When you think of Google AdWords advertising, then you likely picture the ads in Google’s search results (aka Search Network ads).  Search Network advertising is a great opportunity to get your business in front of prospects at the exact time they are searching for your product or service.  It’s hard to beat that kind of targeting and timing.

That’s why I typically recommend that most businesses get started by using the AdWords Search Network.   However, over the past few years AdWords has made some major improvements to the other half of their ad network – the AdWords Display Network – that make it possible to create very targeted and timely ads there as well.

If you’re just getting started or you’ve always steered away from the Display Network, then I’ll give you 5 reasons why it’s worth testing the notorious “ugly duckling” of Google AdWords.


What Is the AdWords Display Network?

First, to bring everyone up to speed, let’s define the AdWords Display Network.  As mentioned above, the Search Network allows you to display ads when prospects are searching in Google.com.

Google Ad Search Network










The Display Network has nothing to do with prospects searching.  Instead, this network allows you to display ads when prospects are surfing around on any of the over 2 million websites that show AdWords ads.

Google Ad Display Network









Here’s how to think about the two networks:

  1. Search Network = target prospects searching for your product or service
  2. Display Network = target prospects surfing around the internet looking for your product or service

Got it?  It’s critical to understand this difference because it affects how you set up your campaign targeting, your offer, your ad copy, and your landing page copy.  Each network needs a different approach and needs to be set up separately to get good results.

Now that you’re familiar with both networks, let’s discuss the 5 reasons why you should create a Display Network ad campaign.


#1: Expand Your Reach

Here’s an impressive stat – According to Comscore, Google’s Display Network reaches over 90% of all internet users worldwide!  If you’re only using the Search Network, then you’re missing out on getting your ads in front of prospects that are simply not searching; they are surfing.

Think about your own internet use.  Do you just sit on Google.com searching for what you need and constantly go back to search again?  Or do you search and then find yourself clicking around from website to website?  Most people, including your prospects, surf around and that’s why the Display Network is such a great tool to expand your advertising reach.


#2: Pay for Performance

Google AdWords is one of the few ad networks where advertisers pay for clicks on the ads.  Most other networks charge advertisers for ad impressions.

Would you rather pay for a click on your ad where you know the prospect was interested enough to take action, or pay for an ad impression where you have no idea if anyone actually read your ad?  That’s obviously a rhetorical question! :)

By using the AdWords Display network, you essentially are paying for performance because you’re only paying when prospects actually click on your ad.


#3: Cheaper Clicks

When you compare the costs for AdWords Search network ads versus Display network ads, you’ll find that the Display network is much cheaper.  In some cases, you could pay several dollars less per click on the Display network to target the same prospects.

Why is that the case?  Well, as mentioned above, Search network advertising is the best in terms of getting in front of prospects that are looking for your product or service at that exact moment. Since the timing is perfect with these ads, the conversion rates from prospect to customer tend to be higher than conversion rates from Display Network ads.

And since the conversion rates are higher from Search network ads, businesses can afford to pay more per click.  At the end of the day, AdWords is an auction and businesses will bid up as high as they can while maintaining profitability.


#4: Advanced Targeting

When the AdWords Display network was first introduced, the targeting options were extremely limited.  All you could do was add a few keywords into your campaign and hope that Google would match those keywords to relevant webpages across the internet.  Ultimately, advertisers didn’t see great results and that’s why a lot of businesses to this day believe the Display Network doesn’t work.

But times have changed!

Since then, Google has introduced the following targeting options:

  1. Improved keyword contextual targeting.  Now all you need is a single keyword and Google matches that keyword to relevant webpages.
  2. Demographic targeting.  You can target based on gender, age, and geographic location.
  3. Behavioral interest-based targeting.  You can now target people who based on their browsing history appear to be interested in certain products or services.
  4.  Remarketing.  You can target prospects that have already visited certain pages on your website to bring them back.

Plus, you can combine the options above to pinpoint prospects that are most likely to want to buy your product or service.


#5: Advanced Conversion Tracking

Not only has the targeting improved greatly in Google AdWords, but Google continues to add more and more advanced conversion tracking options so advertisers can accurately track and calculate their return on investment (ROI).

Here are the conversion tracking options currently available to advertisers:

  1. Webform conversions to track how many prospects complete a form or place an online order on your website.
  2. Website phone calls to track the number of phone calls generated from your ads.
  3. Calls from ads to track how many prospects called using the phone number listed in your ad copy.
  4. Offline sales import to track sales generated off of your website (ex. phone call or in-person sales)


Want More Help Creating a Profitable AdWords Display Campaign?

On Thursday, November 19th at noon Eastern time, I’m presenting a NEW Google AdWords training called “Introduction to Google AdWords Display Advertising.”

When you attend, you’ll discover how to profitably advertise your business on the Display Network. And I’ll stay on the line to answer all of your questions.

Click here to learn more and register