3 Ways to Save Money On Display Ads

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Paid Search

Display advertising is a necessary evil of digital marketing. Many consumers avoid display ads (usually referred to as banners) and when they do click through on the ad, it’s usually an accident. What’s worse, ads can show on apps on mobile phones which definitely leads to accidental clicks. If you are a digital advertiser and display ads are a part of your customer acquisition strategy, you’re likely spending ad dollars on low-quality traffic. To avoid this and make sure your display advertising is working its best for you, below are three of my top tips.

Pay Per Click, Not Per View

This is the most important display ad tip you will ever hear. If you are paying for every visitor that views your banner ads, you are definitely losing money to bots and accidental clicks. There is also no way to tell if they viewed the page or simply scrolled past it without clicking at all. Make sure you’re only paying when someone clicks on the ad which takes them directly to your site, not just views it!

Once they’ve clicked through, most advertising networks allow tracking pixels or scripts so that you can tell who has visited your website after seeing an ad which allows for conversion path analysis — very important in digital marketing. It’s worth noting here that there are many marketers out there that still only pay per every banner view, but I promise you that it’s a losing strategy.

Know the Difference Between Prospecting & Retargeting

When you release an ad to the Google Display Network (or another display platform), you’re starting with prospecting traffic. This is important to build the top of your traffic funnel, but you’ll find more people are ready to convert from retargeting ads.

Once someone visits your site and leaves, they’ve shown interest in your business and services. The first thing I recommend doing is setting up retargeting so that those people see follow-up ads about what they were looking at right before they left your site. This greatly increases the chance of them returning as well as converting as their interests have already been piqued. Here is an example: Let’s say someone visited www.TheBestCompanyInc.com then browsed around for a while until they found what they were looking for and then left without converting to a lead or making a purchase. If retargeting was set up, they might come across a banner ad on other websites. This helps keep your costs low and your brand top of mind.

Right Audience, Right Placement

Lastly, make sure your ads are displayed to the right person at the right time. The most important part of any digital marketing campaign is targeting and using audiences effectively.

If you’re advertising to parents when they’re not likely to purchase your products or services then you’ve lost their interest before you even had it. Make sure you choose your audience(s) wisely and determine if their interests match what you’re trying to sell.

In Google Ads, you’ll want to refine your audiences by going into your display campaign and then drilling into audiences. Layer in appropriate audiences for the campaign, keeping in mind that you don’t want to be too refined or you will limit your traffic.

Use Placement & Topic Exclusions

While you want to advertise to your target audiences, you don’t always need to show up on all websites. It’s important to choose the right placement for your ads which usually comes down to how much traffic is on that site. If it doesn’t have a ton of traffic or there are other websites with better-targeted audiences, use placements and topic exclusions to limit where your ad shows up.

You can also exclude topics that aren’t important to you so that your ad doesn’t show up when someone is looking for something completely different than what you offer. For example, let’s say your business sells nutritional supplements; but, there are people who visit the website who are looking for political news or reading recipes. If they’re not ready to purchase supplements, they may be less likely to convert.

Do Not Use Google’s Optimized Targeting

Google is quick to opt advertisers into settings that will make Google more money. One of these is its “optimized targeting” feature for display campaigns. This setting will look at your audiences, placements and topics, then try to place your display ads on similar sites. It sounds great until you view where your ads showed and discover that the websites have little relevance to your ads or business. Additionally, this “optimized targeting” will bid up where the system feels it is necessary, thus costing advertisers more dollars.

I have never seen Google’s optimized targeting work well, so I cannot recommend it.

The Bottom Line: Be Careful with Display

Display advertising is a bit like the wild wild west. You don’t really know where your ads will show up and it could end up costing you a lot of ad spend. It’s best to stick with a pay per click model (instead of pay per impression), prioritize retargeting ads (if it makes the most sense for your business goals) and be overly cautious with ad placements. The more constraints you can put on your display ads, the better the return will be for your money.

If you have questions about your display advertising strategy or would like an free consultation regarding your campaigns, please reach out to us at https://www.octivdigital.com.

Jeff Romero SEO Consultant

About Jeff Romero

Jeff Romero is the co-founder of Octiv Digital and writes about topics in SEO, paid search advertising, web development, WordPress, e-commerce and more. Jeff has been featured in the Huffington Post, Medium, ManyChat, Realty Times and many SEO blogs.


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