What a difference 18 months makes! Since we published this post in Aug. 2019, Google Display Network has made several changes. Here is everything you need to know right now. 

Looking to generate more B2B leads in 2024? Consider shifting your paid search strategy to focus more on high-quality B2B leads with Google Display Network (GDN). AdWords might get you a lot of impressions but focusing on GDN will:

    • Reduce cost-per-lead (CPL).
    • Reach over 90 percent of internet users worldwide by placing banner ads, text ads, and video ads on over 2 million websites.

Here at Symphonic Digital, we’ve crunched the numbers and discovered a cheaper method for generating B2B leads: Scale back on AdWords and convert ad dollars to GDN, which targets more B2Bs with lower CPCs.

We’re not saying to give up on AdWords completely. (It introduced exciting features like affinity audiences in 2019.) But you should find the sweet spot between Ads and GDN to lower costs.

Still not convinced about shifting ad dollars to GDN? We’ll show you how to use GDN to accelerate your B2B digital marketing efforts.

We can decrease your CPL by as much as 42 percent and boost lead volume by 117 percent by leveraging Ads and GDN. Learn more.

What is Google Display Network?

GDN is now the world’s largest advertising network, connecting you with businesses in all sectors. You can reach businesses through targeted display ads as people browse websites, watch YouTube videos, check Gmail, and use mobile devices and apps.

But what are display ads?

Businesses see display ads all the time when browsing the internet. These ads appear in a banner or small box on news articles, video pages, blogs, store pages, and more. GDN is so large that potential B2B leads will probably see these types of ads frequently.

Say you specialized in software and wanted to target retailers. Advertising your software via GDN proves lucrative because Google displays ads across its network. Potential B2B leads might see your ad on a news website, blog, or somewhere else on the internet. This increased exposure could drive click-throughs and conversions and filter through to sales.

Let’s explain how to get more value from GDN:

How to Set Up Display Ads on GDN

Setting up display ads is simple. You can do it in five steps.

      1. Just log into your Google Ads account.
      2. Head over to Campaigns.
      3. Click on New Campaign.
      4. Select Display Network Only as your next campaign.
      5. Select the GDN features you want to use in your next campaign.

Why Should You Use GDN?

Face it, finding high-quality, high-value B2B leads is tough. Many businesses have cut spending during the pandemic, and competition is fierce. If you specialize in products and services for businesses, reaching these companies is challenging.

GDN provides lucrative advertising opportunities. When you use specific GDN features (we’ll tell you more about these in the next section), you can move businesses through your sales and marketing funnels. But these are not just any businesses. GDN targets the companies that are likely to purchase from your store or sign up for one of your services.

Misconceptions About GDN

Some businesses might be reluctant to use GDN. They think display ads won’t provide a significant investment return. While display ads are “simple” — these small ads are often text-based, unlike flashy video and social media ads — they can be extremely effective.

Here are some facts that prove the power of display ads in 2021:

    • Display ads will account for over 21 percent of global ad spend this year.
    • Display ad spending will total over $177 billion worldwide.

And here are some facts about investing in display ads via Google:

    • Sixty-three percent of internet users are likely to click on ads on Google.
    • Ninety percent of internet users see ads on Google.

What are the Benefits of Using Google Display Network?

    • Find businesses interested in your products and services with similar audiences and in-market audiences.
    • Improve conversions with automated targeting based on existing audiences and website landing pages. Google learns which audiences respond best to your ads over time.
    • GDN’s automated bidding feature automatically adjusts campaign bids to save you money.

Let’s give each of these benefits a little more context:

Similar Audiences and In-Market Audiences

Audience targeting has never been easier with GDN. Two of the best features are Similar Audiences and In-Market Audiences, which target ads to businesses based on interests and habits.

Similar Audiences is a feature that finds similar businesses to the ones that have already purchased products and services from you. Google uses machine learning to compare new businesses with companies on your remarketing lists. The result? New B2B leads with similar interests and habits as your existing B2B leads see your ads.

In-Market Audiences lets you find businesses “in the market” — potential B2B leads researching and considering products and services just like yours. (For example, a business searching for digital marketing services.) These businesses are likely buyers, ready to make a purchase soon. In-Market Audiences targets these companies with your ads.

The great thing about Similar Audiences and In-Market Audiences is that Google does all the hard work for you. There’s no more time wasted searching for leads.

Automated Targeting

Automated Targeting is another useful feature for scouting B2B leads. It works like this: Google automatically expands your targeting reach, driving higher-value traffic to your product and service pages. The result? You’ll benefit from more conversions and boost revenue.

“Automatic Targeting offers better forecasting and control, making it easier for you to predict performance,” says Google. “With the default setting, Automatic Targeting more conservatively expands the reach of your Google Display ads to more relevant customers.”

Use Automatic Targeting to find more B2B customers and boost reach without increasing cost per customer or bids.

Automated Bidding

Automated Bidding could revolutionize the way you target B2B leads. This valuable feature removes the guesswork that’s so often associated with setting up bids. It does this by automating bid strategies based on your business goals.

Google has various bidding strategies. These strategies include:

    • Boosting site visits
    • Increasing visibility
    • Increasing conversions with your target CPA
    • Improving conversion value
    • Generating a target return on ad spend

How to Use GDN in Marketing

GDN gives you an immediate advantage when reaching businesses, combining advertising inventory from:

    • DoubleClick
    • AdWords
    • YouTube
    • Gmail
    • Other partners

Tip: You can manage your GDN campaigns using your existing AdWords account.

By spreading bets across GDN and paid search, you’ll target more leads. It’s that simple.

How Does Google Display Network Save You Money?

Google Ads filters audiences using different segmentation methods but keywords remain the most important. The problem is, competition for service-related B2B keywords has soared in recent years, making bids more expensive. With high demand and a low supply of slots on AdWords, it’s becoming more difficult for businesses like yours to reach lucrative audiences.

GDN has far more available slots than AdWords, making CPCs affordable for small- and medium-sized businesses everywhere. So you can generate better impressions for a lower price and reduce your CPL substantially.

What Else You Need to Know About Google Display Ads

GDN’s custom filters provide powerful targeting options that help you discover specific audience segments within hundreds of thousands of websites.

In-Market Audiences, for example, discover leads actively researching services like yours. You can generate impressions among businesses looking to make a purchase and take conversions from your competitors.

There are other benefits:

    • Like AdWords, Customer Match filters audiences through your CRM data.
    • Create lookalike audiences with more contextual information than AdWords.
    • Enhance retargeting by displaying ads across the web, not just in search.

Final Word

Splitting your ad dollars between AdWords and GDN makes financial sense. We’ve used this technique for our clients, helping them achieve lower CPLs and generate more qualified leads. One B2B software client was spending $344.80 per lead during paid search campaigns, and we lowered this amount to $212.91 — that’s a 41 percent reduction — by combining paid search with GDN.

Across all our clients, we see a CPL of $158.09 for GDN campaigns. And these clients bring in more leads at later stages of the sales pipeline.

Want to optimize B2B leads today? Contact us now to schedule a consultation and discover how we can transform your digital marketing ROI.