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Google Display has a weird anomaly where the nicest looking ads don’t necessarily lead to the greatest number of impressions and clicks. It all comes down to which ad slot sizes Google needs to fill, and which ads it has available to fill them. Because fixed-size display ads tend to be made for the most popular sizes only (but there are 20 different sized ad slots), Google has been pushing their Responsive Display advertising system as the best way to get impressions.
And yes, it really works, you will get loads more impressions and clicks if you use Responsive Display, and the CPCs are much cheaper as well. That said, you won’t necessarily get as high a click-through rate or a conversion rate from them, because frankly, they can be a little ugly.
You’ll get more impressions if you target more broadly and increase how much you’re willing to pay for a click from Google Display Network, but only to a limit. If you increase your bids and you run out of budget part-way through the day Google will stop showing your ads and then you’ll actually get fewer impressions AND pay more per click.
Personally, I don’t think that a Display impression counts for too much though unless it’s to a remarketing audience, a specifically targeted cold audience, or it’s for a restaurant or event where people can just turn up without having to click through to your website.
The usual behaviour around display ads seems to be that Display ads from unknown brands are annoying, and get a very low clickthrough rate. You see results from them when people know your brand already, and so they serve as more of an update. Just like a subscriber email vs a cold outreach email.
The good thing is that remarketing lists already know your business, and so nurturing the relationship by keeping ads in front of them is fine, even if they don’t click on them straight away because they can come back and buy when they’re ready. Someone who doesn’t already know your business on the other hand is almost never going to convert based on an impression, it’s important to get them to click through to your website so that they can be added to your remarketing lists, email subscription etc.
Once you have a remarketing list, you can get more impressions to those people by simply paying a higher CPC to Google.
This tip and many others are found at https://www.petramanos.com/category/tips/