A Comparison between Google AdWords Search and Display Networks

A Comparison between Google AdWords Search and Display Networks

Here’s the harsh reality – it’s possible to waste a large chunk of your ad budget on poorly strategized Google AdWords campaigns. One of the most basic mistakes advertisers do is using the same campaign to target Google Search Network and Google Display Network. Here are reasons to avoid doing this and tips to target them for maximum returns.

Don’t Blindly Follow Google’s Advice

It’s easy to see why advertisers don’t create separate campaigns for each network – ongoing AdWords campaign management requires time and effort and running the same campaign on both networks just makes it easier. Besides, AdWords advises targeting both networks as the best opportunity to reach more customers. This advice is actually self-serving because Google earns more money when advertisers expand their budgets to target both networks.

Two Different Platforms

Sure, you can expand reach by targeting both networks but will you be able to attract quality traffic? PPC management professionals know that the key to making profits from advertising is serving targeted ads to a relevant audience, not just the biggest audience.

The Search Network and Display Network are two different platforms and require different strategies to get the maximum bang for your ad dollars – don’t expect Google to dish out smart display campaign management strategies that may undercut its revenues.

Also readGoogle Shopping Campaign Strategy for Brand vs. Non-Brand Terms

Advertising on Search Network

Ads for the Search Network appear on Google’s search engine results page precisely when prospects enter product/service related keyword terms on Google’s search engine. There is a more direct purchase intent because why else would someone enter those search terms? Display Network ads, on the other hand, are served on relevant websites and apps that are part of the Google Ad Sense program.

Advertising on Display Network

Over two million websites and apps around the world are part of the Google Display Network, so you can imagine the kind of reach a Display Network campaign would have. The main difference is that on the Display Network, you’re not targeting audiences when they’re directly searching for products/ services – you’re targeting them as they’re visiting websites or apps in the Display Network.

There’s no way to predict their actual purchase intent. Therefore, ad copies of ads targeting the Search Network and Display Network need to be different.

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Targeting Options for Search Network

By running the same campaign on both networks and following the same search campaign management strategies for display campaign management, you won’t be able to match ads with search intent. Another point of difference is that you have different targeting options for both networks.

Your choices for the Search Network are limited because in a basic search campaign, you’ll target using keywords and your ads will show when a prospect enters those keywords.

Targeting Options for Display Network

In basic display campaign management, you have more targeting options such as contextual targeting, behaviour targeting and demographic targeting. Display Network targeting allows you to choose the audience for your ads and tailor ad copy based on who they are and what their interests are.

Contextual targeting is the most common one that relies on Google’s algorithm to match keywords and ads to content on web pages and apps throughout the vast Display Network.

Also readRun mobile-specific ad copy for AdWords expanded text ads

Reach Qualified Prospects

With the behavioural targeting option, you can display ads to prospects who are likely to be interested in your product/service based on their search history. Google collects information about user interests as they surf the internet and serves relevant ads to prospects who appear to be a good fit for an advertiser’s product offerings. With demographic targeting, you can select your ideal customers on the basis of gender, age ranges and parental status.

To take advantage of Display Network targeting features, you need to create tailored ad copy that matches a particular targeting option. For more ideas, get in touch with our white label PPC experts!

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