Online Advertising

4 Tips to Boost Your Google Ads Display Campaign Performance

30 July 2019 Eugénie Delhaye

Google Ads offers a tremendous network of sites and applications to display your ads. It has more than 2 million interfaces, capable of reaching more than 90% of Internet users.

If you want your target market to keep you in mind, you can take advantage of this unparalleled visibility to either capture the attention of new users or remind them of your existence with remarketing (sometimes called retargeting) by posting ads to previous website visitors.

As with ads on the Google Ads Search Network, Display campaigns require ongoing management to maximize results. This network has immense potential, but to avoid unnecessary expenses, we will give you our 4 tips to increase your performance, to ensure you have good visibility and to get you qualified clicks.


Define the goal of your Display campaigns

Much like communicate with your leads in different ways based on how far they are in the conversion funnel, you will not display the same ads to all Internet users.

Therefore, it is important that you define the goal of your Display campaigns. What are you trying to produce? Would you like to boost your conversions, by displaying your services or products to people who have already expressed an interest in them, have already visited your website or do you want to attract new potential customers?

Your strategy can vary greatly based on your budget or the buying behaviour of Internet users in your industry. After all, it is very easy to spend a lot on the Display Network because the targeting possibilities are very broad. If your budget is very limited, we recommend that you focus on remarketing. This will involve only targeting people at the end of the conversion funnel to bolster your sales or leads with people who are already familiar with your business.

Conversion Funnel Display Campaign

However, if you want to increase your website’s visitor base, it can be very useful to run Display campaigns focused on visibility to reach people at the beginning of the funnel. This fuels your growth, bringing you new visits and therefore new potential customers. However, it is more difficult to measure the results of this type of advertising, since it is much more difficult to determine the impact of visibility and awareness strategies. They undoubtedly influence users to arrive on another channel, often without them noticing it, but this is impossible to quantify precisely!

Once your strategy has been established, you can consider the most appropriate targeting for your ads.

Choose the right targeting

Targeting is central to your Display campaigns. This is where your leverage is greatest to control your expenses and ensure they are appropriate. Online advertising is an incredible tool to raise awareness and grow your business, but it is essential to target your ads as much as possible in order to receive qualified traffic that you can more easily transform into customers.

We recommend 3 aspects to consider, whether you have decided to set up campaigns based on contextual targeting (i.e. appearing on sites with specific themes or containing certain keywords), or based on specific audiences (to be distributed to specific categories of people through the audiences offered by Google).

Demographic data

It can be wise, depending on your business sector, to segment your target audience according to:

  • age group: There are 6 available, 18 to 24 years old, 25 to 34 years old, 35 to 44 years old, 45 to 54 years old, 55 to 64 years old, 65 years old and over, and another category for cases where Google does not have this information, called “unknown”;
  • gender: woman, man or unknown;
  • parental status: parent, childless or unknown;
  • income bracket: Again, you can target specifically by range by selecting the top 10%, 11-20%, 21-30%, 31-40%, 41-50% or the bottom 50%. Google also has an “unknown” type for this case. This is the only one we do not recommend using. From experience, most impressions are under “unknown” with this attribute, which does not make it very useful for analyzing performance.
Age Segmenting Display Campaign

You can use a combination of the above demographic attributes to ensure that you reach the people who best fit your market.

In addition to this, you can also influence the distribution of your ads so that they are displayed at the right places and times.


It is important to control where your ads will appear since they represent your company.

You can identify very precise placements by entering the domains of the sites you want to appear on, for example, but this will greatly reduce your reach, especially if you combine this with specific demographic data.

In general, you will allow Google to place you in all possible placements, but to improve your performance, you will have to exclude certain content categories to optimize your displays, as you can see in the image below.

Display Campaign Excluding Content

Moreover, you can also define when your Display campaign ads will appear by setting a distribution schedule, and where they will be visible by entering the desired geographical areas. Google allows you to be extremely precise, even up to postal codes. You can also cover larger areas on a citywide scale, establish a radius around your business or go very wide by targeting a province or even an entire country.


Narrow your targeting

In addition to these settings, which we strongly recommend for any active Display campaign, you can go even further in your targeting by combining them with the audiences offered by Google. There are 6 of them, one of which consists only of your website visitors for remarketing purposes. We will review the other 5 to help you understand them.

Google Target Display Campaign

1. Audiences based on user interests and habits

This category consists of affinity audiences and their customizable equivalents. By choosing this type of targeting, you can reach an audience that has shown a lasting interest in certain themes. For example, you can select “Car enthusiasts” or “Extreme sports enthusiasts”.

The custom affinity audience allows you to enter a minimum of 5 traits that represent your target audience. You can supply their interests, the URLs of the sites they are likely to visit, the places they visit or the applications they use. This information will help Google build your audience.

Display Campaign Custom Affinity Audience

2. Audiences based on what users plan to buy or actively seek

Another audience type proposed by the search engine is based on buying behaviors by predicting where users are in their conversion process. Google defines two subgroups for this category: market audiences and custom intent audiences.

Market audiences are populated by individuals who are ready to buy, or who are actively prospecting, grouped by product or service categories.

Custom intent audiences follow the same logic but allow you to enter keywords and even URLs directly, if you think that Google’s default categories don’t reflect your offer well enough.

3. Audiences based on user interactions with your business

Finally, the other available audiences are centered around activities on your site, which allow you to create automatic audiences from users visiting your site, customized if you want to segment them, and also similar audiences that Google Ads creates by default.

The search engine can identify Internet users who share similar attributes to your site visitors, and who are therefore likely to be interested in your products or services.

Display Campaign Similar Audience

With all these targeting options, Google lets you create highly effective Display campaigns. However, leveraging this potential by writing ads that will draw attention is critical. Don’t hesitate to include a call to action and tailor the message to your target audience to increase your click-through performance. You can find more writing tips in our article on creating effective ads.

Review the performance of your Display campaigns

As with any advertising campaign, you need to measure your performance to improve your results even further.

We recommend periodically checking the performance of your various campaigns and ad groups so that you can focus on the most receptive audiences.

Moreover, with Google’s extensive network, some placements clearly do not perform as well as others. Some sites and applications build much more trust than others. Make sure you check the placements where your ads appear. For instance, many placements are on mobile games, while these clicks may never lead to a contact or purchase for you.

Display Campaign Exclude Placements

Likewise, you can make exclusions from the other settings mentioned above (demographic data, geographical areas, audiences).

Google also lets you adjust bids based on devices, if you want to give preference to desktops, for example, rather than smartphones or tablets. Other adjustments can be made, either geographically or on the release schedule, but for any changes you decide to make, remember to constantly analyze the impacts to ensure that you make changes that are beneficial to your Display campaigns.


The Display network gives you unmatched visibility online. However, using it to its full potential is quite complex, since many options are possible and you can easily get lost in all the targeting offered by the platform. To maximize the performance of your campaigns, don’t hesitate to contact Google Ads advertising experts.

Contact us at 514 572 7758 or via our contact form if you want to speak to an advisor who will answer all your questions.

Eugénie Delhaye
Cofondatrice et Spécialiste Marketing Internet et Référencement Naturel (SEO) Ma maîtrise des techniques de référencement, combinée à une analyse minutieuse des tendances du marché, me permet de créer des stratégies SEO sur mesure, efficaces et durables.
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