When you advertise on the Google Display Network, your ads can appear across a large collection of websites, mobile apps, and video content. This includes Google AdSense publisher sites, including AdSense for Domains and AdSense for Errors, DoubleClick Ad Exchange publisher sites, and Google sites (Google Finance, Blogger, and YouTube).

Targeting methods for ad groups

Targeting methods are used to match your ad to places or audiences on the Display Network. Placements are locations on the Google Display Network where your ads can appear. A placement can be a website or a specific page on a site, a mobile app, video content, or even an individual ad unit.

Contextual targeting: Match relevant site content

You can target based on relevant website content in two ways:

  • Content Keywords: Choose words and phrases relevant to your products and services. Then, AdWords looks for sites with content related to your keywords, to show your ads. Go to Display keywords tab, under the Display network tab. Note: This applies to keywords with “Content” selected for the keyword setting.
  • Topics: Similar to keywords, this lets you place your AdWords ads on website pages about the topics that you choose. Instead of developing a list of words or phrases, you choose categories of information, such as “Autos and Vehicles.”

You can target your ads based on audiences in these ways: with keywords and topics, Google selects relevant placements on the Display Network based on website content and other factors, to show your ads. These placements are labeled automatic placements in your statistics table on the Placements tab.

  • Audiences: You can target the right people based on your advertising goals. Use affinity audiences to reach TV-like audiences on a broad scale. To reach as many potential customers as possible with an affinity for a specific product area, you might try adding custom affinity audiences. To reach specific audiences actively shopping for a product or service, use in-market audiences instead.
    • You can also use keywords to reach audiences researching products or services like yours. Audience Keywords allow your ads to reach people likely to be interested in certain terms, based on their current and past browsing behavior. Learn more about the “Audience” setting for display keywords.
  • Remarketing: This option can help you reach people who have previously visited your website while they visit other sites on the Google Display Network. You’ll find remarketing alongside interest categories in your account.
  • Demographics: This option allows you to reach people who are likely to be of the age, gender, and parental status demographic group that you choose.

The Display Network ad auction shares many similarities with the AdWords auction. Your ads are ranked among other advertisers’ ads based on Ad Rank, which is based on your Max CPC bid and Quality Score. This means that, if your Quality Score is sufficiently better than the score of the advertiser immediately below you, you could rank higher than that advertiser, even if this person’s bid is higher than yours.

Just like in the AdWords auction, your Max CPC bid isn’t necessarily how much you’ll pay per click. The price you pay — Actual CPC — depends on the outcome of the auction, and it’s often less than your Max CPC bid. You pay what’s required to rank higher than the ad position immediately below yours or to clear the auction floor if any.

This is how the Display Network ad auction differs from the AdWords auction:

  • You’ll pay what’s required to rank higher than the next best ad position only for incremental clicks you get from being in the current position.
  • You’ll pay the price you would have for the next best ad position for the rest of the clicks.
  • You may pay an additional service fee for ads that use audience targeting. In such cases, your maximum bid is reduced before the auction and the fee is added to the closing auction price.
“Search Network only” “Search Network with Display Select”
Ad placement Standard & All features
Google search results,
search partner sites
Standard & All features
Google search results,
search partner sites,
Google Display Network sites and video
Ad formats Standard
Text ads*All features
Text ads*
Shopping ads
Dynamic search ads
App / digital content ads*Includes keyword insertion
Text ads*All features
Text ads*
Image Ads
Display ad builder ads
App / digital content ads*Includes keyword insertion
Targeting Standard
KeywordsAll features
Remarketing lists for search only
KeywordsAll features
Remarketing lists for search only
Site category options
Bidding Standard & All features
Manual and automated bidding
for the Search Network.
Standard & All features
Manual and automated bidding
for the Search Network.
Automated bidding for the
Display Network.

The Ad gallery, formerly known as the display ad builder, is an ad-creation tool that offers various display ad formats in different categories, such as image ads, dynamic ads, Lightbox ads, and video ads, in any of your campaigns on the Google Display Network.Here are some benefits of using the Ad gallery:

  • Differentiated products and services
  • More effective campaigns
  • No-cost ad templates
  • Customizable ad styles
  • Industry-standard ad templates

Be also sure to make sure that your website is mobile friendly:

  • Simplify site navigation: keep everything visible without having to zoom in to read.
  • Make info accessible: help people explore before they commit to buying by using expandable product images.
  • Help people make their purchase: Keep any directions or “buy now” buttons front and center if you use existing account info to limit data entry for your customers.
  • Allow people to pick up again on the desktop: Make it easy for people to come back to their shopping cart when they’re on their desktop computer, so they can finish their purchase.
  • Use click-to-call buttons or links. Avoid making people memorize your number or zoom in to see it.
  • Condense your menu options. Make sure it’s clear that calls are the best way to get in contact with your business. Show a clickable phone number or button on every page of your site.
  • Avoid distractions. Keep promotions and other directions to the sidelines so people can focus on calling you.
  • Simplify your forms. Make sure people can access your forms easily, and that data entry is limited and easy to do with thumbs.
  • Limit scroll and zoom. Your form should only take up the space available on a mobile screen. Scrolling and zooming make it hard for people to avoid mistakes while entering their info.
  • Choose your data fields wisely. Make sure the information you’re requesting in your form is simple to access and easy to validate. Use validation to show errors for incomplete fields.
  • Encourage visits above all. Make it clear that it’s best for people to come to your physical store. Show a map, location button, or icon that links directly to your physical address and store hours on every page of the site.
  • Keep content limited. Streamline your site’s information navigation to provide enough information to convince people to visit your store.
  • Avoid distractions. Promotions can help convince people to visit your store, but they shouldn’t make navigation more difficult.
  • Simplify navigation. Help people research before they commit to purchase with a simple menu and larger text. Because a mobile screen is smaller, condense your menu options so that people can focus.
  • Keep consistency across devices. The longer it takes to for a customer to commit to buy, the more likely they are to do research on multiple devices before completing the transaction. Help them pick up where they left off by saving their selections.
  • Provide a home page link. If someone has hit a dead end in their research, make sure it is easy for them to get back to the home page to start over.
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