Display Advertising

The Google Display Network (GDN) gives advertisers the ability to display image, text and video ads on over 2 million websites. In Google AdWords, we can specify which websites, or which website categories they want your ads to appear on. We can also use demographic targeting to further enhance display campaigns and generate better results.

What Is Display Advertising?

Display advertising is used for several purposes, but in most cases the following:

  • To improve brand awareness
  • To generate large volumes of cheap traffic to a website
  • To identify and reach out to a specific target market with highly targeted ads

Display advertising is a top-of-funnel form of advertising – unless targeting users via remarketing – as it is focused on reaching out to users that haven’t encountered your brand before and therefore can be considered as a fairly speculative form of advertising.

However, the high-volume & low-cost nature of display advertising often makes it a numbers game; If you show your ads to enough people using some of the advanced targeting options that are available, you will almost certainly reach users that are interested in buying your product or employing your services.

Targeting options

In order to ensure that you are targeting your ads to relevant users, there is a range of display targeting options available in AdWords that can be combined and used to target a more granular audience:


If you are aware of websites and/or apps on the GDN that you would like your ads to appear on, you can specifically target those placements. For example, if you want your ads to show on a page on The Guardian’s website – which is a part of the GDN – you can add theguardian.com as a placement.

Display Keywords

If you’re unsure of which websites and/or apps you want your ads to appear on, or don’t have time to carry out research to identify suitable websites, we can use the display keywords targeting option to allow Google to find websites that contain your specified keywords and display your ads on those websites.


Instead of using keywords to target relevant websites and apps, you can also select topics which are used to group the purpose and content of pages and apps on the GDN. This removes the task of specifying individual websites and apps, or coming up with keywords to target the ads and saves a lot of time in the short term.

There are long-term drawbacks to this though, as a large proportion of websites and apps that your ads may appear on are likely to be low quality and sometimes completely irrelevant to the placements you were trying to secure, so in most cases this option should be used in conjunction with other targeting options.


As well as targeting specific websites and apps to show ads on, it Is also possible to target ads based on user behaviour. Google tracks which pages, apps, channels, videos and content that users search for and and access across YouTube and the GDN.

Google then uses this data to add users to audiences grouped by interests, to allow advertisers to targeting users that are likely to have an interest in a product or service, based on this user data. There are three different types of audiences to choose from:

  • Affinity Audiences - These audiences were originally built for TV advertisers to extend their reach online.
  • Custom Affinity Audiences - These audiences were built to allow advertisers to customized audiences to make them more relevant for their brand.
  • In-Market Audiences - These audiences were created to help advertisers reach out to users who have been researching products and services, in order to help advertisers identify users that are close to making a purchasing decision.

You can segment your target audience further by using demographic targeting; it is likely that you will know from your existing customer/client base which demographics are more likely to buy your products or employ your services, so this data should be used in your display advertising campaigns. The options include age, gender and parental status.

If you are interested in improving brand awareness, generating high volumes of cheap traffic to your website, or want to reach out to a large target audience, contact us today to discuss your options.