Google Display Network – Will It Work For Your Business Type?


If you ever wondered whether you should take a plunge and expand your advertising beyond Search into the Google’s Display Network, this guide will help you asses if that’s a wise move for your business.

Some businesses see good ROI from the Display Network while others only waste their money. It comes down to assessing the suitability of your business and offer against consumer’s behavior on the Display Network. If the two are aligned then go for it.


Quick overview of what the Display Network is
It is a network of Google’s partner sites who have agreed to show Google’s ads on their websites. These ads can be in many different formats: text ads, image ads, rich media or flash ads, video ads.

Banner image ad on Google Display Network look like this:


Text ad on Google Display Network look like this:




All Google display ads will show one of these 3 logos, above the banner. If the site where you would like to advertise has banners with this logo, this means that they are part of Google’s Display Network and you will be able to run your Google ad on that website. If there is no AdChoices or ‘i‘ logo then this site is either delivery network other than Google or they run their own banners.

Display is a push medium, compared to Search which is a pull medium and so Audience behaviour is different too..

Unlike Google AdWords showing up on Search Network to people who are proactively searching for your products, Display is a PUSH advertising medium. You present ads to people as they are browsing other websites, checking email, reading news, watching videos and not intentionally searching for your products/services. These users are not in the shopping mode neither have they expressed need for your products. That makes getting their attention away from their current activity much harder.

Over the years people have learnt to ignore ads – even when they are flashing in front of their eyes. Its more difficult to divert someone’s attention than it is to just display an ad for someone who actively searched for your products. This is why advertising on the Display Network is more affordable.

CPC on display network can be 3-10x cheaper than on Google Search.

WHY do then businesses still advertise on the Display Network?

  • Expand the advertising reach when Search simply doesn’t yield enough volumes due to a niche product or a small market.
  • Raising brand awareness and improve brand recall.

Banner ads can be compared to the road-side billboards. They are good for raising awareness and reaching wider audience but that audience is not nearly as targeted or proactive as the Search audience.

Types of businesses that get the best ROI from the Display Network

Display is best suited for products that you would not think/know of to search for them.

Consider the following:

  • Novelty products & new inventions – things you wouldn’t think to search for because of their novelty. If you are selling a novelty solution to a common problem then advertising on Search with the focus on the problem not the solution will be most effective. This is because the people will think to search for a problem while your solution is still novelty to them.
  • Charities & Fundraising (you would consider giving to charity but you aren’t likely to go out searching for one)
  • Events that people might not know exist and might not necessarily think to search for, such as conferences & business events, entertainment events, expos, concerts, local markets etc.Other Products that can benefit from advertising on the display network:
  • Sexy Products like adventures and luxury products (you didn’t think to search for it but seeing an ad might wake up your desire to own it / do it). Visually appealing images banners can provoke interest in your offer.
  • Great deals / offers with little or no barrier or risk to purchase. Remember people did not ask to see your ads so if you want to take them from reading the news to your website to make a complicated purchase decision it won’t work. What could work is if you offer them something for free where they can make risk free decision on the spot.
  • Lots of business will also expand into the display Network purely for branding purposes, to try to gain or improve their brand recognition and recall. Some companies even do it just to hit their advertising budgets. Search has limited demand based around the existing demand in the market place.  Throwing all the money in the world into it still won’t expand demand level in the market. Display Network on the other hand has practically endless demand* (*if you can call it demand)

NOTE OF CAUTION: There are so many Google booby-traps on the Display Network. If you have never set up a display campaign before, make sure you learn it really thoroughly before you get started. It is far too easy to waste money. Email us on  or call +64 21 458117  if you think your business might benefit from Display. During the Free Consult with our Senior Google AdWords Consultant we will be able to assess your suitability very quickly. If we don’t feel you will benefit from it, we won’t let you waste your money on it.

Author: Natasha Popovich

I have been in Digital Marketing since 2003. My focus over the past decade has been Google AdWords, Analytics and Conversion Rate Optimization. I spent in access of $30m on Google and worked with companies of all sizes in NZ, AU, Asia & Europe, directly and through advertising agencies. I now provide consulting services to agencies and businesses directly.

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