Seb is running campaigns for a product that improves memory naturally, and asked how I use the Google Display Network, saying that:
“My view is that the Google Display Network is less targeted as it’s more of a passive audience, not people actively seeking to buy through search terms.”
It’s been quite a while since I ran a Google Display Network (GDN) campaign, but I did manage to remember 🙂
Here was my response to Seb…
It’s less the “traffic source”, and more related to what someone was doing when they saw and clicked your ad, and how relevant that is to what your offer is.
Yes, search traffic has search “intent” behind it, but you can still do it wrong by creating a very wide funnel and throwing searchers at your landing page who weren’t looking for your product in the first place.
You might find a very good GDN traffic source for your product if people are reading a blog about “how to improve memory naturally”, etc.
Sometimes, also, the Display Network traffic can be just “one click away” from a search engine. i.e. someone hit that blog because they searched for something related to “improving my memory naturally”, and one of the organic listings was a page in the blog, that happened to monetise with Adsense, so that your ad is on that page listed in the search engine. I hope that made sense?
So it can be very good quality traffic.
However, you’re going to have to buy a lot of impressions and clicks before you get to find out what placements your traffic is coming from.
Then you do the equivalent of the search term report, and check out where you’re getting a lot of impressions and no clicks (add these placements as negatives to increase your CTR … gmail will likely be one), and a lot of clicks but no conversions (add these as negatives to increase your ROI !!!).
Something else to be aware of is that if you amend your bid prices, your average position will likely remain the same, but your CTR will change. That’s because you’re appearing on different pages and/or sites entirely, based on how much money Google is making from you.
So adjusting bids can show your ads on different sites than before you adjusted them. Which can affect your conversion rate.
If you bid really high, then Google can show your ads all over the place, and use up your budget.
So you’re panning for gold. Wait till you see your placement report, and then start visiting the pages where you’ve been getting traffic from, and see how well they tally up with what you think your target market would have been reading. I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve a feeling you’re going to be shocked at how irrelevant the sites are until you start excluding placements and honing in on sites that are interesting.
Personally, I prefer to nail search first, and then consider looking at the Google Display Network or Facebook. My thinking is, if you can’t sell to the people already actively looking for your product, then how can you sell to the people who were doing something else, and have come through out of curiosity?
Use the paid search traffic, which is the purest form of cold traffic, to build the best converting ad, landing page, and funnel that you can. And THEN you can send the traffic with the lower intent down the funnel.
Heck, I think that’s the biggest benefit of paid search anyway… the fact that it helps you build a funnel that converts, and that you have a fighting chance of converting visitors via other channels.
What do you think? Have you a different or similar experience on the Google Display Network?