PPC Money-Waster #4: The Google Display Network

What is the Google Display Network?

The Google Display Network is a collection of content-publishing websites that have opened up certain placements on their websites for advertisements that Google fills with ‘targeted’ ads.

The Problem

In my experience, the Display Network has been the single-most egregious money wasting aspect of AdWords for small- and mid-sized businesses. That’s not at all to say that the Google Display Network is not an effective form advertising. Rather, when you create a new AdWords campaign, the default option is to advertise on both the Search & Display Networks, so many of our clients who advertised with AdWords before working with us, didn’t know they were advertising on the Display Network! For some clients, this resulted in the majority of their advertising dollars going to the Display Network, rather than the Google itself!

The Solution

You need a separate strategy for the Display Network. Consider who is going to be exposed to your ads on the Display Network. Examples of some sites where your ads may show up would be eHow & Ezine Articles. When users on these sites, see your ads, they’re typically looking for information, they’re not necessarily in buying mode. The value of a click from the Display Network is less than the value of a click directly from Google, largely because it’s much more difficult to determine the intent of the user from any given site on the Display Network. If the value of the Display Network click is less than the Google click, your max. CPC needs to reflect the true value of the Display Network. There’s no magic number as to what you should be willing to pay for a Display Network click, but I generally like to see the price at 1/2 or 1/3 of what my clients are paying on Google.

If you do decide to have your ads show on the Display Network, ideally you want to have a separate campaign for it. It’s easier to manage the Display Network when it’s in a separate campaign, and it’s easier to track in Analytics as well.

Although at first glance, advertising on eHow may not be as exciting as advertising on Google, if you can achieve the same, or lower average cost per sale (lead/conversion, etc…) on the Display Network, it’s worth it!

A post about the Display Network wouldn’t be complete without the mention Remarketing or Retargeting. This is a way of advertising (using Google AdWords) to users who have already visited your site, or a certain sub-section of your site. As these users visit sites on the display network, your text or image ads will show up.

About Steve Gould

Steve Gould is the President of Fidelity Internet Marketing. We help small- and mid-sized business owners understand what web marketing is all about & drive qualified visitors to their website that turn into customers.