5 Simple Ways to Optimize Display Ad Performance and Drive Conversions

Display ads have taken off in recent years, after they had fallen out of favor for quite a while due to inefficiencies in reaching marketers’ target markets. The whole display advertising game has changed dramatically, and channels like the Google Display Network (GDN) are raking in profits for those who are able to find and convert their target audiences.

There is a lot more to it than just throwing together a few ads and adding them to the network, however. There are at least five critical areas that need to be closely monitored and given daily care and attention to develop and maintain a successful GDN strategy. This is a very competitive marketplace, and these tactics all must work in concert to have a fighting chance at success. In order to keep up with them, put your much energy these five areas of advertising on the Google Display Network:

1. Keyword Lists
Your keywords direct the GDN to sites where your ads will be shown. You will, obviously, want to target relevance to your product or service, so building the keyword list is quite important.

And as important as building that list is testing it. Take series of 10 to 20 keywords and test them against each other to see which ones perform at the highest level. When you divide them into groups, you can assess them at that level and test their efficiency. Eliminate groups that don’t perform well, create new ones and constantly test keyword them to find the best spots for your ads.

2. Ad Placement
Keywords will help with placement, but look deeper into where you ads garner good clickthrough rates (CTR) in conjunction with low cost per acquisition (CPA). This is key to success on display networks. Network algorithms are imperfect and may determine a page to be relevant when it’s not. Irrelevant pages suck up impressions and, even worse, could end up generating clicks that convert poorly.

Eliminate poorly performing URLs and keep those pages that are performing well. By eliminating the chaff, you garner quality impressions and will continue to improve your performance with each swipe of your virtual swathe.

Seasoned PPC veterans already know the importance of testing ads; this space is no different than search advertising in that respect.

It should be noted that good creative plays a big part in display advertising. Speaking directly to your audience, as well as having creative that stands out and can be seen, is vital to garnering the clicks you want. Testing creatives against each other to find the one that works best is par for the course. It just needs to be done. And it needs to be done continually, despite the fact you feel you may have found the winning formula.

Again: Your creative needs to not only be seen and clicked, but it also has to speak to the target audience. The way to speak to that audience will be defined by how they react to your ads.

3. Bid Pricing
Keeping the above two elements in check, you’ll be able to go about your bid management with a much cleaner slate, and with more information on the potential of your ads.

Bid prices fluctuate constantly. Bid prices should be adjusted relevant to current performance, as well as the current volume of searches for your topics. Because impressions can increase dramatically at certain times of year, you’ll need to keep on top of trends. Incredibly, bid prices can be dropped significantly when a topic is more popular, allowing you to get a greater impression share for less money.