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google display campaign

How To Setup A Google Display Campaign

Google Display campaign ads reach over 90% of internet users globally according to Google. And they appear on over 3 million websites and apps that are part of the Google Network members lists.


This network includes Google properties like Google Play, YouTube and Gmail and millions of third party websites and apps that are part of the Google Display network.


With such a broad and deep reach, it’s important to assess how you can reach the audiences that are relevant to your brand, products or business.


Unlike search ads, were you’re targeting only people searching for your products or services, with Display ads you are raising awareness for your business while looking to increase sales or leads. So, this has greater potential than search ads and means you can capture audiences that may not know your business exists and in a separate context from your competitors.


Follow these steps to create your Google Display campaign:


1. Create a Google Ads account or sign in to your account

Visit to create a new Google Ads account or to login to an existing one. If you are setting up a new account, you will be prompted to set up a smart campaign to target people that are searching for your products or services. However at the bottom of the page there is a link to ‘Switch to Expert Mode’ and then you will have more controls and can set up a Google Display campaign. You will then choose the goal of your campaign and follow the steps.

Google ads setup



2. Click the “Campaigns” link in the navigation

If you’ve logged in to an existing account, you can click the “Campaigns” link in the menu to set up your Google Display campaign.


Campaigns Menu


3. Click the ‘+’ button

Clicking this button opens up two options for you to either create a “New campaign” or “Load campaign settings” from an existing campaign with the same features that you want to use. For example, if you already have another Google Display campaign with the same budgets, bids, locations, bid strategies and so on, you can use this option and save yourself a lot of time.


Campaign button


4. Choose a campaign goal

There are a number of campaign goals you can choose from, to promote your business through Display ads. You have the following four goals that you can choose from: Sales, Leads, Website Traffic or Brand Awareness and Reach. So you should select the goal that would make this campaign successful for you. For example the Brand Awareness goal will help you build brand recognition with compelling visual ads that show across the web, and choose to pay only when your ads are viewed. Also for the Sales goal for example, you will get more sales by showing visually striking ads across the web (online, in app, in store) and optimise your campaign’s performance with automated bidding, targeting’ and ad creation.


Campaign goal



5. Choose campaign subtype

There are two main Google Display campaign subtypes: smart display campaign and standard display campaign. The smart subtype is designed to improve performance with simplified ad targeting and management. So, many optimisation decisions are made by the machine learning system that is trained to understand your market and bid accordingly. With the standard campaign subtype you have more control over your settings and targeting and have some automation options. For now I would recommend you start with the standard option so you can learn more about the display network and optimise the campaign to your requirements, using a small budget to start with. Later you can test the smart campaign subtype to compare performance and to save yourself some time if you want the automated system to make most decisions.

Display Campaign Types


6. Update campaign settings

Next, you will update the campaign settings that will determine how, when and where your ads will be seen and by whom. Start by naming the campaign, with a name that is easily identifiable especially when you now have many campaigns in your account. Next, select the locations where your ads will appear like, country, city, town, county, postcode, radius and so on. Next choose a bid strategy, and I recommend Maximise Clicks, to try and get as many clicks as possible for your budget. And set a daily budget that is based on how much you want to spend each month. For example, if you have £1500 monthly budget, and you want to run your ads 24/7, then your daily budget will be £50.


Google Display Campaign Settings


7. Set up first ad group

It’s in the campaign settings page where you also get to set up your first ad group. First you should give the ad group a unique name that is relevant to what you want to promote. Next, you will set the targeting to determine who sees your ads. There are many targeting options in Google Display campaigns and you can target people based on their demographics, websites and apps they visit, topics and interests, according to audience groupings and so on. You will then create a Responsive Display ad and add the landing pages, headlines and descriptions and the various creatives like images, logos and videos. Try to add as much as you can, because that helps the machine learning algorithm to find the best combination of creatives to show to your prospects.


8. Publish your Google Display campaign

Lastly, you can publish your campaign and the ads you’ve created will be reviewed by the Google review team. And if all is ok the ads will go live. If there are any policy issues, you will get a disapproval email notification and you can follow the guidelines to correct it.


Do you need help setting up a Google Display campaign? Contact me to discuss how I can help.

I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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