Google Display Network: 6 Tips to Improve Campaign Performance

This is a partner post by converge consulting. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Acquisio. 

According to Google, Google’s Display Network (GDN) includes more than 2 million publisher websites and reaches 90% of Internet users. With that said, it’s no surprise that GDN can be great for brand awareness, but what about driving conversions? If you’re like me, you’ve probably struggled to find the right mix of targeting options to drive a steady stream of conversions or leads. However, after a great deal of testing and numerous calls with Google AdWords reps, I’ve discovered six ways to improve display ad campaign performance.

1. Exclude Mobile and Tablet In-App Traffic

If you have run display advertising campaigns before, you’ve probably noticed that a good amount of your clicks come from apps on mobile/tablet devices. We’ve all used apps and accidentally clicked on ads within the app before, so it can be assumed that a lot of these clicks are most likely unintended clicks.

If you realized this already, you’re probably thinking, “is there a way to exclude mobile and tablet in-app advertising completely?” By using these three suggestions below, I have eliminated mobile/tablet app clicks on all of my display campaigns.

First, add a – 100% bid adjustment to ‘Mobile devices with full browsers.’

Negative Mobile Big Adjustment

Second, in your Site category options, exclude ‘GMob mobile app non-interstitial.’

Exclude GMob mobile app

Third, add a Campaign placement exclusion for ‘’

Negative placement

2. Layer on Targeting Options

Targeting ads based on website topics or keyword contextual targeting? No one knows how Google actually determines what websites might be relevant, so it’s also great to make your targeting more specific with additional targeting options.

Layer on demographic targeting such as age, gender and/or parental status.

Demographic Targeting

If there is an ‘In-Marketing Audience’ category that works well for the industry you’re in, layer that on as well. With the ‘In-Market Audience’ targeting, Google looks at a user’s recent browsing history to determine what they are in the market for.

In-Mark Audiences

3. Include Text Ads

While users may think that Google Display Network is all about targeting users with compelling imagery and branding, I’ve actually seen great performance with text ads, too (sometimes even better!)
GDN Display Text Ads

4. Adjust Ad Delivery Settings

Instead of evenly rotating your ads or continuously slowing the ads that receive the most clicks, use the option: ‘Optimize for conversions’ once you have sufficient conversion data.

Also, set ad impression frequency caps. No one wants to see the same ad over and over again while they browse online. Set a frequency cap on your ad impressions so a user doesn’t see your ad continuously throughout the day. Having a cap on impressions should help improve your click through rate (CTR) and help the overall quality of your campaign (I would suggest setting a frequency cap of 3-5 impressions per day).

Ad Delivery Settings

5. Exclude Unwanted Site-Categories and Placements

Do you want your ads being displayed on error pages on bizarre websites? I didn’t think so. Making sure to exclude all site category options where you wouldn’t want your ads appearing.
Exclude Site Categories

While there is no way to determine what websites your ads will be displayed on (unless you are only using Placement targeting), you should be excluding website placements as your campaign runs. Are your ads appearing on irrelevant websites? Are there website placements where your ads are receiving a ton of traffic but no conversions? Exclude these website placements from your campaign.
Exclude Placements

6. Shorten Membership Duration of Remarketing Lists

Did you extend the membership duration of your remarketing list thinking it would be a good idea to remarket to this audience for a longer period of time? I’ve tried that too and it turns out, it’s not the best strategy. It’s great to remarket to users right away, but after a few weeks if a user hasn’t pulled the trigger and converted, it’s most likely that they never will.
Shorten Remarketing Membership Duration

Stick with the suggested 30-day membership or even reduce it depending on your industry.

Well, there you have it. Try these six tips out and let us know what improvements you see.

Have any other tips? Please include your comments below.

Hayley Warack

Hayley Warack is a Digital Strategist at Converge Consulting. She builds and manages search engine marketing and social media advertising campaigns for clients across the country. Hayley’s focus is not only to be dedicated to her client’s marketing needs but to also find creative and innovative solutions that set them apart from their competitors.

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