2K members online now
2K members online now
Welcome to the Official Google AdWords Community
Find optimization tips and how-to guides and videos by the Google team, AdWords Experts and other industry experts
Rising Star

Key success factors on the Google Display Network

Hello dear community members, I would like to share some key success factors which helped me to succeed with Display Network campaigns so you can use them for your benefit.  I would share my experience about different targeting methods starting with most effective ones. 

1. Remarketing

Key success factor - test different audiences.



remarketing audiences.png


  • In my own experience those people who have spent less then 15 seconds on the website have lower conversion rate compared to other users. Test it in your own campaigns. First you need to make some changes with Google Tag Manager.  In standart  Google Analytics implementation you are not able to identify those visitors who have spend only few seconds on site, average time on site metric is working after second page was loaded. So you need to set up event which would fire after first 15 seconds on the website (you can test 10 seconds or any other time period which you would define). Then you can create a microgoal in analytics and create separate lists which exclude people who have bounced not spending even 15 seconds on your website:
  • Depending from your goals you can use other audiences, for example list of people who previously made a conversions (in this case it's better to set maximum list duration), lists which are based on age, step in your sales funell, devices, page depth, operation systems etc.)
  • You can create "negative lists" which will contain audience with lowest conversion rates (it can be certain devices, age groups, operation systems etc.). 


2. Managed Placements. 

Key success factor - research.


  • Refferals report in Google Analytics sometimes can give you the list of good placements which you can then expand in display planner.




  • List of good placements from remarketing campaigns.  
  • Display planner to choose websites where your target audience might be. I would recommend to check all placements before adding them because sometimes system will suggest to use irrelevant ones. 

 display planner.png


  • You can create separate campaigns for some of the placements which are performing well to reallocate budget. Also if there are huge but poorly perfroming placements you can add keywords to narrow targeting. 


 3. Interests + Keywords. 

Key success factor - combine both targeting methods. 

  • First of all you can use winning keywords from Search Network campaigns. Remember that Google ingnores match types in display network so you can pick 5-10 succesfull keywords from your search campaigns. Also in some cases you can add name of your brand as a keyword. 
  • It's better to start with at least 5 ad.groups 8-10 keywords in each. 
  • From Google Analytics you can get a list of interests with highest conversion rate. Make sure that these reports are enabled




That's how they look in Adwords:




4. Topics and other targeting methods.

    • Combine topic targeting with other targeting methods such as keywords or interests. 
    • This quick video will give you difference between topic and interest targeting.
    • Similar audiences.


Optimization tips: 

  1. Experiement combining differrent targeting methods. It's important to understand how "target and bid" and "bid only" work to implement it correctly.
  2. Test mobile traffic but exclude gmob applications from the start as it can often waste a lot of money. To exclude them add adsenseformobileapps.com appspot.com as campaign placement exclusions on a shared library level. 
  3. placement-exclusions-adwords-uawc.pngCheck GDN placement report. There are scripts which can help you to get rid of placements which proved to be not effective however it make sense to analyse this report manualy from time to time. For example there are big placements which are performing poorly - before excluding it you can test how different pages of this placement perform. Maybe it would be profitable to target only few pages. 
  4. Exclude age groups which are performing poorly or are not relevant to your business model.
  5. Segment ad.groups by micro conversion completions, text or banners so you can bid separately on each of them and compare results.
  6. Utilize as many ad formats as you can because different website have their own requirements, for example some websites can support only text ads. 
  7. Set frequency capping.
  8. Remember that placements can have different results depending from targeting method which you are using. 
  9. You can use such metrics as Display Impression Share lost due rank or/and budget to manage bids and budget reallocation. Also it's helpfull to import Google Analytics metrics in Adwords (such as Bounce Rate). 


Conclusion. Be patient dealing with GDN and test, test, test. Usually it takes more time to succeed with GDN compared to Search Network however you can get a great source of clients since people are spending most of their time on different websites. 

about Alexey Chichirko

AdWords and Google Analytics expert.

Jordan Burleson Rising Star
February 2016

Great tips Alexey! I will definitely use some of these thoughtful nuggets!

Alexey C Rising Star
February 2016

@Jordan Burleson thanks for feedback, please let me know if you will have any questions. 

Greg M
August 2016

More like this please.

Alexey C Rising Star
August 2016

@Greg M thanks, I will do my best

Steve B
November 2016
Great material, Alexey! Thank you for sharing with the AdWords Community.