Google Enhances Display Network Metrics

This week, Google announced the addition of several new tools available to advertisers using Google’s Display Network.  Google stated in their release that these improvements will “give you better measurement, transparency and value for your display advertising campaigns.”

To improve your ability to measure your ad’s success on the Display Network, you can now view your ad’s relative CTR, which shows you how your ads perform comparatively to other ads running in the same places on the Display Network. Relative CTR is displayed by indicating how your actual CTR stacks up to these other ads, not by percentage, but by quantity.  Let’s say your CTR is 1.8%, but the other ads running on the same pages have a CTR of 0.9%. Your relative CTR would show as 2x (2 times the CTR of other ads).

Being able to view your ad’s relative CTR is a very valuable metric to help you understand your ad’s success rate. Maybe your ad has a CTR of 3%, which is good by your standards, but your relative CTR is 0.5x, which means all other ads are seeing a 6% return in the same places. Understanding why your ads aren’t seeing as high a return as others will better arm you to more effectively test new ads. Are your competitors running better deals? Do you need to better manage your Display Network exclusions and/or managed placements? These questions will be easier to answer with an understanding of your ad’s relative CTR.

Another new tool for Google’s Display Network is a Content Ads Diagnostic Tool. This tool makes it easier to view information about your ads visibility and performance per URL on the Networks tab in Google AdWords. Instead of just getting a long list of all the placements for your campaigns, you’ll start to see a little speech bubble next to each URL that will give you a pop-up box with information for that site. You will be able to see if your ads are currently running on that site, and if they aren’t, AdWords will tell you why. If your ads aren’t showing because your bid isn’t competitive enough, for example, you’ll have access to that information on screen.

Personally I’ve found Google’s Display Network data in AdWords somewhat cumbersome to navigate, so I think this enhancement will go a long way in helping me get the information I need more efficiently. Not only that, but if your ad isn’t showing on a particular site, you’ll get a link in the pop-up box prompting you to take action to correct its non-display if you want. Google will only be releasing the Content Ads Diagnostic Tool to a small number of AdWords users in mid-June, with a full launch in early July. So, be on the lookout!

And last, but not least, the third improvement to Google’s Display Network is a new feature called the Unseen Impression Filter. This new tool ensures that advertisers aren’t charged for impressions for their ads in which the probability of their ads being seen is low. Translation? If your ad is served below the fold on a given webpage, and Google determines that the likelihood of someone scrolling down the page and seeing your ad is low, you won’t be charged for the impression. This new tool could go along way in improving your ad’s CTR on the Display Network by giving a more accurate portrayal of the number of views your ad is receiving.

All in all I think these are some very significant and very useful enhancement to Google’s Display Network. I think the Display Network is a really useful avenue to gain traffic and visibility for clients, and I’m excited to have these additional tools at my fingertips. You can read Google’s announcement about these new tools on the AdWords Blog: Google Display Network introduces new performance bundle.

Will these new tools increase the amount of time you invest in Display Network performance? How do you anticipate these new tools impacting your campaigns? Let us know in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates from PPC Hero!