Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | SEM, Video | September 19, 2016

Display Network Targeting

Display Network Targeting

Hello Fellow Advertisers! Today I will be going over all the different types of display network targeting. I’ll cover the pros/cons of using the display network (in general), and I’ll also give you recommendations for the different targeting methods. The display network is renowned for sucking up spend, so I’ll show you how to manage it properly to make it profitable for your business. Enjoy!

Full Transcript:

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of my video blog series. I’m your host Nick Rennard and today we’re going to be talking about Display Network Targeting on Google AdWords. Let’s go ahead and get started. We’re starting off with the table of contents here. I’m going to go over the pros and cons of the Display Network. It definitely has some advantages and disadvantages depending on how you’re using it. We’ll go over where I would recommend using it and not using it. I’ll also go over the different types of targeting. Most people who know about the display network really only know about one or two of the types of targeting but it actually has quite a wide range of ways that you can target people. Some of them are more useful and more applicable depending on the situation or industry than others. We’re going to go over that as well.

Let’s go ahead and start with the pros and cons. For the pros first off there’s a massive density of users that you can target. In a way you could view this as a con, and if you look at the cons one of the things that I mention is that it’s difficult to manage properly. One of the reasons that it’s difficult to manage is because there’s such a huge amount of users on the Display Network, if you don’t target properly or if maybe you don’t narrow it enough what can happen is that you end up advertising to such a massive group of people that the majority of that traffic is going to be irrelevant.

That being said the cost per click on the Display Network, you can see it’s the third point here, the cost per click is so insanely low that even if a lot of the users that you’re hitting with your ad is not the most relevant traffic, you can still get away with it because the cost per click is going to be anywhere from four cents to nine cents sometimes, as opposed to the Search Network where you can get clicks anywhere from five bucks up to fifty bucks. That’s one of the big advantages, there’s a huge amount of users to target. If you’re good with the Display Network that’s definitely an advantage because there’s a lot of people that you can be targeting with your ads.

Let’s go and move. There’s lots of targeting options with the Display Network as I mentioned before. A lot of people I’ve talked to only know one or two but there’s actually six or so different types that we can use for targeting on the Display Network. We can also lace those kinds of targeting together. We can make it so that a user has to meet multiple pieces of a criteria in order for us to show our ads to them, which again it’s a more advanced technique. Since there’s a massive density of users we can use some of these techniques to target users more effectively.

Then lastly here on the pros list is it’s great for awareness. Again cost per click, insanely cheap. When something only costs four cents, if you’re allocating even two thousand a month towards that that’s going to get you a massive density of clicks. Whether or not those clicks are leading to sales or to conversation or whatever you’re looking for is a different question, but in terms of getting your ads in front of people who are interested in the things that are within your industry, the Display Network is great for that.

Moving on to the cons here, again it’s difficult to manage properly, I already went over that. Mismanaged campaigns will likely hemorrhage ad spend, went over that a little as well already too. Since it’s so big maybe the targeting that you think you put into your campaigns is narrow enough but if you’re just targeting a bunch of random users, we’ll go over some examples here in a second, you’ll understand a little better. A lot of people when they try out the Display Network for the first time, a month or two later they’ll think the Display Network is terrible, with good reason if you don’t manage it properly the results end up being awful. It will suck up spend and not do anything in terms of conversion. We’ll go over how to manage that better.

Another one of the cons is that it can be extremely high variance. I’ve seen and setup display campaigns for clients that have done nothing but waste money because it’s not good for certain people or certain industries. I’ve also set up display campaigns that convert … It’s their best converter, hands down. It’s essentially printing money for their company. Again since there’s such a massive density of users to target, when you do hit those gold mines of campaigns that are profitable for you, you can dump a lot of money into those and make a lot of sales off them. There’s definitely a wide range of spectrum between it being the potentially platform … Not platform, but network to be advertising on, and also being potentially the best network to be advertising on.

The last con here is that often times it’s not great for conversation KPIs, Key Performance Indicators. Sometimes it is great for sales and whatnot, or trying to generate phone calls or leads, or whatever you’re looking for. Sometimes it’s great for that, but I’d say that overall the Display Network is better for awareness, for trying to get your brand name out. They’re kind of like billboard advertising or something like that. It’s definitely more geared towards that.

Let’s go ahead and move on to some of the different types of display targeting. We’ll start with keywords. The way display targeting works for keywords is that it targets websites based on the keywords that’s within the writing that they have on their website. Whatever text people have on their websites, it will target based on that. You can upload keywords to the Display Network very similar the way you do to the Search Network, but instead of triggering queries based on what people are searching in Google or Bing or whatever, it’s only triggering based off of the keywords that are showing up on other sites, because again remember these ads are showing up in the banner slots on other people’s sites.

If you’re bidding on a keyword like “apparel,” or something like that, your ad will show up on any site that has the wo- You’ll at least bid to show up on any site that has the word apparel on it. That could be good because if you’re showing up on a an apparel site like Nike, great, but if you’re showing up on some random forum that happens to have the word apparel on it, not so great. You can see how that hemorrhaging spend thing comes into play, which is why we want to be careful with keyword targeting. I’ll go for some strategies here.

I will say that keyword targeting is not very useful for terms that overlap into a ton of different industries. For example if you bid on a keyword like software or app or services, those are going to overlap into trillions of different industries, trillions, that’s a big number, in lots of different industries. If you’re bidding on a keyword like “software,” that covers literally any website that has the word software on it. It’s going to be pretty broad. You want to be careful not to be too broad with your display keywords. You want to try to think outside the box. Again it targets based on the keywords on other websites, so you want to think of what keywords might show up on those websites that would qualify that traffic as being relevant to your business.

