Google display ads

When you search for something using Google you see “search results”, but Display ads are different. These are scattered around the internet and appear as small visual ads.

Essentially, you either see these without ever having been to the advertiser’s website before – these are to create awareness – or they are showing them to you to remind you about their website: these are named “Remarketing” Display Ads. You want to run both via the Google Ads account platform, and complement your ‘Google Search’ ads with one or both of these methods.

Topic number four:

google display ads

Display Ads are those little visuals (images, gifs, even videos) you see on millions of websites. See the image later on below for a typical example, circa September 2023. For now, look at this stunning bird! What a display!

And so… brand awareness has kicked in. This is the primary rationale behind creating a new display campaign: people do not know about the stunning sneakers I sell, so I need to show my sneakers to the world, and hope that out of the 100,000 users who might see it, 5,000 come to my website, and 100 people buy them. And, if the maths is right, the upfront marketing spend is justified by the revenue at the end.

The second way, mentioned earlier, is remarketing – so this time, they’ve seen the shoes on the main website, and shown some interest, and then they just need to be prompted to go and take a second look and consider buying them. In this case it is a typical e-commerce example, but it’s certainly not limited to physical products at all, or retail, or even something 100% online. 

display ads

starting with the basics

The first image here is of two display ads on a website I go to once a week or so: BusinessTech. The first ad is probably a generic ad that they show to almost everyone, because most people going to this website need internet – hence the plug for fibre from “axxess”. The second ad (not the whole image I screengrabbed, but the yellow “Travel Week” sutacase thing), I believe I triggered by purposefully googling “travel maldives” and so I was served that display ad. You can set up both on Google Ads and it would form part of your marketing strategy to work out which suits you, if either. 

Essnetially, the shotgun approach (the ‘spray and pray’) where you just hope the numbers work by getting eneough eyeballs on an advert (just like with a billboard, or a magazine feature, or even the famous Superbowl ads) seems a little simpler. The second, where they are either a) targeting the search terms I set up (yes, you can do that) or b) they knew I went to a travel website, and so “remarketed” me. Again, I purposefully went and looked at a travel website so that I would then be served remarketing ads, which we get to later on below. 

In the second image/screengrab, from Windguru – something I’ve used for about twenty years now – shows that Woolworths either a) knows I use their app, or b) visit their site (I barely do), or c) it’s the first one above: I just fit within their giant, shotgun approach. I don’t have much to say to all this, except that it is possible to do “In app” advertising – namely, showing tiny ads within apps that I think my target market would want to see. I’ve done this with limited success before, but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey! I also discovered a ton of apps I never knew existed (and found a glitch on Google Apps/Android) which was worth my time.


What you mainly need to know at this stage is that Display ads are super cheap, because the quality is poor. Poor compared to Google Search Ads, and probably akin to Facebook Display ads. Facebook likely just copied Google Ads’s approach to doing advertising, am not sure, but Google it?! So, do it for awareness, and watch your ROI – it might be worth it, and it certainyl could be a good thing to do when you are lauching something inknown to the public, or it’s that season (Xmas, or Black Friday, or Easter etc)

Remarketing is the golden egg. It’s both cheap, however it’s also super high quality! It delivers the best ROI on all the various campaign options within Google Ads platform. Want to learn more? Well, read all that I have in my about section, and decide what you need help with…


One display ad
two display ad


The next step with Display ads – or even the first step, if it makes sense, is to do Remarketing Ads. Learn about them in this article.

over the years, I’ve assisted many companied with both their SEO and their PPC results,


“Mike helped optimise out website, and set up and ran our Google Ads Campaign.” Brad

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