What Are Google’s Display Ads?

The first thing people think of when they hear the term “Google Ads” is Google Search Ads. These are the main focus for many advertisers, but it’s certainly not all there is to Google Ads.

Google’s Display Ads also play a crucial role in many advertisers’ success on the platform. They serve a completely different purpose, and make it easier to reach users on your terms instead of waiting for them to search for you.

In our Google Display Ads Hub, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about these ads, including how to create them and execute your campaigns successfully. In this post, though, we’ll go over the crucial first step by answering the question what are Google’s Display Ads?

What Are Google Display Ads?

Google Display Ads are image or video ads that appear in qualifying placements on third-party publisher sites or Google properties. The ads may appear as banners across the tops of a site page, in the sidebar, or within the main content of a page.

It’s common to see Display Ads on content-heavy websites, including blogs and news sites. They’re a great way for the publishing company to monetize their content, because every time a user completes the action being optimized for (which is often a click), they’ll get paid.

A screenshot of a website that features recipes and a display ad for Pandora jewelry is highlighted in the right-hand margin.

How do Google Display Ads Work?

The Google Ads Display Network is made up of publishers who have elected to sign up to show ads on their sites and apps. There are billions of websites signed up to participate in the Display Network, which is excellent news for advertisers. Once they’re approved, they can place slots across their sites where ads can appear.

Advertisers will create image and video ads that can show up in these placements. You can create a variety of different creatives to test.

And this isn’t a shot in the dark, hoping that you’ll have an ad reach relevant audience members; you can set up specific targeting options increasing the likelihood of having your ads seen by the target audience you want to reach.

Display Ad targeting options based on audience segments, demographics, keywords, topics, and placements.

Multiple different options can help you reach your audience, including the following:

  • Audience segments based on online activity
  • Retargeted audiences from your own data
  • Demographic targeting based on age, gender, and household income
  • Websites, apps, and videos that discuss certain topics
  • Placements on specific websites, videos, or apps

You could, for example, show your ad for a video gaming chair on a gaming blog. You could also choose to show specific products to users who have recently viewed them on your site as they browse other content online, reminding them to come back and purchase. There are plenty of options for how to use Display Ads to drive more sales.

Once users take the desired action, you pay, and the publisher gets paid.

Why You Should Use Display Ads

Google Search Ads get a lot of attention, as do Shopping Ads, since both allow you to capture high-intent users already in the buying process.

Display Ads, however, play an important role in the overall customer journey when used correctly.

You can use Display Ads to connect with users of all stages in the digital sales funnel without waiting for them to come looking for you. You can show ads to cold audiences on relevant websites or use retargeting to re-engage people who are considering your product already.

The retargeting potential on Display Ads is outstanding, and it’s something that we strongly recommend using. Even if you’re using Search Ads to push new users into your funnel, you can use Display Ads to follow up and keep them engaged until they purchase.

There are millions of participating sites and apps, so your potential reach is exceptional. And, as a nice perk, it’s worth pointing out that your ad won’t necessarily be stacked right on top of (or smack dab between) several others. If you can capture user attention from the content they’re looking at, there’s less competition than in other ad types.

The ability to use both visuals and videos is also incredible. You aren’t relying just on a single static image or text-based ads, which can be a huge asset for visual products.

Final Thoughts

Google Display Ads can— and often should— be a vital part of your overall ad strategy on Google. Whether you want to reach cold audiences or reconnect with warm audiences or existing customers, these campaigns can be exceptional assets.

And good news: In this Hub, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about how to use them.

Ready to get started with Google Display Ads? See our Display Ads Hub here.