How Effective is Google Display Network?

Google Display Network is Google’s platform for advertisers that enables them to advertise their products/services on third party websites in a banner format. Unlike Google’s native search advertising network, GDN opens possibilities to interactive ads with imagery.

In the vast proliferation of online advertising platforms, it becomes a question of measuring effectiveness among each and every one of available tools, let it be Google, Facebook or Twitter. As for GDN, there appears to be a need for much more sensitive approach in campaign management.

More Prone to Click-Fraud

Click-fraud is a fraud type that happens when a person or an automated script clicks on the ads on the display network to incur charges without any intention to the product advertised. Due to the inclusion of third-party website, GDN represents a much higher possibility for the third-parties to click-fraud.
Based on this, it is highly recommended that you keep track of the websites your ads are being published on.

Better for Brand Awareness

A highly acclaimed benefit of Google Display Network is that it offers your advertising right when the customers might be interested a relevant topic. For instance, advertising grooming products on a men’s specialty website might produce higher interests in your brand due to relativity of your product to the viewer.

One down side of GDN, however, is that in comparison to other ad platforms, it’s much less effective in terms of actual conversion, i.e. ROI. In my own experience it has been a similar issue, despite careful crafting of the campaigns. I assume the main reason behind the lack of conversion is the ad blindness that causes viewers to basically ignore all the advertising on a website.

Potential of Irrelevance

Let’s point out one thing. By enabling GDN for your campaigns, you are opening up the possibility for your ads to show up on billions page available on the network, which means that many of these pages will be nothing short of irrelevant to what you’re selling.
In order to avoid this, you’ll need to carefully study who your demographics are and what kind of websites they visit. Based on this, it’s safe to assume that GDN potentially has one of the steepest learning curves out there. Fortunately, the level of customisation on GDN is relatively high, which is good for specifying your exact target audience and the specific websites you want your ads to show up on.
All and all, Google Display Network can only be worth your time and money if you -ironically- spend a lot of time and money perfecting the elements of your campaigns.