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  • Writer's pictureCalvin C.

What is Display Advertising?

What is Display Advertising?

In our previous post, we talked about Paid Search, where advertisers can bid on keywords that they want their ads to show up for, and how it all works. We also discussed how Paid Search is a great tactic to use because you advertise to users who are actively searching, and who have intent.

But how about advertising to users who don’t know about your brand, or product, or service yet? How do you reach that audience? That’s where Display Advertising comes in.

Display Advertising allows you to attract an audience who is browsing on a website, on social media, or other digital mediums to take an action on your website. It is a way to reach users who may not know who you are yet, or know what you’re selling, in an attempt to convert them into a customer. This is what most businesses use for brand awareness, promoting offers/products, or even retargeting users who have been to your site before (we’ll get into that a little later).

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Display Advertising.


  1. Responsive ads: You only need to upload a landscape and a square image, and Google will automatically crop these images to ensure they fit into any placement on the GDN (Google Display Network). You’ll also be required to upload text for headlines and descriptions, because it will be paired with the images to deliver a complete ad put together by Google’s algorithm.

Note: Avoid putting text in your images

  1. Reach: The GDN consists of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear. These sites reach over 90% of web users across the globe. Needless to say, there’s almost no user you can’t access online.

  2. Targeting Capabilities: Google offers a variety of ways you can target audiences. This includes:

    1. Context: Based on keywords that exist on sites your audience is visiting

    2. In-Market: Users whose behaviour indicates they may be in the buying stage (searching for healthcare products)

    3. Affinity: Users who demonstrate a qualified passion in a given topic (green living enthusiasts)

    4. Similar Audiences: If you’re actively creating audiences (ie. users who have made a purchase), or uploading your CRM list, Google will automatically create a new segment of users who shares a similar profile to the original audience, allowing you to reach more qualified users

    5. Retargeting: If a user has been on your site and a cookie has been placed on their browser, you are able to have a set of ads follow that user onto any site or app that they’re on. This typically results in a higher engagement because they’re already familiar with your brand. If you want to take it one step further, dynamic retargeting allows you to show an ad of a product that the user was looking at while they were on your site, so that it is hyper-relevant


  1. Ad fatigue: Since users are constantly bombarded with display ads, most of the time, these ads are ignored or users have become desensitized and don’t even notice them. This is where advertisers need to have eye-catching and thumb-stopping creatives that draw attention.

  2. Ad blockers: Over the last few years, ad blockers have become more popular, since it allows users to minimize ads being shown. This is also due to an increase in privacy concerns.

With all that being said, display advertising is an important tactic when it comes to the overall marketing strategy. It allows you to reach people with targeted ads while they’re browsing their favorite sites, and the GDN is designed to help you find the right audience.

So, if you’re a brand new business that’s just starting out, or you have a new product you want people to consider, it’s a great way to cast a net to bring these users into your sales funnel. As you nurture them deeper into the funnel with relevant content, the goal is to eventually convert them into a lead through the use of retargeting ads or with your paid search campaigns.

Make sure you check back regularly. There are more updates coming soon!

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