Google Display has always been a see-saw type of relationship for our agency. It’s one of those mediums that is powerful when it comes to awareness and reach, but delivers very little in terms of ROI and on-site engagements. It’s often that one campaign type that comes up in post-campaign reports that you have to go out of your way to describe the value to clients. It’s getting better though. Originally you were limited to targeting people with display ads by topics of interest or behaviours, or affinity interest. Now, we can get much more granular, and the results are beginning to show on bottom lines. Let’s take a closer look at how Google Display has evolved, and discuss in detail the pros and cons of Google Adwords.
We all know Google’s Network of websites is massive, there’s no refuting that. You can get incredible reach, the real problem has always come down to relevancy. How can you really target people interested in what you have to offer? Google’s display upgrades have included some pretty cool ways on how to use Audiences, to reach more niche audiences. Let’s dig into them:
Targeting Keyword Search Themes
Okay, this would normally seem obvious as Google built its whole ad platform on search themes, but this type of display targeting is a little different. This display targeting works by combining a users history of search queries to look for potential matches in keywords and themes, and then builds them into a list for display targeting. Where this can be powerful is when considering user’s journey through the buying cycle. For example, if you’re a mortgage broker, you wouldn’t normally want to be targeting real estate searches as this would cost you an arm and a leg, however, with this targeting type, you can build a list of people in the research phase of buying a new home, and then run ads to these audiences at lower costs and higher relevance than you ever could on search.
Targeting Apps Users
For the longest time, I have excluded apps from our campaigns. We find that most apps are designed in such a way to encourage ad views/clicks whether that be through clever design, or through rewarding them. This can artificially inflate costs for advertisers. In fact, we find that app ad clicks are often 400%+ higher than traditional display. Regardless, that’s not the point here. What this type of targeting allows you to do, is build a list of users who use specific apps, and then you can retarget to them. Thinking about this. You can hand select any app on the app store, make an audience, then target them through ads. Whether you’re targeting political apps, games, news, weather, productivity, or lifestyle apps, you can surely find a solution to hit even the most elusive target markets, and build an audience list to target them with your future ads.
Targeting Website Users
Similar to our app targeting, this can also be done for specific websites or types of websites. This is particularly powerful when you’re looking to target competitors. this type of targeting allows you to build lists based on their website visitors, and actively target them with your own ads. It’s like remarketing to their website visitors, without having any access to their websites or analytics! We find this particularly helpful when trying to target specific groups of people that are outside of targeting parameters available on other platforms like Facebook, or for ads that have reduced targeting options due to their topic.
Targeting Interests & Purchase Intentions
This bad boy is new, however one of the broadest new targeting types available. It’s not much different than the previous targeting types for display of ‘topics’ or ‘interests’. Purchase intentions can also be added, and Google will auto-fill options for you to add to this audience.
Targeting Combined/Excluded Audiences
Lastly, we’ll dig into one powerful add-on to these new audience types – you can combine and exclude them from each other. Where this can be powerful is around building audiences that you never have intentions of targeting, but that allow you to refine your broader lists. How would this work? Let’s get into a Mortgage Broker example.
List #1 – Real Estate Searches (where most home buying research starts)
List #2 – Mortgage Rate Searches (where most home buying research ends)
List #3 – Buying A Home Purchase Intent/Searches (the whole process)
If you’re a realtor and want to represent people, you could buy combined/exclusion list that Includes everyone in List #3, but exclude those in List #1 & #2. How cool is that?