Google Display Network series: Measure everything. Optimize relentlessly.

In the last three weeks, we showed you tools to effectively plan your display advertising campaigns, develop compelling ads, and target your ads to reach precisely the right audience across millions of both popular and niche sites in the Google Display Network (GDN). In today’s final post, we’ll dive into measuring and improving your online display campaigns with powerful, free tools that bring accountability to your display advertising investment.

Campaign reporting and optimization
On the GDN, you have real-time reporting for every site and URL where your ads ran. You can view basic metrics like impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate (CTR) and cost, or, by implementing our free AdWords Conversion Tracking, you can measure conversion metrics to determine your campaign’s return on investment (ROI). We also recently introduced viewthrough conversion reporting to provide a more complete picture of your display campaign performance.

With rich site- and URL-level data like this, you can see exactly what’s working and respond on the fly. This means you can increase bids for sites generating lots of sales or decrease bids for, or exclude, poorer-performing sites.

With Conversion Tracking enabled, you can also unleash our bid management tool, Conversion Optimizer, to help increase your conversions while decreasing your cost-per-acquisition (CPA). One of the most powerful bid management tools available, the average campaign using Conversion Optimizer sees a 21% lift in conversions with a 14% lower CPA*.

Web analytics and optimization
Your campaign’s performance is heavily influenced by the experience visitors have on your site.Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you measure user behavior on your site, providing metrics like time spent on your site, page views, traffic sources, bounce rate, and more. Using this information, you can identify areas on your site you need to improve to increase conversion rates and ultimately, your ROI. Although Google Analytics works independently of Conversion Tracking, it’s possible to automatically import your Analytics data into Conversion Tracking, enabling you to consolidate reporting and optimization across these measurement tools.

While Google Analytics tells you what’s happening on your site, Website Optimizer empowers you to change it. You can show your visitors multiple versions of a page or elements on a page to test which are most effective, thereby getting more of your visitors to convert into customers.

Measurement beyond the click
Finally, research shows that the impact of display ads extends beyond immediate clicks and conversions. After seeing display ads, many users search for the advertised product or brand, or visit the advertiser’s web site days or weeks after having seen a display ad, even if they didn’t click on it. 

Recently, we launched Campaign Insights to help you measure the impact of your display campaigns beyond immediate clicks and conversions. Campaign Insights calculates the incremental lift in both online search activity and website visits that result from a display ad campaign. By comparing a data set of thousands of advertisers who saw a particular display ad with an equivalent group that did not see the ad, we can determine the incremental change directly attributable to the display campaign. With this insight, you can establish your display campaign performance, beyond just immediate clicks.

This post ends our series on the Google Display Network. Over the past four weeks, we hope you’ve discovered new ways Google can help you run successful display campaigns. For more on the GDN, please visit our microsite.

Posted by Miles Johnson, Inside AdWords crew

* Analysis compares performance of Conversion Optimizer campaigns over the course of a year with a control set of campaigns and represents the average impact of Conversion Optimizer. Actual impact may vary form campaign to campaign.

Introducing the Google Display Network

Over the past year, we’ve been focused on investing in display advertising, and we’ve seen great momentum from the increasing number of you running display campaigns with Google. We’ve rolled out new features and targeting options and more precise measurement tools. To provide more places for you to run display ads, we’ve added more publisher sites (through Google AdSense and DoubleClick Ad Exchange) to our ad network of over one million sites. Meanwhile, many of you have continued to run ads on YouTube and our own properties. In an effort to make our display media offerings clearer to advertisers like you and agencies, we’re creating a new umbrella name for all these properties, the Google Display Network. 

The Google Display Network will comprise all of the sites (apart from search sites), where you can buy ads through Google, including YouTube, Google properties such as Google Finance, Gmail, Google Maps, Blogger as well as over one million Web, video, gaming, and mobile display partners (our display partners include all of our AdSense and DoubleClick Ad Exchange partner sites that allow text and/or display ads). The Google Display Network offers all ad formats -  text, image, rich media, and video ads - enabling you to unleash your creativity and engage potential customers across the Web. 

You can run ads on the Google Display Network the same way you always have. Either place bids through AdWords or make reservations on YouTube and Google Finance with the help of a Google account team.

