7 Secret Insights in Keywords for the Google Display Network

While browsing the internet we spend 95% of our time on content websites, and the Google Display Network (GDN) is the largest content network in the world. With such numbers on the table, it’s pretty clear that any advertiser should invest in a Google Display Network campaign.


Although they both fall under paid online advertising, search and display campaigns are very different, and require different strategies when setting them up. When developing a search campaign, you’ll start with the keywords and move forward from there.


For a display campaign, you’ll begin with making colorful banners that will speak to your audience and then chose where on the network you would like to place them. You can target audiences based on interest/topics, profiles of the visitors that frequent these websites and even keywords.


In the Display Network the keywords are there to help Google direct your ads to the most appropriate placements (Google’s definition for websites on their GND network).


Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when choosing keywords for your Display Network campaigns:


  1. You don’t necessarily need keywords on the Display Network because ad groups work with either keywords or other targeting methods (such as placements, interests or topics), which will be used to place your ads next to matching content.



  1. Since the Display Network does not calculate keywords’ quality score on the same way as on the Search Network, you can feel free to add any keywords you think are relevant. Create a set of 5- 20 keywords that relate closely to one another, to the ad groups they are in, and to the ads themselves. You can add keywords that are related to the websites your audience visit. Don’t be afraid to try – for example, if you think Bill Clinton is relevant keyword to your target audience, go for it!



  1. In order to assure a better placement in the Display Network, use precise keywords in the ad groups, since an entire website or just a part of it may be considered a placement. If you create an ad group with managed placements and you have specific keywords, the ad will appear only next to relevant content on that placement.



  1. Out of keywords ideas? Use the Contextual Targeting Tool (built specifically for the Google Display Network) or the Keyword Tool (which includes all the features of the Contextual Targeting Tool). They can also help you identify potential placements you may have missed.



  1. Even though you set up campaigns with specific keyword targeting or even audience targeting, you still might show your ads on irrelevant sites or sites with the wrong types of prospects. To avoid that, use the Placement Reports to identify the websites that have been under-performing and quickly correct the situation by either excluding that placement permanently or reducing the bid.



  1. Similar to Negative Keywords on the Search Network, the Keywords Exclusions on the Display Network are a way to ensure your ad won’t show when people search for excluded terms or visit sites that contain those terms. You can choose to exclude keywords at the ad group or campaign level. Be aware that excluded keywords aren’t as precise as negative keywords (on Search Network), and that they don’t have match types since they’re all “Broad”. Also, you still need review the website you are being exposed on and manage your placements carefully.


  1. The best strategy to follow is broad to narrow. Start with generic or general keywords to your campaign, so your ad will be eligible to appear on a large number of websites. When your ads start showing, you can manage placements and choose the ones that are performing the better. Afterwards, you can add specific keywords that directly relate to your product or service.



If you have any questions or comments, join the conversation below and I’ll be happy to get back to you!





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