Google Display Network (GDN) is basically Google's ad network of AdSense publishers who have signed up. Users can access it via AdWords and bid in a similar way.
The real bonus of bidding on the GDN is that is allows you to use Google's data on its users in order to target display ads, which makes it a very effective and strategic marketing tool to improve your AdWords/pay-per-click (PPC) ROI.
Through the banner ads, you can promote your products or services to anyone browsing the particular website your ads are displayed on. Even if you don't get a click-through on your ad, GDN still lets you promote your business and boost impressions.
With thousands of internet users visiting the websites on the network every day, display advertising via GDN is a great way to maximize exposure for your business.
What Are the Advantages of Google Display Network?
There are many advantages to using Google Display Network. Here are just a few.
For one, you get fast results with GDN. Your ads can go up within one day if they fulfill the terms and conditions set by Google. The faster your audience sees your ads, the faster you can gain new customers.
GDN only charges you if a website visitor clicks on your ad and gets directed to your website. If a visitor sees your ad but doesn't click on it, you don't pay anything. Your ads are also shown 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so they reach customers regardless of date or time.
GDN shows audiences your image or video ad along with your company logo. This is great for branding.
You can set a maximum cost-per-click, which lets you better manage your digital marketing budget and ensures you don't exceed your maximum spend for each day. Ad costs depend on the competitiveness of the keywords you're trying to rank for.
Using Google's user data, you can target your ads to a very select audience, making your marketing dollars stretch even further. AdWords offers different ways of targeting your ads including demographics, affinity, in-market interest, custom intent, similar audiences and remarketing.
Top 7 GDN Ad Sizes
If you're spending any amount of money on GDN advertising, it helps to know which banner sizes offer the best performance so you can be confident that your dollars are being spent well.
Google is placing a stronger focus on vertical specific functionality within the SERPs, like automotive carousel ads and hotel ads, so advertisers need to be aware of what's going on in their industry to stay up-to-date and ahead of their competition.
Here are the top seven banner formats based on ad impression share, which leads to clicks and ultimately sales.
1. Medium Rectangle 300x250
In 2017, Google updated its mobile ad types policies and removed restrictions placed on 300x250 units. It determined that this size ad can be used above the fold in a way that doesn't distract or interrupt users. (You can read more about the mobile ad policy and best practices here.)
The medium rectangle is the most served banner size on Google's display networks. 34% of all ads utilize this format because it translates across device types. However, Google recommends that with an ad this size you only keep 50 percent of it above the fold and hide the other half so as not to overwhelm users.
2. Leaderboard 728x90
The leaderboard is the second most served banner format on the display network, with an ad impression share of 32 percent.
Wider ad sizes have a better performance compared to tall, skinny banner dimensions, because they are in a 'reader friendly' format. The long horizontal width helps increase its impact on users and makes them more likely to click it.
3. Wide Skyscraper 160x600
The wide skyscraper has an impression share of 13 percent, making it the third most popular banner size on the display network. Preferred by brand advertisers, this ad size offers higher payouts for publishers and higher conversions for advertisers.
4. Banner 468x60
The banner has an impression share of 3 percent.
5. Skyscraper 120x600
The smaller version of the skyscraper has an impression share of 2 percent.
6. Rectangle 300x100
The rectangle has shown the second highest growth rate among the top 10 banner sizes and has an impression share of 2 percent.
7. Micro Bar 88x31
The micro bar is used mostly for financial products. It has an overall impression share of 2 percent but probably captures more impressions in the financial industry.
Tips for starting out on GDN
There are many options when it comes to display ads, so in addition to considering ad size, it's also important to experiment with and test different templates, colors and content in order to get the best results.
Make sure to optimize images and your brand logo so that they make a good first impression on users. Use clear and compelling headlines and text – you want your ad to show users why they should be interested.
When you're first starting out, it's a good idea to stick with the top three banner sizes. That will give you some variation but also provide access to 78 percent of all ad impressions.
Google offers 17 different ad sizes, and all of them are worth testing out if you have the resources. If you're trying to stay within a certain budget, stick with the ad formats listed here to have more luck getting impressions.
Keep in mind, however, that in addition to choosing an ad size with a decent impression share, you also want to choose a format that best spotlights or flatters your content as opposed to squeezing it into a more popular format where it just won't look as good.