In the upcoming weeks, you’ll see a change in the AdWords interface reflecting this new term, and you’ll see Google Display Network where you might have seen Google Content Network mentioned. We’ve also launched a new website showcasing the sites and benefits available to you on the Google Display Network. 

We’re working hard to offer the best display advertising solutions and we look forward to introducing new features on the Google Display Network that help you reach your advertising goals. 

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President of Product Management

Reminder: Upcoming webinar on display advertising opportunities

We wanted to remind you that this week we’re holding a webinar about our recent innovations in display advertising and how marketers are incorporating it into their strategies.

Join us on May 20, 2010 at 11:00am PST / 1:00pm CST / 2:00pm EST.

Specifically, we’ll discuss:
  • Google's vision and recent innovations in display advertising
  • How to best take advantage of our offerings, from planning to improving your campaigns
  • How advertisers are incorporating the Google Content Network into their marketing strategy
Hope to see you there!

Now available: Reach the right audience through remarketing

Imagine you’re a travel company, and you’re trying to excite users during the holiday season about deals to tropical Caribbean destinations. Users may come to your website, browse the offers and think about booking a trip, but decide that the deal is still not cheap enough. Then, they continue to browse the web. If you later decide to offer discounted deals to the Carribean, how do you reach these users who have already expressed interest in travelling there?

To help you do this, this week we're rolling out a new feature called remarketing. Any AdWords advertiser can use remarketing to reach users as they’re browsing the web on sites within the Google Content Network. Remarketing is a simple way to connect with users, based on their past interactions with your website.

We opened a trial of remarketing last March as part of our interest-based advertising beta. We’ve received a tremendous response from the hundreds of advertisers who’ve been using it in recent months, across all industries - including automotive, retail, local and finance. We’ve seen that remarketing has worked well for many different kinds of advertisers - whether they’re looking to boost brand awareness, or drive clicks and sales, and whether they use display or text ads. For example, if you’re a search advertiser, you can use remarketing to create an integrated campaign strategy. After driving traffic to your site with search ads, you can then remarket to those users who reach your site by showing them tailored ads on sites throughout the Google Content Network.

You can easily set up and create a remarketing campaign through the new “Audiences” tab in AdWords. A remarketing campaign allows you to take advantage of the same features and reports you can use today in AdWords - it’s just a new way to reach the best audience for your ad.

Here’s an example of how it works. Let’s say you’re a basketball team with tickets that you want to sell. You can put a piece of code on the tickets page of your website, which will let you later show relevant ticket ads (such as last minute discounts) to everyone who has visited that page, as they subsequently browse sites in the Google Content Network. In addition to your own site, you can also remarket to users who visited your YouTube brand channel or clicked your YouTube homepage ad.

You can also run a number of remarketing campaigns at the same time. For example, you could offer discount game tickets to users who’ve previously visited your tickets page, advertise VIP hospitality packages to users who clicked on your “How to get to the arena” page, and advertise a sale on team merchandise to users who previously visited your YouTube brand channel.

Remarketing is a great way for businesses to reach users who are likely to be highly receptive to their ads and special offers. It helps advertisers and websites get higher returns. For example, Intercontinental Hotels Group has used remarketing to reach potential customers who have visited one of their hotel websites:

Ad by InterContinental Hotels Group using remarketing to offer incentive to users

It also means more relevant and useful ads for users, and more opportunities for your customers to receive special offers and discounts that may be of interest to them. As we announced when we launched our beta of interest based advertising, we want to put users in control of the ads they see, so anyone can opt-out of remarketing by using the Ads Preferences Manager. Our remarketing product complies with industry standards developed by self-regulatory groups such as the NAI and IAB and IAB UK.

To get started with a remarketing campaign, check out the information we’ve put together.

Opening up YouTube to new display advertisers

One of our goals is to democratize access to display advertising and make it accessible and open -- like search advertising -- so new advertisers can participate easily. We launched Display Ad Builder in 2008 to help you easily set up and run display ad campaigns.

