Advertising on Google Display Network

What Is the Google Display Network?

Have you ever seen an ad before a video you were trying to watch on YouTube? Seen an image ad on one of your favorite websites? How about the ads while you were trying to play Candy Crush? All these ads are the result of Google Display Network campaigns.

The Google Display Network allows you to connect with people through a variety of ad formats across the internet. On the Display Network, you can reach people while they browse websites, watch a video on YouTube, check their Gmail account, or use mobile sites and apps. According to Google, the network spans over 2 million websites that reach over 90% of people on the Internet!


Display network clicks often cost significantly less than search engine clicks, providing an inexpensive way to promote your company. Below you’ll learn more about what elements comprise the Display Network. Contact us today to see how it can work as a part of your marketing mix.

What Kinds of Ads Show on the Display Network?

The Display Network allows advertisers to engage audiences across a range of ad formats. You can use standard text (like you’d see on a search results page), image or video ads to convey your product or service.  Don’t have a way to design image ads? Google offers a free, easy-to-use tool you can use to create your own customized image ads using images from your website.

Finding the Right Audience

The Display Network offers multiple targeting methods. You can choose only one, or select multiple methods to hone your targeting more specifically.

  • Reach users by keywords and topics: Google uses a process that matches your ads to relevant sites across the Display Network using keywords and topics that you have chosen.
    • Google sets all display network keywords to broad match, meaning if you choose “loafers” as a keyword, Google may show your ad on pages with content matching the word “shoe.” Learn more about keyword match types here.
    • If your customers are likely to browse health tips websites, add that as an interest and Google will find the relevant sites to place your ad.
  • Select where your ads appear (placement targeting): You can show your ad on specific webpages, online videos, games, RSS feeds, and mobile sites and apps that you select. A specific website is a placement. You can even block your ads from sites & apps you don’t think are relevant. Unsure of which websites to target? Google has a display planner where you can find relevant websites and audiences by entering ideas or interests representing those of your target market.
  • Interest targeting allows you to reach audiences based on (you may have guessed from the name) their interests. Select the category of interest and Google will run your ad to users engaged with content aligned with your set interest.
    • Own an auto parts store or a car dealership? Select to show ads to users in the Auto Enthusiasts audience.
    • Try using the Display Network to branch out from standard targeting to reach new audiences, too. Opening a restaurant? Target the Art & Theater Aficionados audience instead of just the Foodies audience. The aficionados might be interested in new restaurants to try before or after a show. Select them as an audience and Google will do the leg work to find them.

In addition to helping advertisers reach customers across the internet (not only on search result pages), the display network also provides a terrific opportunity for businesses looking to increase brand awareness. Since you only pay for ads receiving clicks, even unclicked ads seen by potential customers help you relay your message and brand to hundreds or thousands of users, helping you build brand credibility that aids all your other advertisements over time. Think of unclicked display ads as the billboards of the internet.

Thinking outside the (search) box helps you find more customers, build brand awareness and meet customers where they are, often before they even know they need your service. Use display advertising to establish yourself in the customer’s mind so you’re already the first company they’ll think of when they need your goods or services!

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