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Google Display Network: the Smart Display Campaigns

Ivan Cicconi

What are the advertisements that appear on blogs and news sites? This is the Google Display Network, within which you can publish advertisements. It is a tool that is quite effective, because it allows you to advertise products or services on the web pages of those who are looking for specific information about them.

Smart Display Campaigns

The Google Display Network has existed for years, but there is something new. Since last April the Mountain Views giant has launched a new function, implemented thanks to Machine Learning, able to make the programming of ads more effective and automatic. After stating that “advertisers using Smart Display Campaigns are achieving an average 20% increase in conversions for the same CPA (cost per acquisition), compared to other display campaigns”. Google through the Smart Display Campaigns feature in fact applies Marketing Automation to:

  • Automatic offers. It is Google that optimises the campaigns according to the target CPA – the amount set by the user to acquire a customer – to offer the best possible result compared to the budget used.
  • Automatic Targeting. The targeting is optimised so that the ads are published mainly on the sources that generate the most conversions.
  • Automatic creation of ads. Google Smart Campaigns automatically generates ads based on titles, descriptions and images or logos. The ads are then optimised to appear on most advertising spaces on the Display Network.
    It is therefore an automatic ad design system. The system optimises the campaign in a few days, based on behaviour and conversions, by publishing the ads on the sites and apps that have generated the most conversions.

Why advertise on the Google Display Network

The answer is simple. It’s about being found right where the potential customer is looking for information about the product or service offered. Inbound Marketing is in fact an area of Marketing that aims to reach the user right where he searches for reviews and information. An example? If you display a large advertising poster advertising a car on a road junction with the hope that those interested in buying a car will be impressed, you are doing Outbound Marketing. Different, and more effective, is to find on the couch of a user who has already shown interest in buying a car his own brochure: here is Inbound Marketing.

How the Google Display Network works

While advertising through Google Adwords ads proposes the publication of text ads on Google’s SERP, putting in place, in essence, Keyword Advertising actions, the use of ads on the GDN network allows you to exploit the more than three million affiliated sites and applications, declared by Google last April. In this way, users are reached while visiting websites of interest to them or when using mobile applications. The network is composed of authoritative sites, such as those of the most popular newspapers, or online news sites, blogs and specialised forums. Advertisements on the Display Network are also managed through the Google Adwords account. Unlike Adwords, textual ads on search results, which operate through the keywords used in queries, to advertise on the Display Network is operated on well identified target audiences.

Select target audiences on the Google Display Network
Google proposes different methods of selecting the target audience for the publication of Display Advertising. In particular they are:

  • Contextual Target: allows you to select keywords and topics (e.g. “hybrid cars”) in order to reach the user while browsing sites that relate to the activity you want to promote.
  • Target by interests: it is possible to identify the target audience on the basis of interests, identifying some clusters. The Big Data collected by Google allow to know the users’ interests, detected on the basis of the adopted behaviours (keyword search, online purchases, etc.).
  • Target for placements: you can act manually to choose where to show the ad by indicating specific pages and previously selected apps.
  • Remarketing: with the Display Network it is possible to show the advertisements to potential customers who have already visited our site and have not completed the purchase. The Display Network is in fact very effective to engage those who have left abandoned carts on e-commerce sites, re-proposing the offer of goods or services.

Is it possible for everyone to carry out a Smart Display campaign?

It depends… If a small business or a craftsman wants to promote their business, the tool will prove intuitive and effective, taking care to manage the Cost Per Acquisition. However, a company that wants to carry out Display Advertising and remarketing campaigns and get a CPA not too expensive, can not give up using Google Partner certified Digital Marketing agencies, such as ByTek Marketing. Professionals will design a personalised campaign, with the creation of numerous ads optimised with respect to target, content and costs. To these campaigns managed by experts you can consider adding a Smart Display campaign, to reach a less specific target, and optimise the CPA.