BlogGoogleGoogle Display NetworkThere’s More To The Google Display Network Than Remarketing

There’s More To The Google Display Network Than Remarketing

google display network
Share the insight:

Whether you love it or loathe it, remarketing can be a superb asset for your Google Ads account. But one thing I’m often discovering is that many advertisers mistake display campaigns for remarketing campaigns.

Here’s a really simple way to understand the difference:

  • Display advertising is you getting in front of people for the first time
  • Remarketing is a branch of the Google Display Network, used to get yourself back in front of people

The Google Display Network (GDN) can help you reach people while they’re browsing their favourite websites, showing a friend a YouTube video, checking their Gmail account or using mobile devices and apps. It has therefore been designed to help you find the right audience, which you achieve through various targeting options; these let you strategically show your message to potential customers at the right place, at the right time. The GDN reaches over 2 million sites and therefore over 90% of people on the Internet, which is no mean feat.

Google Ads advertisers can use display campaigns for remarketing to show their banners or even particular products to users who have previously interacted with their site or products, and this can be achieved through audiences like product viewers, cart abandoners and many more. Remarketing has two prongs;

As mentioned, this can be highly effective and a really great way of keeping your brand in the users subconscious and potentially re-engaging with them, however, only focusing on remarketing could mean you lose out on making contact with users in others ways; and here’s how…

As an advertiser, you can use display campaigns and the GDN to get your global engineering firm, high-end fashion items or car finance deals in front of potential customers by targeting them based on their interests, what sites they’re on or what they’re potentially intending on buying. You can now even use it to get in front of people who’re planning on moving house soon and use display advertising to get in front of them in ways you can’t do through standard search campaigns.

To start with, you’ll need to create some display ads – ‘cos, after all, this is the Google Display Network (the key bit there being ‘display’, in case the bold and italics wasn’t a big enough give away). Click this link here for all the recommended sizes, shapes and rules and regulations on all things creative where banners are concerned:

You can either create these banners yourself or upload existing ones that maybe your fancy in-house team or your trusted design agency have whipped up. Once you’ve got your banners ready and looking suave, you can attack the various elements of the GDN targeting options. This can be done through the following:

One thing worth noting is that unlike standard search campaigns, keyword match types are not relevant to the GDN; this is your chance to go crazy and feel like you’re throwing broad-match keywords around like there’s no tomorrow!

Next up, topic targeting:

Pick topics that the user is interested in – web pages, apps and videos about a certain subject.

Topics are based on broad industries or interests, such as agriculture or music. For example, when you target the “Autos & Vehicles” topic, your ad may appear on websites, apps or YouTube videos with content about cars or other automotive themes.

Moving swiftly on… Placement targeting:

Here you can choose specific websites, videos or apps where you’d like to show your ads.

A placement can be an entire website, a specific page of a site or a mobile app. On YouTube, a placement can be a channel or particular videos. A really worthwhile bit of info to remember here is that when you add Display Network placements, your ad may still run in all eligible locations on YouTube. When you add YouTube placements, your ad may still run in all eligible locations across the Display Network. Keep that in mind, homies.

Finally, audience targeting. Here we have to be careful to not blur the lines between display and remarketing, as you don’t want to be engaging with users who are already making up existing audiences, as that would be re-targeting them, and as mentioned, we’re not wanting to do that here; we’re looking to present our product/brand/service to users who’ve not heard of us before.

Think of it like display acting like how you’d pick your keywords in a standard search campaign, and think of remarketing like a branded search campaign; one is used to attract and gather initial traffic, the other used to bring people back to the site. With that in mind, then, you’re going to want to use the audience targeting to get in front of users who are considering your range of products. Let’s say you’re a retailer for expectant mothers and parents of young children; you could make the most of Google’s in-market audiences for those who are actively researching or planning on investing in baby and children’s products. Google’s in-market list for this category of people includes:

  • Baby & children’s clothing
  • Baby & toddler feeding
  • Child car seats
  • Childcare & education
  • Nappies & baby hygiene products
  • Pushchairs & Prams
  • Toys & chairs

Ah yes, but we’re not selling pushchairs and prams, we only sell baby clothing, I hear you said. And that might well be the case, but if someone is considering purchasing a pushchair or pram, I dare say they’re going to be in the market for baby clothes at some point in the very near future, the rate kids grow at, and all that! So some friendly advice here would be don’t limit yourself on the use of in-market audiences, just because one or two might not apply explicitly to your business model, think of the wider picture; think about what other purchasing patterns users may have and what they might be considering buying next/soon.

A fairly recent addition to the audiences section is the ability to create new custom intent audiences, where you can create your own audiences based on keywords and URLs related to products and services similar to what you offer.

So if there are a few things I’d love you to take on board from this, I’d say don’t confuse display campaigns with the genius little brother it has which are remarketing campaigns. Equally, if you’ve never tried display, then give it a go! Whilst typically remarketing campaigns are known as being able to perform well, display can work just as well as a remarketing campaign, it just depends on how you chose your targeting options. Finally, if you’ve got to the end of this blog and are now more confused than you were when we started, then maybe you need a hand with your Google Ads account. In that instance, don’t hesitate to contact the best small PPC agency in Europe!

Mabo are a multi-award winning PPC Management agency based in Middlesbrough. For more information on Mabo and their service offering, please visit

Author: Matthew Soakell | Mabo

Matthew is a PPC account manager turned Trainer. Named Rising Star of the Year at the UK Biddable Media Awards, 2019, he is a self-confessed PPC enthusiast and has a keen interest in futurism, automation and hummus.

His client work was shortlisted for Best PPC Campaign at Northern Digital Awards, and has been individually shortlisted for Young Search Professional of the Year at the UK Search Awards and Young Digital Marketer of the Year at the Northern Digital Awards. Matthew can be found training staff members at Mabo, as well delivering training to businesses who want to learn more about Google Ads, and speaking at exhibitions and conferences around the UK on paid search.


Submit a Blog

© [2024] · Hubbub Marketing Limited