Display Ad Builder is a self-service tool within AdWords that helps you choose from dozens of professionally designed templates to run ads across the 1 million sites that make up the Google Content Network -- including YouTube -- in a matter of minutes. Over 20,000 advertisers have used Display Ad Builder to create display ads quickly and simply, and over 80% them had never run a display ad campaign before.

Since we launched Display Ad Builder, we’ve added more templates and fonts to help you design display ads quickly. Today, we're announcing a new feature in Display Ad Builder that lets you use simple templates to create InVideo and companion ads on YouTube.

An InVideo ad is an animated flash overlay that appears at the bottom part of a video that a user is watching. It’s been one of the most effective ad formats on YouTube. With people watching over 1 billion videos a day on the site, overlays are an easy way to get your ad directly in front of a huge audience.

Building overlays has always been difficult for small advertisers, who often don’t have access to the resources needed to create these animated ads. That’s where Display Ad Builder in AdWords comes in.

Now, any advertiser can use Display Ad Builder to turn their image ads into overlays and run a campaign on YouTube in minutes. Depending on the type of campaign an advertiser wants to run, overlays can be bought on a CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) basis, and can be matched to YouTube videos based on numerous criteria, or even on a video by video level.

With this new format, Display Ad Builder will enable more advertisers to run display advertising campaigns on YouTube. For example, if you’re a small business that sells beauty products, you can quickly use a template in Display Ad Builder in AdWords to create an overlay ad and then run it on popular fashion and beauty videos.

If you're interested in creating your own InVideo ad, or any other type of display ad, click here to get started.

​New tool for brand advertisers on the Google Content Network

Two types of advertisers run campaigns across the Google Content Network. The first group, direct response advertisers, measures the success of their campaigns by looking for clicks, traffic to their sites, and sales. In contrast, brand advertisers typically use display ads to raise awareness and purchase consideration for a product or service a person might buy down the road. Other advertisers are looking to achieve a combination of these goals.

On the Google Content Network, we've been focused on building new capabilities that make it a great place for brand advertising of all kinds. For example, last year we introduced frequency capping to enable advertisers to manage how often their campaign reaches the right users. We've also developed new innovative tools to measure the impact of brand campaigns. Today, in response to feedback from brand advertisers, we're announcing a new feature that allows these advertisers to reach their advertising goals more easily.

This feature, which filters out "below the fold" inventory, enables brand advertisers to be more selective about where ads appear. The new filter gives you the ability to show ads only in places that appear on the user's screen when the page loads, without requiring them to scroll down. Learn more in the Help Center.

With a host of different web browsers, monitor sizes, and screen resolutions, it’s hard for advertisers to predict where an ad will land, since the same placement may appear differently on each user's screen. To simplify the process for you, Google has implemented a statistically driven solution to determine which ads are above and below the fold. The statistically driven model only considers ads "above the fold" if they are completely on-screen when the browser window loads.

Our goal with this release is to give brand advertisers greater control over where their ads appear, and make the Google Content Network an even more powerful, controlled environment for running high performing brand campaigns.

New holiday ad templates available in Display Ad Builder

This winter season take advantage of holiday-themed Display Ad Builder templates to advertise your products and services.

You can find these new templates in the "Seasonal" category of the Display Ad Builder gallery. Here are some examples of the templates:

These templates use new high quality buttons and backgrounds to provide you with just the right holiday feel for your upcoming advertising campaigns. By changing the text and adding your own images, you can build customized ads in minutes.

We also recently launched 20 high quality templates in the "General" category, and 20 "People" ads featuring professional images of people.

To start creating your ads, visit the “Ads” tab in any campaign, click “New Ad,” and select “Display Ad Builder’ from the drop down.

Google Campaign Insights: Better measurement for display advertising

As we've previously posted, one of our aims is to improve display advertising on the web. Three simple principles guide our approach: simplify the system for buying and selling display ads; deliver better performance that advertisers and agencies can measure; open up the ecosystem by making it accessible to more participants.

So how can you better measure the impact of your display ad campaign? At the moment, you can measure how many clicks your display ads achieve, measure conversions that result from those clicks, compare results with industry benchmark data, and use "View-through conversion reporting" to measure visits to your website from users who saw your display ad in the past.

