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The Benefits of Targeted Display Advertising

Oliver Ewbank

by Oliver Ewbank on 24th March 2011

Times SquareDisplay advertising can be a great way to grow a brand and increase conversions. Superior technologies enable campaigns to target the user instead of the website.

In comparison to Google AdWords (search network) advertisers are often sceptical over the ROI of a display advertising campaign. However, done with the right network, you can stream adverts to niche consumers.

Google AdWords Content Network

The Google AdWords content network is a good place to start; you simply load the banner and select the sites you would like to advertise on. You can choose to advertise on specific domains or next to targeted keywords.

The content network is a good way to grow your brand and target a range of different websites. Manual bidding lets you pay for every 1000 impressions your ad receives, this is known as CPM.  The Ad Planner and Placement Tool help you choose appropriate sites based on sectors and keywords. The huge benefit of using AdWords is that it includes conversion tracking to see which sites are working well.

Premium Networks

The AdWords network is not the only place you can do display advertising. There are other networks which target a range of premium websites.  Again, you can bid by CPM or CPA (Cost per Acquisition) and track conversions. The difference with premium networks is you can target the user rather than the website. Targeting technologies can collect data on a consumer and re-distribute ads across their browsing journey.

For example, a user may be searching for a hotel in Bath, if this is the case the ad can be displayed on a variety of sites the user visits. Comprehensive networks include premium sites such as MSN, EBay, Ticketmaster and the national press. The user can be retargeted with the same advert to prompt a purchase.

How Does It Work

Premium networks target consumers in five main ways: demographic, behavioural, contextual, geographic and with retargeting.


Networks store a huge amount of data so you can guarantee to target the right demographic and eliminate wasted impressions. For example, you may want to target males in their twenties (this is not always possible on the Google AdWords search network).


Recent online behavioural patterns can determine where your ad is displayed. For example, a user may have previously searched for ‘gym membership’ or sites in that category.


Categories and real-time relevancy scores can ensure your ad is displayed to the appropriate audience.


Targeting users by geographic location is an excellent way to personalise your ads and creative. Perfect for a pizza delivery company etc.


Display adverts can be shown to users who have previously visited your website. This helps convert users who have left your website without making a purchase.

A display advertising campaign can improve the visibility of your brand (especially through the Google AdWords content network). Premium networks give you the chance to target a user which has actively engaged in behaviour related to your product. The opportunities to source appropriate consumers give you an excellent chance of increasing conversions.

Image Source

Times Square via BigStock

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank

Working in new media for over 8 years, Oliver Ewbank has worked for a range of brands including eBay and SportBusiness.com on SEO, PPC and Social Media Management. He has won awards for his SEO work and been featured in a number of publications, including Virgin online.


  • Anna Lewis

    Anna 24th March 2011

    What’s your opinion on the future of retargeting? Is it here to stay or too stalker-ish to work? I’ve heard people say it won’t work once people become accustomed to it but others have said it’s the future as it is so well targeted.

    Personally I’m not a fan when I’m a user but when I’m marketing I think it’s great!

    Reply to this comment

  • Oliver Ewbank

    Oliver 24th March 2011

    I think retargeting is an excellent way to increase conversions and is here to stay. It can seem a bit stalker-ish but the ads are a great way to catch users who are still in ‘research mode’.

    Reply to this comment

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