Three Ways to Optimize Your Display Ads

Display ads can be a great way to increase your brand exposure and build awareness. But if you’ve ever run a display ad, you know that getting qualified prospects to click can be challenging. Luckily, I’ve found some ways to help. By using data analytics, you can make sure your ads are running in the right place at the right time, hopefully generating more clicks from better prospects. Here are three easy ways to do that.

  1. Audit Your AdWords Placements

The name of the game with display advertising is impressions. Google wants you to get the most impressions possible because that’s how they get paid. Google isn’t concerned with the quality or relevancy of those impressions. You need to be. You can’t just pick a topic or interest to target (like marketing) and call it a day. Your ad is likely to end up on all sorts of sites – many of which you won’t think are a good match.

Not every website on the Internet that matches the Google “marketing” definition will necessarily be a match for your company. The best way to figure out where your ads are being displayed, what’s working and what’s not is to audit your display ad placements. To do this you just open your display ad in AdWords, click on the Display Network tab, and then click Placements. You’ll see where your ad(s) were displayed, the number of impressions and clicks, conversions, etc., for each site your ad was displayed on. You will quickly be able to determine which sites are worth your ad dollars and which ones aren’t and proceed accordingly.

  1. Identify the Best Keywords

We have a similar situation here with keyword contextual targeting. When you determine your keywords, you have to remember that not every site Google selects using your keywords will be relevant. (The audit you do in step one above will shed some light on your keywords too.)

The best way to find the best keywords is to listen to how your prospects talk about your business segment. You can do this by opening one of your relevant paid search campaigns in AdWords, click on Keywords, and then Search Terms. You’ll see the exact searches that triggered your ad and the results they achieved.

Once you know these top-performing keywords and phrases, you can use them to build your contextual targeting keyword strategy.

  1. Look at Demographics

Demographic targeting can help improve the performance of your display ad(s). To see the demographics of the visitors to your site, open Google Analytics, click on Audience, then Demographics, then Overview, and then select Converters. If you have enough traffic to your site, you’ll see great demographics information you can use. If your site traffic isn’t stellar, you can run a similar report using the AdWords Report Editor in Google Analytics.

As with all other marketing tactics, the success or failure of your strategy is largely reliant on how well you use your data to guide your decisions. Pay attention and respond to what your data is telling you, and your display ads and all of your other marketing initiatives will perform better.

 

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