Roll With the Changes: A Guide to Keeping Up With Google Display Ads

The Google Display Network reaches 90% of internet users worldwide and displays advertisements across millions of websites, news pages, blogs, and Google-owned sites like Gmail and YouTube. Display ads can help you promote your business whenever potential customers are browsing online, watching YouTube videos, checking Gmail, or using mobile devices and apps.

People often misunderstand display ads as merely a series of banner ads, but this is a vastly oversimplified understanding. The Google Display Network is an underutilized resource that can yield excellent returns. Although many companies have tried and failed to get the most out of display ads, a well-managed display campaign paired with great content remains one of the most effective ways to get your business in front of potential customers.

Also, display advertising is not limited to the Google Display Network. You can also advertise your products and services using display and video ads across other ad networks via programmatic advertising.

In this article, we’ll review some recent changes to Google’s display and remarketing ads that should affect your display advertising strategies, and we’ll also explore how you can target audiences outside the Google network by using programmatic advertising.

Google Display Ads

Custom Intent Audiences

One of the most exciting features Google introduced in the past year is custom intent audiences. This feature allows you to target specific groups of people on the Google Display Network who are already searching for products and services similar to what you’re advertising on Google Search.

Custom intent audiences help reduce the ambiguity that tends to surround the audience groups in display advertising. While there are other targeting options like in-market and affinity audiences, they don’t provide the accuracy that custom intent audiences offer.

If you have an extensive product inventory or a wide range of customers to reach, custom intent audiences can help you save time while still reaching even the most niche audiences. Just enter keywords, URLs, or apps and Google will provide recommended segments to add to your campaign.

To help you save even more time, you can now choose from thousands of new audience segments, which Google creates automatically based on your account information. By using these segments, which include pre-established categories like local goods and electronics, you don’t have to manage hundreds or even thousands of keywords to reach the right potential customers.

Responsive Display Ads

Traditionally, most online advertisers have managed their ads manually. However, consumers today respond better to ads that are customized to their needs, and performing these customizations manually isn’t feasible. The Google Display Network contains more than 3 million inventory partners across desktop and mobile. Testing various combinations of ads to best serve your customers across all these properties becomes incredibly challenging and time-consuming.

Responsive display ads (RDA) are one possible solution to this problem. These asset-based ads leverage Google’s machine learning capabilities to help you automatically serve the right ads to the right customer. All you need to do is provide assets like headlines, descriptions, images, and logos. Based on these assets, the RDA system helps you make smarter, faster, and more impactful customization decisions.

You can also make your responsive display ads support dynamic remarketing by attaching a feed to your campaigns. Responsive ads show personalized content to customers from a feed you select and control. If you add a feed to your campaign, your ads will show in both dynamic and static formats.

Affiliate Location Extensions on YouTube

Google has launched affiliate location extensions in search and display campaigns to help brands show potential customers nearby retail chains that carry those brands’ products. This helps bring customers one step closer to making a purchase.

These ad extensions can now appear in TrueView in-stream and bumper ads on YouTube. When a user clicks on an affiliate location extension, it brings up a Maps page of nearby retailers who sell the product being advertised, as shown in the example below.

Gmail Remarketing

Remarketing (also sometimes called retargeting) is a feature that allows your ads to “follow” your prospective clients as they bounce around the internet performing searches and browsing websites. Remarketing tags can be page-specific, enabling you to deliver precisely tailored messages to your preferred customers. If remarketing or dynamic remarketing are important components of your ad campaigns, then you’ll be happy to hear about the introduction of Gmail remarketing. AdWords now lets you reconnect with your audience right in their Gmail inboxes.

Once a user clicks on one of your dynamic remarketing advertisements, the ad can direct them to an immersive shopping experience. As you may already know, dynamic remarketing ads let e-commerce advertisers display the most relevant products in their image ads; the ads that get displayed change from user to user based on the users’ on-site behavior.

But before now, dynamic remarketing was only available on the Google Display Network. Introducing them to Gmail is a prime opportunity for advertisers to extend their remarketing reach.

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Display Advertising Outside of Google Ads

While Google Ads is the most popular platform for display advertising, there are other ad networks available. At LaFleur, we’ve partnered with Sizmek, and they provide us demand-side platform (DSP) capabilities to advertise on networks outside of Google. (A demand-side platform (DSP) is a system that allows online advertisers to manage ads on multiple ad exchanges from a single interface.)

There are several fantastic targeting options available to help you target your audiences with display ads on these networks. For example, apart from the common targeting options like location, behavior patterns, in-market audiences, and affinity audiences, you can also choose to target your audience by internet speed, weather, mobile carrier, IP lists, browser preference, organization, and more.

The Sizmek platform also provides highly detailed reporting, giving you insights that help you better iterate and manage your campaigns. For example, you can track which behavior patterns tend to yield conversions and at what time of the day and week. This information makes it much easier to design campaigns that reach your audience at the precise moment they’re most likely to convert.

You can also evaluate whether you’re buying the right ad inventory at the right price by doing a cost-versus-effect analysis. After all, the foundation of paid advertising success lies in using data to make sure you’re spending your precious advertising dollars judiciously.

Google’s Display Network Continues to Evolve

The Google Display Network provides one of the most powerful tools available to connect with both your local community and your wider target audience. As the world of display advertising continues to evolve and add new features to its landscape every year, it gives advertisers who stay up to date even more opportunities to target the right audiences at the right time and get the best results from advertising spend.

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Let the Paid Advertising Professionals at LaFleur Maximize the Returns From Your Paid Digital Advertising Campaigns

Display advertising has proven itself to be cost-effective and reliable, but achieving desired results still depends on diligence, creative content, and thorough A/B testing. Whether you’re looking to drive traffic to your site, grow your customer base, or promote awareness of your brand, display ads and programmatic remarketing tools should figure prominently into your paid advertising strategies.

If you’d like to find out how your business can benefit from cutting-edge programmatic advertising, contact our team at LaFleur by filling out our online contact form or calling (888) 222-1512 and we’ll give you a quick overview of how this can work for you.


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