketers focus on the Search Network strategy because it offers a rapid return on investment.
GDN can rapidly transform your search performance. While SEO and other organic search need to be incorporated into your advertising strategy, if GDN becomes a centerpiece of your digital marketing strategy, it can show rapid results for your business with substantial ROI.
There is a learning curve when approaching GDN advertising. This skills acquisition and research requirement can put some people off exploring the multiple ways in which display ads appear and discovering the benefits that display ads offer businesses. So let’s take a closer look at what GDN advertising means and the various formats on offer.
What is Google Display Advertising?
Most people know if they are more motivated to learn by images or text. It is this understanding of how people absorb new information that informs the various styles of advertising seen online. While blogs remain critical to digital marketing, increasingly, people are searching for images to learn more about their interests.
Display ads are image-based and what makes them interesting is how they can connect with a target who might be interested in your product, but who isn’t actively searching for them. Display campaigns can be so quiet that they follow a target from site to site, even popping up in their email with a simple and repetitive message that the target audience is receptive to.
The device works best when reaching out to potential customers early in the purchase cycle, or to raise brand awareness and organic traffic.
Your advertisements on the Google Display Network can be shared with over 2 million sites that reach over 90% of internet users worldwide, using Google Ads. You also expose your company to targeted groups that are more likely to be interested in your products or services. This exposure is more comprehensive than SEO, which relies on keywords and ranking for organic reach. Display ads are broader and shown to a larger audience meaning that your brand gets more exposure in the right places.
What is the Google Display Network?
The GDN is a network of websites where businesses can display their ads. Every time you go online the Google Display Network will present display ads it deems relevant to you. It does this with specific targeting and tracking, which internet users now have far greater control over with the introduction of data privacy laws and cookie opt-in requirements.
Where do GDN Ads appear?
Google Display Network ads will appear on sites based on your campaign preferences, configured when you set the parameters on your Google account. You can make changes to these settings according to your tracking data to make the most of your investment. The Google site is the best place to find more information as they often adjust the algorithm.
Google and other search engines
If online traffic searches for the product or service you provide, your ad might display on Google. When uploading your ad to Google you select the keywords that will promote your ad when traffic searches those keywords. Your ad will then appear somewhere on the page, dependent on its relevance to the search.
Google search sites: Ads on Google Search can show above or below search results. Display ads appear beside, above, or even below results pages on Google Play, in the Shopping tab, and on Google Maps, including the Maps app.
Google search partners: Ads may display alongside search results on Google search partners’ websites. Search partners for text advertising include hundreds of non-Google websites, Google Video, and other Google sites.
You can choose to display ads to target individuals surfing the web.
The GDN displays advertisements, including Google services such as Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube, as well as mobile sites and apps.
Depending on your targeting options, your adverts will display on websites associated with the website:
Choose keywords and subjects relevant to your industry.
Select at least one website or page in the network.
Choose target audiences based on your customer persona information.
Your Display ads can be shown to traffic using devices:
When traffic searches Google using their mobile devices or tablets your ad can appear.
Your advertising can display on mobile apps that are part of the Display Network.
You can configure your Display Advertising to appear in specific regions, applicable to your campaign goals. This means that if you want to do a local, national or international campaign, your GDN ad can appear only to the audience you want.
You can also adjust the language of your advertising so that if it appears in Germany, the text will automatically appear in German. There are a large number of language options to choose from, or you can write your campaign in the language that you choose if it is not one of the options.
Types of display ads
There are many different ad formats and types of display ads. The most common is the banner ad. It is generally a static image with a link to a landing page that gives more information and moves a potential customer down the sales funnel.
Ads that are uploaded to the GDN are added as a zip file, GIF, JPG, or PNG, AMP HTML, and HTML5.
These ads need to be carefully crafted to get attention using brand-aware imagery, clear CTA information, and a link to a landing page that guides traffic further.
Google Web Designer can be used to create rules that will make your uploaded HTML5 advertisements responsive. Google will show your ads in a variety of sizes and aspect ratios, adjusting your ad to appear in landscape or portrait depending on the device or screen configuration.
Responsive ads, including images, headlines, logos, videos, and descriptions work in ad combinations for websites, apps, YouTube, and Gmail automatically.
When you upload multiple assets to create your campaign, Google uses a machine learning model to find the ideal combination of assets for each ad slot based on predictions developed from your performance history. This intelligent approach to advertising, using AI and ML to advance your campaign, has proven to be effective in driving leads.
Video ads can reach millions of prospective buyers when using the GDN. Video ads improve your brand awareness and can help you enter a new market. One of the best features is video ads that stay at the bottom of the screen and continue to play as a user scrolls down the page.
Because the ads play in a non-intrusive manner, often on silent mode, at the bottom of the screen, traffic sometimes accepts the subliminal messaging these videos send.
Quick guide to Google Display Ad Sizes and Formats
The Google Display Network offers a range of ad sizes and formats, including text ads, image ads, rich media, static and animated image ads, and video ads.
According to Google, the best performing Google Display ad sizes are:
Medium Rectangle (300×250) – embedded within text content or at the end of articles.
Large Rectangle (336×280) – performs well when embedded within text content or at the end of articles.
Leaderboard (728×90) – above main content, and on forum sites.
Half Page (300×600) – fastest growing sizes by impressions.
Large Mobile Banner (320×100) – twice the height of Google’s standard mobile leaderboard.
The best Google display ad sizes and formats are:
250 x 250 – Square
200 x 200 – Small Square
468 x 60 – Banner
120 x 600 – Skyscraper
160 x 600 – Wide Skyscraper
970 x 90 – Large Leaderboard
320 x 50 – Mobile Leaderboard