I have an example here, I always use dog training because I used to do dog training. If you had a dog training business, an example of a bad keyword might be something like “training” or “trainers” or “teaching,” the reason is because that’s going to overlap into other industries like personal trainers and maybe like schools or universities or something like that. You want to be careful with those, again kind of like the software and app and services examples. It overlaps into too many things when you think about it. Some good things to target might be words like “veterinary” or canine terminology because if something like veterinary shows up on a website it’s probably going to be, maybe not specifically dog related, but it’s going to be animal related. You get the idea. You definitely have to use a little bit of theory crafting and think of what might be showing on websites that you think could be relevant. Test it and find out, if it doesn’t work then shut it off and try something new.

Let’s move on to placement targeting. Placement targeting is you get to pick and choose which websites you want to advertise on. If you wanted to show up on a banner slot for Wall Street Journal you could insert that as one of your placements, that way you would be bidding to show up on the banner slots for that website. You can also search for placements that match the themes and topics you’d like to target. I’d say that overall placement targeting I don’t use very frequently.

There are specific applications for it where I’ve had clients who said, “We specifically want to make sure that we’re showing up on this list of 50 websites,” or something like that. In a situation like that if you do have a list of websites that you know is good for you, then it’s great, but if you only have a couple websites that you can think of that might be good or if you’re just trying to fire them off, off the top of your head of things that might be good, again I’m not the biggest fan of placement targeting. I think it’s a little too narrow. I think they could do a better job with being able to search for placements that are relevant to you. I don’t want to bash it too much, if you do have some websites that you want to show up, go ahead and try it out, otherwise let’s move on.

Topic targeting. Topic targeting is my second favorite form of display targeting. It allows you to appear on websites or other placements that include content about the topics you choose. The reason that topic targeting is my second favorite form of targeting is because the list of topics that they have to choose from is extremely well fleshed out. They have every single industry listed. There’s some examples on here like sports, business, travel, arts, transportation, everything. I’ve never setup a campaign for somebody that used topic targeting and wasn’t able to find a topic that was relevant to them. Sometimes there’s only a handful of them that are relevant but you will always find something that is relevant within their list of topics.

If you go into AdWords and you open up their topic targeting they’ll actually send you to a hyperlink of the list of all the topics that they have, I don’t have it open right now but you can go there and look through their full list. They did a good job with their topic targeting, I really like it. Again, massive list of topics to choose from. I think the main reason that … Since there’s so much to choose from that if you know how to do it well, if you know the amount of users you’re targeting is overly or under saturated, it’s really easy to adjust by adding or removing different topics that you think may or may not be relevant or lacing in specific topics into other campaigns to try and narrow traffic or expand traffic can also be an effective form of advertising as well.

Now moving on to interests and remarketing. These are two things but they do put them into the same category. Remarketing is definitely my number one favorite form of display advertising. The reason it’s my favorite form of display advertising is because it’s converts the best, because it makes people the most money which, that’s what I’m paid to do so of course I like it for that reason. Remarketing is for those of you who don’t know, you’re trying to entice users to come back to your website and convert. You can see the little picture down here where a visitor comes to your website, and then they leave your website and then your remarketing ad will show up on other sites that that person is browsing around.

We track those users with cookies, that way when they’re browsing around on their other websites then your ad pops up and it reminds them, “Oh yeah, I was supposed to schedule a call with a lawyer,” “Oh yeah, I was supposed to buy a car,” or whatever they were browsing, whatever you’re trying to sell them. The reason that I love remarketing is a lot of our clients have sales cycles that are significantly longer than something like an apparel industry where you just decide today, “I think I’m going to go buy a pair of pants,” or, “Buy a shirt.” Those are more impulse buys, whereas something like the lawyer example, you don’t necessarily just get a lawyer immediately but you kind of shop around. You don’t buy a car the day that you realize you need a car, you shop around for sometimes up to like … some sale cycles last up to year. Being able to follow users around for however long your sales cycle is, to try and keep getting them to come back, extremely effective form of display advertising.

The second one here is interest. Interest is actually very similar to topics. I think they’re close enough that they could almost merge these two. It reaches users based on the specific interest as they browse pages, apps, channels, videos, YouTube, stuff like that. Again you’re targeting users based on the things that they do or like. It’s a similar concept. The selection is also very similar, where you get to select from a wide range of categories like auto, sports, travel, fashion, et cetera.

Moving on, this is the last one here, demographics. Demographics, it sounds great. It sounds great to be able to target users based on demographics but the only problem with demographic targeting is that it’s extremely narrow. The only demographics that you can actually target users on is gender, age and parental status. There’s a lot more demographics that people could come up with but I think it has to do with a lot of their privacy policies and stuff like that that you aren’t able to target users based on race or sexual preference or things like that because it’s not cool legally I guess.

You can, if you know that for example let’s say you sell feminine hygiene products, you probably don’t want to be targeting dudes. You could eliminate that traffic through demographic targeting. Age is actually the one I use the most. A lot of our clients will tell us that no one under 40 years old buys their product, or no one over 30 years old buys their product. We can set those methods to exclude people of certain age groups, so that way we’re targeting more relevant users. Then lastly parental status, I’ve actually never targeted based on parental status but I suppose if that was relevant in some way then you could target parents or non parents. Again demographic targeting is relatively narrow but if it is applicable to the user that you think you’re trying to target, then definitely try to lace this into your display targeting campaigns.

Anyways, that’s all I have for today. Thanks for watching, I’ll see you guys next week for my next video blog.

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