Display Advertising with Google is something that if you get right, really can work, as it is pretty cheap and you can end up getting your adverts onto some pretty decent websites. But, if you get it wrong, it will simply eat your budget and deliver little to no results, which is why you simply must devote time to your Display Advertising campaign if you want it to really perform.

Although there are quite a few automatic things you can do with your PPC Campaign in Google Ads, there is nothing like a manual touch to really get your campaign in order, and Display Advertising in my opinion really does need a human touch to make it work.

So, here are five common mistakes that you need to avoid with Google Ads Display Advertising.

No Conversion Tracking

I know I bang on about conversion tracking in pretty much every blog post I write, but without it you literally are throwing money at areas that you will not know whether they work for you or not, and this is no different, if not even more dangerous with Display Advertising. Conversion tracking with display advertising means that you can see where your conversions come from in terms of placements, adverts and keywords, and this then allows you to either fine tune your placements until you end up with a perfect list, or add bid adjustments to the ones that really work for you. And, it also means you can get rid of the rubbish based on not only other metrics but by using the conversion data as a final measurement as to whether you ditch or stay.

Without conversion tracking installed, you will never know what marketing platform really works for you, and as I say, it is vital to make sure you have this and Analytics Goals in place to really know where your money is performing for your business.

Site Category Exclusions

One of the biggest mistakes is not excluding some of the site categories, which you can find in Display Advertising — > Targeting, as some of these just eat your money and deliver pretty much no results. You can find more information about this here, but generally, I always advise you to at least exclude:

  • GMob mobile app non-interstitial
  • In-game
  • Parked domains
  • Error pages
  • Gambling

But, there are many more options you might want to consider. I have the found the ones above to be the most problematic over my time using Display Advertising, and whilst Google do keep a relative eye on who is advertising, things do slip through the net that you can mostly exclude here. You can exclude adult sites, and anything that might not be your cup of tea, but by excluding the ones above should save you quite a bit of money and you can then improve on this by using your own performance data over time.

Not Using Bid Adjustments

Bid adjustments allow you to increase or decrease your bids based on performance (which goes back to needing conversion tracking installed), which means if you are not bidding more on highly performing placements and keywords, then you are missing a trick. Even just adding a 10% adjustment to a placement that is delivering high returns will really help your campaign, as this then means you can get more clicks, more conversions and everyone is happy. This also goes in the opposite direction as well, as if you have any concerns about a placement and might want to decrease your spend but not pause it, then you can add a negative bid adjustment to spend less in this area. Put simply, bid adjustments allow you to push areas that are performing harder, and take some of the spend away from areas that really are not living up to your expectations just yet.

Only Using Images

One of the most common mistakes is just using image adverts and not utilising text adverts, which is a core issue considering a massive part of the Google Display Network (where your adverts are shown) still only allow text adverts to be shown. Whilst you do need to make sure that your campaign has a good use of the most common sized images for Google AdWords Display, you also need to make sure you have text adverts (the same as you would use for a search campaign), which means you will get the maximum exposure on the sites that really matter for your business.

In terms of the most common sizes for images, Google reported that – 336 x 280 large rectangle, the 300 x 250 medium rectangle, the 728 x 90 leader board, the 300 x 600 half page and on mobile the 320 x 100 large mobile banner.

Ignoring Placement Exclusions

One of the weekly, if not daily tasks you need to make sure you adhere to with Google Display Advertising is to make sure you check out the placements that have delivered your click throughs, and exclude the ones that are really bad, under performing or are just not for you. If you notice a pattern of type emerging then you can normally deal with this by using the Site Category Exclusions we mentioned earlier, but if there are just the odd placements here and there, you can add a Campaign Placement Exclusion list in your shared library, which over time you can build up to remove the rubbish which will then let the better placements shine through.

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