How To Set Up a Google Ads Display Network Campaign

The Display Network is a completely different animal than it’s Search Network counterpart.

If you simply copy your Search Network campaign settings over to the Display Network, you’ll likely miss out on a boatload potential clicks and customers.

Fortunately, setting up a Display Network is fairly easy if you know what to do. I’ll teach you how to set up an effective Display Network campaign from scratch, including how to set up your campaigns, ads and keywords for maximum ROI.

Your first step is to log into Google Ads and click on “campaigns.” Then click on the “new campaign” button and click on “display network only.” Then you want to give your campaign a name. So if you are selling tennis rackets, you’d want to call it tennis rackets.

And in general you want your campaigns to be very tightly focused around one product or service that you sell. And then you want to keep the type as “display network only” and keep all features on so then you modify all the features. If you have a search network campaign that you want to copy as a display network campaign, click the drop-down menu and choose the campaign from the list.

But otherwise, you generally want to create a display network campaign that’s a bit different, so you can use display network specific strategies. Now if you want to target people on specific devices, like desktops and laptops or mobile devices, you can do so by clicking on “advanced mobile and tablet options,” and then you include or exclude people that use specific operating systems, devices or internet service providers. And “location or languages” are simply where you want your ads to be displayed and in what language.

Now typically, you want to keep this as United States but if you also ship and service to Canada you’d want to include that here. And in addition, if you want to add a country you could add a country, like Germany, if you happen to service the people that live in Germany.

Now under “bidding and budget” by default AdWords will set the bids to maximize your clicks and that’s typically not what you want because you really want to manually set your bids so you can make sure that you’re spending within your budget and get the most from your money. Now your budget per day you can set that to whatever you like depending on your marketing budget. And if you want to add extensions which are address and phone number information which are added to AdWords ads, you can do that for both the search network and the display network, you can do so by clicking on location and using an address that you already have in a Google Places account or just entering your address. Now once that’s all setup you want to click on “save and continue.”

Now it’s time to setup your first display network ad group. In general you want your ad groups to be very tightly focused. So if you sold tennis rackets on your site, you’d want one ad group there just for a specific brand of tennis rackets or children’s tennis rackets or high performance tennis rackets. So we’re just going to put “Head tennis rackets” because that’s a popular brand of tennis rackets. And your default bid is how much you want to spend for one click in the display networks.

We’re going to set that as a dollar just for now. Now in terms of targeting your ads, in general you want to use display keywords. So this will show your ads on content that’s related to the keywords that you give it. So you’d want to put something like “Head tennis rackets.” So then, when someone is viewing an article about Head tennis rackets, your ads will come up. Now I’m going to show you later how to add more keywords to this but just enter one and click on “add keywords.” And then when that looks all good, click on “save and continue.” And now it’s time to build your first ad.

Now for an image ad, this is where you upload an image by clicking “upload an ad” and then uploading an image file. But we’re actually going to create a text ad. And this works the same way as a search network. So you create a headline, one description, a second line description, and the display URL and the actual URL that they go to. And once your ad is built, you’ll see a little preview here and you can either create another ad or click “done” if you just want to display the ad. That will take you back to the settings for the ad group. If you want to add more ads, click on the ads tab, scroll down, click on “new ad” and you can choose from the list.

So if you want to create another text ad like we did, you click on this. If you want to create a banner, you click on this. And there’s also something known as the “display ad builder.” So if you want to create a display ad from within AdWords without having to upload an image, you can do so by clicking this, choosing one of the templates and then adding the same details that you add to a text ad. So your headline, two description lines, a display URL, and a destination URL.

Now the big difference between this and a text ad is that, obviously, you can modify it a lot more. So you can modify the color by clicking this. You can modify the animation by clicking this. And you basically make a lot of changes. So once that looks good, click on “preview and save” and then you can add that to your ad group.

But what we’re going to do now is actually look for more keywords to add to our display campaign. So we’re going to click “cancel” and then click on “tools and analysis” and click on “display planner” which is basically the keyword planner for the display network. Next, click on “ideas and estimates” and add some keywords related to what you sell. So tennis rackets. Or you can include a landing page URL if you already have a landing page setup that you expect your AdWords traffic to go to.

Then once that’s all setup, click on “ad group ideas,” then click on “individual targeting ideas.” This will show you information about the keyword that you gave it. So you get an idea of the age groups that you will be targeting and the gender of the people that you will be targeting. And if you see a related keyword that looks like a good fit, you can click on it. And if all this information looks good about impressions, age group and gender, you can click on “add to ad group” and it will be added to your ad group.

Next I’m going to show you how to advertise on specific places within the display network. And to do that, click on the “placements” button. And as you can see there are 301 websites, 76 mobile apps and 52 videos within the AdWords database. Now obviously when you advertise in a display network, your ads are going to appear on a lot more than 301 different websites. But these are just sites that participate in a program where you can check them out before you can advertise on them. So to see these sites, just click on this button. And then you can check out the information on the websites that they have in their database.

In this case, you can You can actually see the site before you advertise on it. You can check out some of the ad formats that they accept, how relevant it is to the keyword that you entered, the historic cost per click, the cookies per week. So how many visitors they have with cookies, so you can target people with specific interests with demographics and how many impressions per week you can expect for advertising on that site.

So if the site looks good, click on the little blue button and it will be added to your ad group. So that’s all there is to advertising on a Google AdWords display network. As you can see there’s some overlap between a display network and the search network, but there are a lot of important nuances to keep in mind to get the most from your display network campaigns.

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