Is The Google Display Network Worth It?

PPC Review

At TM Blast, I’ve been offering PPC Services in both Google AdWords and Bing Ads for a few years now. Recently, I began a new campaign for a client in the Google Display Network. The Google Display Network (GDN) has a wide net to advertise to, but is it worth the investment? Here is a brief outline of what GDN is and how it is working for my client today.


What are Google Display Ads?

Any site that enables Google AdSense on their site leaves a space open for ads. You may see ads on sites like CNN, Fox News, Newsweek, Pandora, and so much more on the web. According to, you have 2 million websites using Google AdSense and covers 90% of the total web traffic. Tapping into 90% of the entire web traffic can be quite lucrative for any business looking to target their audience.


What’s the Difference between Google Display Campaign Ads vs. Traditional Search Ads?

The primary difference between Display and the Google Search Network is display shows ads on web pages while the search ads are on a search engine results. Both have target audience optimization, but display typically has more in-depth targeting. Display generally costs less than traditional search ads clicks but takes more clicks to generate a sale.


How are the Two Platforms Similar?

Just like traditional search ads, display advertising comes down to a conventional CPC model. Someone who clicks on your ad on a website comes to your website, and you get charged. To help return a strong ROI, you can change your keywords, audiences, device type, text ads, improve your click-through rate, increase your conversion rate, and more. You can also take your reach a step further with more robust targeting options like retargeting, placement targeting, remarketing lists, excluding audiences, blocking specific sites, and creating custom target users.


My Client and Their Early Results

We are roughly a month into GDN advertising, but it’s been a bumpy road to get to where we are now. The landing page on their site has a stable conversion rate, but qualifying users on GDN was more difficult than traditional Google Search users from my experience. After spending more money early to weed out irrelevant placements, I began seeing a pattern of wasteful spending that was hurting the performance.


  • Mobile devices don’t convert as well as desktop
  • Mobile app games were wasting the daily ad budget
  • The 18-24 age group clicks a lot on ads but does not convert
  • Getting off news sites (during COVID-19) is critical at this time since people are going to news more than ever
  • Display Network Ad sizes matter via performance
  • Breaking out different ad groups did not change the performance via conversion performance


Is Google Display Network Worth It?

After making changes to GDN and improving the cost per conversion

Now that you’ve seen the results, you are asking if this marketing strategy is worth your effort. Today, I’m happy to report that a month of data analysis has made GDN worth the investment for my client. This past week, I was able to reduce the CPA down to $26.17 for the week. Considering that the month began at $109 via the CPA, I’m taking this as a win. As a note, my client generally has a $30-$45 average CPA for traditional search ads, so this is even better.


Too Early To Tell Though?

What’s critical to note is that it’s only been one week of strong performance via the $26.17 CPA for the week. It took about four weeks of sometimes questionable spend to weed out the irrelevant aspects of GDN for my client. After opening up GDN to gather data, I feel that I have a groove for my client to expect consistent results. If I can finish April with a CPA under $40 for the month, I’ll increase the daily spend to push more performance.


Should You Invest in GDN?

The answer to the question above pertains to what you are trying to achieve with your ads. My client is in the B2B space, so audience targeting around business activity makes sense. B2C sites can also benefit from GDN, but it comes down to your goals with what the ads should do. My recommendation is to test new ways to reach your audience on Google. It’s ok to spend money and learn to make better optimizations down the road. Don’t give up to early even when the numbers don’t look great!


Future Considerations

GDN has plenty of additional opportunities to refine the scope of my client. Some ideas I can consider include remarketing, creating banner ads, improve the quality of the ad copy to increase the CTR, changing the ad format sizes, and more. Contextual targeting is another opportunity as well to see how it performs for my client.



If you have the ad spend budget to increase your online advertising, you should test Display Network Campaigns in your Google account. You can expect a few weeks/months of less than desirable metrics as you begin to weed out specific sites while refining your ad performance and marketing strategy. Don’t become discouraged if the results don’t arrive immediately. Instead, you should look for signals that are not working and block them once you have enough data.


If you are looking for a Free PPC audit, you can fill out a request on the contact page. I offer SEO Consulting to clients as well. You can request a Free SEO audit for your website too.