If you want your business to get noticed by more customers, you may want to consider the Google Display Network. An online display ad, unlike a text-link ad, is a banner or other graphic image or animation that appears on web pages. Google Display Network is part of Google AdWords, the search company's flagship pay-per-click ad program, which also includes an ad-builder tool that allows anyone with an AdWords account to create and place banner ads on thousands of websites across Google's advertising network.
Google is simplifying the bidding system used in the network, among a number of recent improvements making it easier to run display ads on other websites. Users are still charged by the click, starting at around 10 cents per click. Here's a summary of the other major changes and how you can use them to get your business in front of more prospects.
Create new ads from a selection of customizable templates.
Use Google's new ad templates to create customized display ads, then use Google to place the ads on sites your prospects or customers are likely to visit. The ad builder includes many templates with pictures, motion, rich media and a variety of themes to help you showcase your brand and attract clicks. Some of the new templates are expandable, which means that they increase in size when clicked so your prospects can see more pictures or other content before deciding to click-through to your website.
Create multiple versions of your ads for targeting different groups.
Let's say you need two different display ads because some of your prospects typically visit sites related to cats, and some of your prospects typically visit sites related to dogs. Google's updated tools allow you to copy your ads and make changes to create multiple versions for each type of placement or campaign.
Create social ads with Google's social templates.
Social templates allow you to create display ads that include your latest tweets so you can update the offers and content of your ads by creating new tweets instead of creating new ads. That way, the people who view your ads always see the latest information.
Use automated keyword lists for better targeting.
Google now automates the creation of keyword lists for better targeting so you can get your ads in front of the right prospects without having to think of every possible keyword yourself.
If you're not a do-it-yourselfer, ask your marketing provider for help or work with a consultant who can build you a strategy and refer you to an agency with experience in online display management.
Have you tried web display advertising for your business? What gets the best results for you?
John Arnold is president of Aveta Marketing, a marketing agency in Boulder, Colo.