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Grow your eCommerce business with Google Display Network

Want to grow your eCommerce business? Reach millions of potential leads and generate thousands of new customers?

There are dozens of paid traffic sources to choose from, including popular ad networks, independent ad providers, social media networks, and more. However, there is none more worthy of your attention than the Google Display Network.

The Google Display Network (GDN) and how to grow your eCommerce business

The Google Display Network is the largest contextual advertising network available on the Internet today. With a reach of over 90% of online users and with numerous targeting options available to you, your ability to grow your businesses is nearly unlimited.

Keep in mind that Google Display ads are different from Google Search ads.

Search ads are targeted towards online users who are actively searching for a problem or a solution related to your business offering—using keywords that are relevant to your business.

Whereas, Display ads are a more passive form of advertising. When online users receive Display ads they may not be actively shopping, or even interested in a product or service of yours just yet. Instead, these users are casually surfing the web, going about their daily business—catching up on news, reading blog posts, watching video clips, etc.

What the GDN does better than the GSN is that it gives you a much broader choice of targeting options. Targeting options that can align to your specific goals.

In this article, we will explain the four main groups of targeting options available to you: Managed Targeting, Contextual Targeting, Behavioral Targeting, and Combined Targeting.

Managed Targeting

Managed targeting is when you choose what websites you want your ads to show up on.This is called Managed ad Placement, where Google allows you to choose the websites that you feel are relevant to your business and that your target audience would be likely to visit if they were interested in your product or service.

This is called Managed ad Placement, where Google allows you to choose the websites that you feel are relevant to your business and that your target audience would be likely to visit if they were interested in your product or service.

Contextual Targeting

With contextual targeting, you are targeting based on the content of a web page (context).

Contextual targeting is another form of ad placement that allows you to display your ads on websites that are relevant to your product or service. It is great for when you don’t want to manually ad websites yourself, or you are lacking ideas for websites you could use.

There are two different ways to do contextual targeting: Topic Targeting or Keyword Targeting.

Targeting by topic is pretty self-explanatory: Pick an industry topic and Google will place your ad on all the websites categorised under that topic.

When targeting by keyword it’s suggested that you do research beforehand, choosing keywords that are very closely related to the subject of your ads.

Google will do their best to display your ads on sites related to the keywords you’ve provided, but it is best that you keep an eye on the list of websites you are appearing on and tweak your keyword list accordingly.

Behavioral Targeting

Targeting by behaviour means that you are choosing to target people based on their online behaviour.

Behavioural targeting is broken down into Interest Targeting and Remarketing.

Interest Targeting

With interest targeting, you are given a list of interest categories to choose from that best represent things your target audience have shown interest in (through their previous search history).

Interest targeting is similar to topic targeting and there is often confusion between the two. With interest targeting, it is not so much about the context (content) of the website, as it is about the interests of the people who might be visiting them.

Even if that website has nothing to do with your product or service; if the person who visits it has demonstrated an interest in something relevant to your product or service, your ad will appear.

Google breaks up interest targeting into two different types: Affinity Targeting or In-Marketing Targeting, and Remarketing.

Affinity Targeting

This type of targeting is based on a person’s long-term search history—People who have demonstrated a longstanding interest in something.

In-market Targeting

In-market targeting, on the other hand, is based on a person’s recent behaviour (1-2 weeks).

So basically, in-market targeting identifies who is actively looking for a particular product or service.


The other type of behavioural targeting is called remarketing. Remarketing is based on a visitor’s recent decision to visit your website.

Remarketing targeting ranges from the very basic to much more complex.

The five main types of remarketing are:

  • General Remarketing – this involves showing your ads to people who have visited your website in the past.
  • YouTube Remarketing – lets you tell Google to create a remarketing list of anyone who has seen your video as an ad, or taken an action on your video, such as liking it, leaving a comment or subscribing to your channel.
  • Customer Match Remarketing – allows you to upload an email list and target the people that Google recognises.
  • Dynamic Remarketing – is where you display a specific product to a visitor who has seen that particular product page on your website.
  • Similar Lists – tells Google to find people who are similar to one of your audiences, people who are likely to be interested in your product or service.

The more remarketing lists you set up, the more strategic you can be when targeting your audience on the display network.

Combined Targeting

Your last option is combined targeting. Pretty much self-explanatory: This is where you combine a number of targeting options to create an even more targeted campaign.

This is where the real power of the Display Network lies.

An example: You might choose to combine topic and interest targeting. Here, you are telling Google to show ads on pages that are relevant to your product or service, but only to those visitors who have shown an interest in something relevant to your product or service.

I.e., Google will only display your ads when both criteria are met.

Let us help you grow your eCommerce business using Google’s Display Network

At Vane our job does not stop at building your eCommerce site. We want to ensure that your website gets the exposure it needs to sell the products your customer’s love. Call or email us to find out how we can help.


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Paula Gries


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