The Google Display Network

So far I’ve spoken about Adwords and how you can run a paid search campaign on Google. Another thing – you can use Adwords to run a Display campaign on what is called: the Google Display Network or GDN for short. The Google Display Network consists of more than a million different websites videos and apps that have chosen to work with Google and it is where your ad can appear. They can come in the form of a Text ad or an Image ad but generally the image ad has a better response from the audience due to its more appealing nature and how it is able to appear in more areas of the site.

The potential to show your ad to a wide audience on the GDN is huge and to illustrate how much reach this has – Google has made this infographic below with data from Comscore. It shows that roughly 90% of Global Internet users can be reached with the GDN.



Why use it when you have search?

When you are targeting users on Paid Search you are reaching them when they are already searching for something and have a need. This makes it an efficient channel since you’ll usually see results relatively quickly. The GDN is able to target users before they start searching with a variety of eye catching formats which gives you a way to start generating awareness of your product a lot earlier in the buying process.

If you have a well-planned and managed GDN campaign it has the potential to generate not only additional traffic for your site but provide you with a source of new customers since you are essentially attracting them through a different channel in order to show them your product offering.


What type of Ads can you use?

You can find a list of all the image ad formats that you could use on Google’s Adwords support pages, however, generally they have to be less 150kb in file size and you can make use of a wide variety of image sizes like 240 x 400, 320 x 50 and 300 x 600 to name but a few.


What Kind of Targeting is available?

Now that we’ve discussed the reach and how many people have the potential of seeing your ad; the next thing you can think about is how to target them. There are a number of ways that you can do this with Adwords and they are:

  • Contextual Targeting: you can use keywords like you would in a search campaign, however, using it in a Display campaign it tells Adwords to target sites that are relevant to the keywords.
  • Interest Categories: You can choose from a wide range of categories such as travel, entertainment, sports, technology and once done your campaign will show ads to users that Google thinks are interested in these categories.
  • Topic Targeting: This is similar to interest categories, however, it targets the sites rather than the users. If you pick a topic like entertainment then your ads will be focused on websites that fall under that category.
  • Geographic and Language Targeting: Like with a search campaign you can target the language you want your ads to focus on and the geographic targeting lets you display your ad to users based in a specific country, city, region or even postcode.
  • Demographic Targeting: This allows you to show your ads to users based on gender and specific age ranges which can be a very useful feature if your product is for women only or if your key demographic are mainly people in a specific age range.

This was a general overview of what you can do with the Google Display Network and next time I’ll go through how to set this up in Adwords.

Cheers for now,


1 : An Introduction to Paid Search Traffic and Adwords

2 : Adwords Campaigns and Keywords

3 : Keywords: Which is the right match type for you?

4 : Creative: why this is important?

5 : Quality Score – What is it Good for?

6 : Google’s tools and what they do

7 : How to use Google Analytics

8: Ad Extensions – What are they and what do they do?

9: Optimising Your Campaigns – SQR’s and Insights

10: The Importance of Mobile for Paid Search

11: Re-Marketing Lists for Search Ads