10 Reasons to Use the Google Display Network (GDN)

Joshua Erdman
Top 10 Reasons for Google Display Network

The Google Display Network is arguably the most powerful tool on your marketing tool-belt. These are ads that your prospective customers see as they browse the internet instead of  the ones they asked for in search. This changes the user intent factor but both methods are successful for different reasons. With careful planning, display ads can craft a branding image in the minds of your prospective customers. Seeing your ad on a site that your customer respects can also cause some of that goodwill to transfer to your brand. 

Are you looking for a breakaway sales strategy that unleashes your business potential? Then get yourself a cup of coffee and read this article carefully. Here are the top 10 reasons to use Google’s Display Network:

  1. Driving search volume
  2. Branding 
  3. Innovation Introductions 
  4. Targeting Strategies
  5. Remarketing
  6. Content Testing 
  7. Reduced Costs
  8. Early sales cycle contact 
  9. Advertising Copy Creativity 
  10. Thank Before you Bank

Driving Search Volume

If a customer is not actively searching for you or your services, how are they supposed to know about you? The answer is: utilize a Display campaign to reach this potentially interested audience. Getting your ads in front of a customer that has yet to discover you is the first step in generating that qualified search to your website. Simply put, display ads allow you to place your ad in front of a customer that has never heard of you. This, in time, will lead to future searches directly to your site. Display is more of a marathon whereas search is a sprint. You need to have patience and a steady budget to reach the finish line in display and not burn out before your opponents. 


To move searches to your business from a generic term such as “Plumber” versus a branded term like “Joe’s Plumbing” is impossible if you are relying solely on a Search Campaign. Display ads offer the opportunity to bring your specific business goals and values to life. You are able to highlight the unique selling proposition of “Joe’s Plumbing” versus the other plumbers that might pop up in a generic Google search. For instance, a brightly colored ad with a memorable slogan about Joe’s Plumbing will linger in a customer’s mind, so the next time they are in need of service, they have a predisposition to call Joe whether they are aware of it or not. 

Innovation Introductions

Consumers will not search for something they have no idea exists. New ideas, products, and services can be easily showcased in a display ad. This lets people know about something they didn’t even know they needed! An introduction to what you offer is a unique opportunity that display campaigns present. Say for instance you are trying to introduce a new robot that walks your dog. It’s unlikely that anyone will search directly for this because they have no clue that it exists. This is a perfect role for display, especially on sites that feature the latest tech gadgets. Someone browsing the web may see your ad and realize that they could use some assistance with their rambunctious rescue dog. The ad serves as the catalyst for a product that the owner previously would not have searched for.  

Targeting Strategies

It may seem that display ads are akin to taking a shotgun approach in terms of what customers will view your ads. However, the wide range of targeting options that Google offers can really narrow down the people you wish to show your display ads to. In addition to targeting users who have expressed intent (determined by Google based on user activity), you can choose to place your ads on certain reputable websites that you know your potential customers visit. This approach is valuable because it provides a soft push to people who you know already have a qualified interest in what you offer. For example, you can choose to target your ad to people who are interested in sports, whether or not they are even browsing a sports-related website! Granted these audiences are not perfect, but they provide a  great starting point for generating that initial “buzz” about your business.


Have you ever looked at a camera on Amazon and then every place you go Camera ads seem to follow you? That’s remarketing and it works incredibly well. Remarketing results in a much higher likelihood of engagement on your site than other targeting options. A remarketing audience allows you to show a catered message to those who have already visited your site. Let’s say someone got to your site and didn’t set up an appointment on your “Contact Us” page. With Display, you have the ability to show a specific and compelling message in your ads to this group of users. The result is a higher probability of that person coming back and exploring your website. It is very unlikely for someone to do business with you on the first visit, which makes remarketing such a powerful tool because you essentially get a second chance; which we know isn’t very common in advertising.

Content Testing

Due to the increased amount of viewers of your ad, display ads offer the chance to fail fast. You can quickly test whether or not a campaign is producing desirable results and move on whereas, in a search campaign, this process would not only take much longer, but also cost more money. It is critical to know what content works and what doesn’t. Many times, content decisions are based on the personal choice of the highest ranking person in the room. It goes like this: three ideas are presented in a meeting and the CEO likes option 2. End result is that option 2 is picked even though the CEO may not fall in the target audience. With display, you can put the three concepts into a test and let the market tell you which one works best for the real audience.

Reduced Costs

Typically, display campaigns produce a lower CPA with a longer sales cycle. The key to managing this is to keep your bidding properly tuned. The more you can fine-tune your targeting, the more cost effective your display campaign will be. If you tighten targeting in your display ads, the cost per lead becomes much cheaper than search. This is why display ads have a lower cost, especially when considering the quality of the audience. 

Early Contact in the Sales Cycle

Unlike search, which is driven by the user’s query, Display is driven by your detailed understanding of your ideal customer. Display allows you to reach your ideal customers early in the sales cycle and bring them through a full experience with your business. If you can understand, empathize with, and communicate to your ideal customer, then display can be a breakaway sales strategy that unleashes your business potential. Search targets users much later in the cycle but with display you can not only target users early, but also at multiple stages in the cycle depending on what type or targeting you utilize.

Advertising Copy Creativity

The chance to unleash your creativity in display ads is endless. In search, you are limited to text which does not elicit much emotion compared to an image. This makes it easy to use shocking statements or humor to connect with your audience on a higher level. While this can be risky, it can also be very rewarding for connecting with a specific sect of the people you want to reach with your message. In addition, the opportunity to create engaging ads in a variety of formats lets you give people a feel for your business and even your personality. 

Thank Before you Bank

Would you like your customers to remain happy customers? Would you like them to refer your business to a friend? Saying Thank you in a display ad helps promote a valuable connection that keeps people coming back. This is often overlooked as it is easy to focus on acquiring more leads. However, etiquette and customer service go a long way in fostering relationships with people. Specifically, these efforts are likely to result in a referral from your happy customers because you will stand out from those who did not take the time to simply say “Thank you.” 
Clearly there are multiple benefits to Google’s Display Network, but it ultimately boils down to the foundation of advertising: reach and frequency. Although reach and frequency are difficult to control, display advertising has a massive reach which lends itself to many opportunities to adjust your frequency based upon your budget. In other words, display offers more control over who is seeing your ads and how often they are being shown your ads.