This is the third post in PPC Hero’s series on How to Succeed on the Display Network. This post focuses on some of the newest developments Google has made and how they apply to making the Display Network work better for advertisers.

Yesterday, Bethany wrote on the best practices for the Google Display Network and last week, Sarah and I had the opportunity to head up to Chicago for Google@ Chicago to get a look at product demos and hear more about some new developments Google had announced.  Today, I’d like to touch on some of the Display Network’s more recent developments from that seminar and discuss how they are helping advertisers to see more benefits.

The Display Network and +1

+1 Button

One of Google’s newest projects is their new social network, Google+.  They also launched the +1 button, (which most people compare to Facebook’s ‘like’ button) which allows those with a Google+ profile to +1 a website or search ad with a  ‘plus one’ button and they’ll show up in the Google results for that website’s listing.

Last week they announced that not only would organic results contain these +1’s, but they’ll also be applied to display advertisements which is pretty good news for advertisers.  Essentially, Google is trying to develop online advertising into a more personal and relevant experience.  A brand that one or more of someone’s Google+ friends endorse with a +1 (and thus a picture of that person in the ad itself) helps develop greater trust for the ad and product.  The entire idea is very similar to Facebook’s ads which have included ‘Likes’ from friends on them for awhile.

Facebook Ads

Should Google+ succeed (which a lot of people are really hoping it does, myself included), these new developments could really change the game for marketers and add more emphasis to Display’s importance.  Hopefully the +1 button being used more than 4 billion times a day according to Google is a sign of this?

Multi-Channel Funnels

Analytics Multi Channel Funnels

At the end of last month, Google Analytics launched a new tool that we at Hanapin Marketing were very excited about – multi channel funnels.  This tool helps marketers understand the value of those areas we don’t see much value from with the naked eye.  If you haven’t had the chance to explore this tool yet, I’d really recommend Bethany’s Quick Guide to Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels.

Multi channel funnels take you through a purchase decision based on how many different channels your customer could go through before they make their end decision.  One of the biggest issues with SEM is that oftentimes, you won’t see a conversion the first time someone visits your site for the first time.  In fact, they might use several channels to research you before they decide to convert.  This tool helps to see their path more clearly.

Multi Channel Funnels

*Campaign names have been blurred for client privacy

For me, multi channel funnels has become a great way to see how my AdWords Remarketing is working.  In addition to having backend tracking available to me to see how well I’m doing from a revenue standpoint with these ads, I can take a look at multi channel funnels and see how users are interacting with organic searches, referrals, display, remarketing, social networks and more.  In addition, my Retargeting-Images campaign tends to have a higher CPL than I’d like to see.  Multi-channel funnels help me see that clicks on these ads are often times a part of the process.  Again, I double check these campaigns against revenue tracking data, and it all pans out – thus this campaign gets a bit of a higher CPL allotment.  You can use this tool for the Display Network in general and watch how it works with your other campaigns to get you a conversion or if the Display Network really is just sucking up all of your money.

Yet To Come – The Contextual Dynamic Creative Template

Here’s an interesting new idea in the pipe from Google in the Display Ad Builder – the contextual dynamic creative template. Instead of making a different ad for all of your products, you’ll be able to sync with Google Merchant and let Google contextually choose which of your products are best suited for the websites you decide to advertise on.  Information is pretty scarce on this topic, but it looks like a promising time saver.  Here’s a pretty video if you’d like more info on Google CDC.  This tool is in Beta, so if you’re interested in signing up do so here.

As we all know, Google likes to shake things up a bit quite often, so this new list will likely be obsolete tomorrow morning.  Keep checking back with PPC Hero for more Display Network and SEM info and look for the 4th part of our series, Developing a Display Network Strategy, tomorrow!