Today, we're launching a new tool to measure the impact of your display ads - Campaign Insights. As of today, Campaign Insights is available for larger display ad campaigns across the Google Content Network in the US and UK.

Campaign Insights is a unique measurement tool that can give reliable data about how a campaign has raised brand awareness, or active user interest, in a particular product or service. It looks beyond the traditional measures of clicks and conversions to calculate the incremental lift in both online search activity and website visits that result from a display ad campaign.

We use the same expertise we use to improve our own services -- our ability to analyze large quantities of data. Campaign Insights compares two data sets: a large group of users (many thousands, minimum) who saw a particular ad, with an equivalent, large group that did not see the ad. It then measures whether there is any significant difference in searches and visits to your website between the two groups. Doing this, Campaign Insights can determine the incremental change that is directly attributable to the display ad campaign. With this insight, you can establish how well your display ad campaign is working beyond just clicks.

Campaign Insights provides highly reliable results to marketers because of the statistical methodology our computer algorithms use to combine and analyze large volumes of data from several sources -- the advertiser's own campaign information, ad serving logs, and sampled data from Google Toolbar users who have opted in to enhanced features. All of the results reported to advertisers are anonymized and aggregated over thousands of users.

If you run wide-scale display ad campaigns on the Google Content Network and want to try Campaign Insights, you should check with your Google representative.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew

Announcing the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange

You may have seen our post on the Official Google Blog, announcing the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange. The Ad Exchange is a real-time marketplace to buy and sell display advertising space.

The "buyers" in the Ad Exchange are typically ad networks and agency-run networks with their own ad serving and optimization technologies, while the "sellers" are large publishers.

We're excited about what the launch of the Ad Exchange means for you, our advertisers. Ad Exchange sites will now be available for you to advertise on, as part of the Google Content Network, through your AdWords account. These sites are made available to you when Ad Exchange publishers choose to allow AdWords advertisers to compete for their inventory, and as long as that inventory meets all AdSense policy requirements.

So when you advertise on the Google Content Network, your ads will now be eligible to run across additional high-quality placements on those Ad Exchange sites, in addition to the hundreds and thousands of placements your ads can run on in the Google Content Network.

These placements will appear like any other Content Network placement in your AdWords reports. Like all Content Network placements, you can use the Placement Performance Report to see where your ads ran, which placements performed best, and act on that information by increasing or decreasing bids based on each placement's performance. On occasion, an Ad Exchange site may choose to remain anonymous, in which case, the site will appear in your reports with an anonymized label like "" You can choose to exclude this placement, just like you can exclude any placement in the Content Network, if you see it's not meeting your performance goals.

You can still use all the AdWords targeting, bidding, formats, reporting, and controls for the Content Network that you're already familiar with. This just means that there will be more high-quality sites that you can access. As always, sites must meet the same quality requirements that we apply to all sites in the Google Content Network. Also, this change does not affect your search campaigns.

You can learn more about how the DoubleClick Ad Exchange can benefit you in the AdWords Help Center.

If you're not currently using the Google Content Network, you can learn more about how to get started here. If you're using the Content Network but have never tried running display ad formats, you might check out our Display Ad Builder tool, which can help you create new display ads in minutes.

Google Ad Planner has a new look

On June 24, Google Ad Planner turned one year old, and what a busy year it's been. Marketers and media planners worldwide now manage tens of thousands of media plans with Google Ad Planner. Additionally, with publishers directly contributing their own site data and sharing their Google Analytics traffic numbers, we continue to provide you the most accurate data measurements for your media planning. We've also steadily released a variety of new features over the year based on your feedback, including pre-defined audiences, more site filters, and additional demographic data.

To celebrate these milestones, we've given Google Ad Planner a facelift. Starting today, you can find sites and manage your media plans even faster with the redesigned Google Ad Planner interface.
We've kept all the best features from before, but the new interface streamlines your research and media planning by making features easier to find and use. Simply enter the URL to jump directly to a site's profile page and see Ad Planner's rich profile data for the site. We've also improved your campaign management by allowing you to easily merge and copy media plans.

We hope you'll take advantage of the new Google Ad Planner interface. Visit to check out our new look and to find out more information about Google Ad Planner.