What Are Google Display Ads?
If you have ever surfed the internet, you have come across display ads in the banners and sidebars of other sites. Many of these ads are part of the Google Display Network, an ad network comprising over 2 millions websites, 650,000 apps and Google’s own platforms like Youtube and Gmail. Anyone can take advantage of the massive influence of this network in order to advertise around the globe, reaching 90% of internet users worldwide. Additionally, unlike search ads, display ads can vary in appearance, from simple text ads to images and even ads with interactive or video elements. This helps ensure the proper message in the proper form is targeted at the audience you want to attract.
How Do Google Display Ads Work?
Display ads come in three general varieties based on the way in which users interact with them. These are:
- Cost Per Click (CPC) – Ads that you pay for only when a user clicks on it.
- Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) – Ads that you pay for when it is displayed one thousand times to users.
- Cost Per Action (CPA) – Ads that you pay for whenever a user performs a desired action, like purchasing an item, that can be traced back to the ads.
Generally, CPC and CPM are relatively cheap while CPA can be quite costly. Google uses a bidding system to determine whose ad gets displayed on a page and where the ad is placed. There are two major factors that influence who wins. The first is the bid amount. The amount you are willing to pay affects whether your ad is displayed and where it is placed. Several factors affect the bid amount, including:
- Competitiveness – The more competitive the advertising for your industry is, the costlier it will be to get an ad placed.
- Location and Size – The location on a given page affects the price. Better placement such as banners located at the top of a page will increase the cost. In addition to the ad’s prominence, the size of an ad can up the price as well.
- Type of Ad – More complex ads cost more. Basic text ads will be cheaper than image ads, while image ads will be less expensive than interactive or video ads.
The other major factor is the Quality Score. Google wants high quality and relevant ads on its network. No one is going to pay attention to a badly constructed ad. The characteristics that affect your Quality Score are:
- The relevance of your ad and the keywords in the ad group to the page.
- The relevance of the ad to its landing page. This is the primary determining factor in CPM ads.
- The historical click-through rate (CTR) of the ad.
- The historical performance of the ad account.
Making sure your ads perform well in the above aspects will help ensure you have a good Quality Score. Not only will this lower the cost of bidding on placements, but it will also mean your ad is displayed more often, increasing exposure on CPC ads.
Types of Display Ad Campaigns
The Google Display Network is very flexible, allowing you to target and attract users with a variety of methods. Of those methods, there are two that are worth highlighting: demographic based advertising and remarketing.
Demographic Targeting allows you to hone in on an audience based on age, gender, location, income, what device they are using and a plethora of other useful attributes. This empowers you to create tailor made ad campaigns that show ads to the right people while making sure your advertising dollars are not being wasted on demographics you do not want viewing your ads.
Google Remarketing gives you the ability to reach out to past visitors to your site and re engage with them. Send targeted ads to users after they leave your site to browse the internet in order to keep your business at the forefront of their mind. Since they already showed interest, the chances of engagement is much higher than traditional display ads. Remarketing with Google makes it easy and effective.