#WeBuildWednesdays Episode 35: Using Google Display Advertising w/ Custom Intent Audiences


Morning guys! Happy Wednesday. This is Mike Norris.


For today’s topic, we’re gonna talk about Google Display Advertising with custom intent audiences. Before we do that, I’m gonna back up a bit. Let’s talk about Display Advertising and what that is on a very basic level.

What is Display Advertising?

Display Advertising is like an online billboard. Basically, you’re taking your online digital ad and putting that on another website. You can also put them in apps.

If you ever been on espn.com, at the top you see a banner ad. Go to cbs.com and you’ll see an ad on the right sidebar, or maybe, at the bottom of an article—those are display ads.


Which Way to Run

There are different ways you can run display ads. Google Display Network is one of those that we’re talking about today. You can also run ads programmatically, which looks more at behavior, audience, segment, and data. You can do a lot of different things with that. Geofencing too falls into that category—not what we’re talking about today, however. Today we are talking about Google Display and custom intended audiences.

Google Display Network

This is primarily an awareness play. With these custom intent audiences, you’re able to target people based on previous search terms that they’ve put into Google, which is amazing. Think about traditional Google ads, search ads, and the keywords people are typing in that make your search ad show.

Well, it’s the same thing. People type these keywords in. At that moment, they’re not going to see your ad because they’re on a search engine results page.

But if they go anywhere within Google’s Display Network after they’ve searched that term (which is about 90 percent of the web,) they’ll be able to see your display ad. They’ll be entered into your audience. You can then use that audience to show your search ads, and you can bid up on those people because you know that they’ve already seen your brand name and recognize you.

They have a higher chance of clicking on your ad and converting, and a higher chance of becoming a satisfied customer and brand advocate for your product. They recognize your brand and they say to themselves, “Oh, I know these guys. These guys are good. I’ve seen their stuff. I know who they are. These are the guys for this.”

That’s one way to do it.


With Google Display, one last thing I will mention is that you can also do retargeting. This means that for anyone who hits your website, a cookie gets placed on them. You use a retargeting pixel on the site. You can do this with Google Tag Manager. Those people are entered into a different audience and can be shown additional display ads.

Let’s say—this is really great for e-commerce—they look at a particular product that you have on your site. Then, later on, they go to a different website and see that particular product following them around everywhere. I’m sure it’s happened to you. (It happens to me all the time)

That is retargeting.

Take Advantage of Custom Intent

This works really well with search and also custom intent audiences. The custom intent audiences are pretty new to display, but they’ve been around with YouTube for quite a while. The problem is not everyone has video assets, so not a lot of people take advantage of this. But, it is a really great way to target people beyond what Google previously had.

What Google previously had, and still has, are in-market audiences. These are largely B2C. They’re really general-type audiences to be honest with you. They don’t have specificity. They’ve got affinity audiences as well, but they’re very broad categories like Home & Gardening or things like that.

You’re not gonna want to target based on affinity audiences because they’re just huge swaths of people and are not as granular as search terms. A search term signals the intent that hey I’m looking for this particular thing right now. They go in and type that in. You know that person is looking for it, so when you show them that ad—which is much cheaper than a search ad—you’re going to hit that target audience.

It is a very good way to go about advertising. I highly recommend custom intent audiences on Google Display Network.

Thank you. Happy Wednesday!

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