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display advertising has its own place.
After all, isn’t it great to be able to reach your target audience at all times, while they browse the web, even if it is for products or services unrelated to you?
Display advertising is also commonly referred to as banner advertising, or advertising on GDN (Google Display Network).
Display ads, also called banner ads, can take the form of text, images, video or rich media. These appear on websites, apps, or social platforms with the purpose of creating brand awareness or catching the user’s attention while they browse for other things and diverting them to your chosen page/ website/ app/ desired action.
As a matter of fact, ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat are also display ads. Outside of social platforms, GDN advertising and Programmatic Ads make up the overwhelming majority of banner ads on the internet.
However, on this page, we will restrict ourselves to display advertising on the Google Display Network (GDN).
With display ads, you can define your target audience based on location, device, demographics, interests, affinity, topics, keywords and behavior too, and then show your ads only to those people who meet your defined targeting criteria.
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”
“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.”
“Instead of one-way interruption, Web marketing is about delivering useful content at just the right moment that a buyer needs it.”
David Meerman Scott
How does GDN advertising work
The Google Display Network, or GDN, is a collection of websites/ apps across the internet, wherein “publishers”, i.e. websites/ apps offer space on their web pages/ app to third parties (such as yourselves) who wish to display their ads to the audience browsing these websites/ apps.
For example, if you provide financial services, you might be interested in targeting your ads to people who are browsing the Finance News section on bbc.com, or who often read financial/ economic news, and have an interest in it, or those people who have visited your competitor websites (custom audiences), or are currently searching for your specific services (in-market audiences). These could be men or women over the age of 25 years, who live or work in Dubai.
So, instead of you trying to individually identify such people or those sites/ apps that offer such news, and contacting them to display your ads, you can opt-in to the Google Display Network. Google has tied up over 80% of the websites/ apps worldwide into its GDN platform. And because Google has unparalleled information about browsing history of users, it is aware of the audience that meets your targeting criteria and can serve your ads to them.
As an advertiser, all you need to do is define your targeting criteria by age/ gender/ location/ interests/ topics/ keywords/ audiences, etc. and let Google show your ads to the audience that meets the criteria, or on sites/ apps that meet the criteria.
To run a display ad on GDN, you need to have an ad creative – image/ rich media/ video that meets the GDN specifications, accompanied by appropriate ad text. You also need to define a click-through URL, which is where a user will be directed if they click on your ad or take the action you desire such as install an app, or go to your site.
There are 3 things that are crucial for your display ads to perform well:
1. To define your audience accurately and accordingly set your targeting options
2. To have an appealing creative along with catchy ad text
3. To direct people to the right landing page that appropriately reinforces the messaging in your ad and leads them to the desired action
Once the above initial actions are in place, it is important to regularly monitor your display campaign performance, exclude websites/ apps (also referred to as “placements”), that do not perform as desired, regularly refresh your ad creative to avoid ad fatigue, ensure your landing page is up-to-date, and adjust your targeting criteria as needed to improve performance.
GDN ad targeting options
The targeting options available on GDN are:
4. Household Income (select countries only, currently not available in UAE)
7. Interests/ Affinity
10. Specific websites/ apps (Managed Placements)
11. Combination of one or more of the above
While GDN ads can be served and shown on YouTube, in the common reference to display/ banner advertising, we aren’t referring to YouTube Ads here, i.e. video ads that are served on YouTube.
Remarketing/ Retargeting via Display ads
One of the great benefits of display ads is using them for remarketing to your prospects or even customers. Your ads will “follow” or “target” your website visitor across other sites and apps that they browse on the internet, giving them the appearance that your site is present everywhere, retaining your brand/ product/ service recall, and prompting the desired action, hence the term “retargeting”.
For example, if a prospective customer came to your website, and showed an interest in a certain product or service, you can show your display ads repeatedly to that prospect to remind them of your product/ service and urge them to complete the desired action of becoming a customer.
Even for customers that have bought a product or service on your website, retargeting can be used to cross-sell or upsell related products and services.
GDN ad specifications/ Standard display ads/ Responsive display ads
The GDN Ad specs depend on the type of creative being used, whether it is a static image ad (JPG/ PNG), GIF ad, HTML 5 ad, or a video ad. Ad specs also depend on whether the ads are standard display ads or responsive display ads.
Standard Display Ads need to be made in various specific sizes to fit the available banner spaces on targeted websites/ apps. There are more than 20 sizes of display ads that are served across sites/ apps.
When you decide to choose standard display ads, you need to make your creatives in each of the various popular sizes in order to have most chances for your ads to be served in different sections in your target websites. This makes the process time-consuming.
The other option is Responsive Display Ads, which is the smarter option. Responsive Display ads take away the hassle of creating multiple different ad sizes to match available banner spaces across numerous websites. Instead, you need to make your creative in just one rectangular size and one square size, write your ad text – headlines and description, and then let Google automatically customize the creative and the text copy based on available banner size/ space on your target websites/ apps. You could then have text-only ads, ads with images and one headline, or more headlines, or even native ads which show up within a “feed” on a site/ app. You can also link a video to the ad.
Display Advertising via Gr8 Services
Gr8 Services is Google Certified for Display Advertising. Reports from Google regarding our display campaigns performance vs industry performance show that we consistently outperform our peers in all key display advertising metrics – CTR, conversion rates, and cost per lead.
Over the years, we have truly honed our skills in display advertising, and are confident in our ability to provide you results that are second to none.
From conceptualizing display creatives that catch attention, to those that simply and clearly communicate the brand value or offer proposition, we’ve seen the impact of what we’ve put out.
When we create and manage display campaigns, it’s not just about the ad creative. We look at the whole 360 – the creative, the target audience definition, the audience segmentation, the content strategy – keywords/ topics/ placements; the landing pages, the conversion tracking; the continuous review of what’s working and what’s not; the analytics; and the ongoing optimization based on the insights.
So, if you are looking to run display campaigns, we know we can make them work for you.
We, Gr8 Services, are the agency of WSI for the UAE and the larger GCC region. Founded in 1995, and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, WSI is the world’s oldest and largest digital marketing agency with 1000+ offices across 80+ countries.
WSI has the largest global footprint of any Google partner, and has global alliances with the who’s-who in the world of digital marketing. WSI has pioneered innovative methodologies for marketing success in today’s digital world and has thrived on the performance and results delivered. A spate of global awards are the recognition of those results – including the Top Agency Award by WMA (Web Marketing Association) for 2019 & 2020.
WSI always customizes their digital strategies to the specific needs of their clients and spends time and effort understanding the client’s business. With WSI, you get the benefit of global experience that is adapted to the local markets. WSI’s promise is that we will never recommend a marketing service that does not contribute to your business growth.