Don’t Forget About Display – 3 Tips To Get Started Quickly

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If you’ve been running exclusively pay-per-click text ads for a while, you probably know this feeling — you get the okay from management or a client to start running PPC, put together some sweet campaigns, and watch as the traffic comes rolling in.  Pretty quickly you start to figure out what works and what doesn’t, pausing/deleting keywords that aren’t meeting your goals, and breaking out additional campaigns and ad groups for your top performers.  Good traffic continues to grow, but eventually those wins start to get smaller and smaller, and maybe performance even starts to decline.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone, this is a common PPC problem.  But how do you reverse the trend?  How do you continue to build performance?

If you read the title of this article, you already know the answer — expand into display network advertising.  This doesn’t have to be Google’s Display Network (GDN), but that’s probably the easiest way to get started.

But does it work?  Short answer — yes.  The median advertiser gets 20% of their conversion from the GDN at a 6% lower cost-per-acquisition.  Studies have also shown that users who see display ads are more likely to click on text ads and convert in the future (although there’s a different percentage on these exact numbers every week).  Targeting options are more varied than ever before as well, with standard contextual and placement targeting, along with interest category targeting (a developed type-of-user profile based on a set of sites they visit) and remarketing for users who have visited your site but didn’t convert.

With that in mind, here are three tips to get up and running quickly with display network adverting:

  • Define display network success. Seems almost too simple, but what are you trying to achieve with your display network advertising?  Brand awareness?  Sales?  Lead generation?  If you don’t know what success looks like and how to measure it, then how are you going to know if the money on display is being well spent?  You’re also going to target websites differently depending on your display network goals (generally speaking, a broader reach for brand awareness versus narrow reach for effective ROI).
  • Don’t obsess over creative. Most of the holdup for display network campaigns comes from obsessing over the image or rich media creative.  Here’s the thing — you’re going to get it wrong.  No matter how much research and work you put into creative, people behave differently (especially online) than you’d expect.  It’s better to launch two decent image ads and have them compete to figure out which one is better, than only one “perfect” ad and never know if it’s the best it could be.
  • Use Facebook and LinkedIn Ads. Targeting options for each are more extensive than Google, and their reach can help to amplify a message across tight-knit social groups.  Be sure to constantly test new creative though, as LinkedIn will tend to stop serving your ads if they aren’t performing, no matter how much you’re willing to pay.

Many PPC advertisers see display as a whole different beast than what they manage on a day-to-day basis, but the two are really intertwined.  If your PPC campaigns have stalled out and you’re looking for new ways to boost performance, try out display for a couple months.

Have you found display worthwhile?  What are the biggest display network tips you would recommend?

About the Author

Ben Leftwich is an Account Executive with Anvil Media, Inc., a leading search engine marketing company. Ben helps Anvil’s clients increase ROI through social media marketing, PPC management, and search engine optimization.

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