When you are in Audience Manager in Google Ads, you can select your Display audiences you just created. Once you click on the checkbox next to your audience, a blue bar will pop up on the screen. You can then choose to add that audience to as many ad groups or campaigns as you would like. Of course, I am going to recommend adding them to all of your campaigns because who does not want more information?
Note: You can create this type of audience in Google Analytics 4 as well, but I wanted to stick with the more familiar Universal Analytics way of doing it for this post.
Depending on the goals of the Display campaign, I like to monitor how search trends change after we launch the campaign. If we are launching an overall brand campaign, I am going to monitor the most important brand keywords to see if we see more searches across Google. If we are bidding on brand terms in Google or Microsoft, we will also monitor if impressions increased for those keywords.
2. Apply those audiences in observation mode
Now before you save the audience, you will want to make sure you are adding the audience to both Google Ads and Google Analytics. And this is a trick I learned a long time ago from Amy Bishop. I wanted to make sure she got credit for teaching me this.
Now this tactic is not Search-specific, but it is one I monitor when I run any type of Display campaign. When you are reviewing your Display campaigns, you have the ability to adjust your columns in Google Ads. One column I always have selected for my Display campaigns is the View-through conversions column. You can find this option when in the Conversions section when modifying your column views.
3. Monitor Google trends to see if volume changes
View-through conversions do not include any conversions from users who have interacted with your other ads. In other words, View-through conversions are not included in the regular Conversions column totals. These conversions occur when someone sees, but does not interact with your ad. And seeing the ad means at least 50% of the ad was visible on the user’s screen. So this action is very applicable to Display campaigns which can have a lower CTR compared to other paid media channels. People might see your Display ads, but they are not ready to click on it because they were on a particular website or app for different reasons.
4. Monitor Your View-Through Conversions
After you have your audiences created in Google Analytics (if you created them using the Google Ads audience manager, that is completely fine too), I highly recommend adding each of these audiences as an Observation audience to all of your Search Network campaigns. Observation audiences are bid-only audiences in Google Ads. We are not specifically targeting users within our Display audiences we just created. We just want to observe how users within this Display audience come back and interact with our Google Ads campaigns.
Can Display campaigns in Google Ads convert? Yes. Absolutely. But even if your Display campaigns are not converting, you have to review the complete impact your Display efforts are having before turning them off. Take the ideas I laid out in this post and apply them to your account. Are users going back to Google and searching for your brand after seeing or clicking on your Display ad? There are several ways we can review this. Display is great for building the awareness to drive more Search traffic, and hopefully you can now see how that is possible.
As someone who has always been on the agency side of things, I am used to the pushback against Display advertising in Google. The number one reason I hear why clients do not want to use them is that they typically do not perform as well as Search. Of course they do not. The user intent between the networks is completely different.
See how your Display ads affect Search with these tips
We use view-through metrics to evaluate impressed-based impact on our Display campaigns. Then we like to go back to our assisted conversion metrics in Google Ads and see how these users are coming back and converting. In many cases, users are coming back via search (both paid and organic) to make the conversion. That is how we can really see the value of just having Display ads visible to a user.