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Display advertising had earned a bad name amongst many internet marketers. The reasons were many and one of them was that marketers only tested contextual targeting on GSD or Google Display Network with a few relevant keywords and hoped that would be enough. Some also tried DSP or demand side platforms and made large buys but did not see any good returns and lost interest. Whatever the reason there is no need for such knee jerk reactions and you could try other options, provided you continually test for the best formula.

Google display network is one amongst a hundred display networks that are available and each one offers special algorithms and self service platforms that has raised the bar.

Google AdWords – GDN

Google display network is perhaps the most well known as it is a part of the Google AdWords platform. Most advertisers wrongly believe that GDN does not work. There are a host of features in GDN that can be leveraged for targeting customers. All you need is to tweak the GDN a little bit to generate traffic and improve conversions. Here are some ways you can do it:

Contextual Targeting

This is where most marketers went wrong. They just put some keywords that were relevant to their business and hoped that Google will match their ads to websites. The way to effectively use this sort of targeting is by segmenting your keywords and bidding on individual keywords. Continuous monitoring of placement performance will allow you to exclude those websites that are not relevant. Also tweaking demographic settings can help you target websites better.

Placement targeting

You have the facility to target relevant websites. Why depend on Google when you can cherry pick websites you want your ad to be displayed.

Category targeting

You can also choose topics or categories that are related to your business, products, or services and target only those websites. This gives you a much larger field to choose from. However, do not forget to monitor and exclude websites you feel are unworthy of displaying your ads. Demographic targeting and keyword targeting combined with category/topic targeting will help you reach a much larger but relevant audience.


The first thing you do is tag your website as well as landing pages meticulously. Then segment all visitors coming to your website and your landing pages. Your target audience is ready, now all you have to do is create ads especially for these audience and your conversions will begin to rise. This is called remarketing.

Search companion

This is perhaps the best feature on GDN. What you do is create a campaign using keywords you would use for targeting search. Once you have created a campaign Google takes over and begins keeping a record of all those searchers that use your keywords during searches even if they don’t click on your ads. You will now have access to a database of searchers who can be targeted with display ads on GDN.

Remarketing lists for search advertisers or RLSA

This is a unique feature that bridges the gap between display and search. Whenever someone visits your website RLSA adds a cookie. However, instead of displaying your ad there these visitors are targeted on

Similar audiences

You are already running a successful campaign and are getting good results. Now you can improve your impressions, conversions, and clicks. How? Well by targeting your ads at people that are similar to your existing target audience. Google reviews your audience profile and then matches this profile with people that have never visited your website but match or are close to your target audience profile and displays ads to them.

These are some of the ways you can use display marketing to reach people and increase quality traffic to your website.

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