In a previous post, we discussed changes made to Google AdWords‘ pay-per-click (PPC) Enhanced Campaigns (for Search). These new Enhanced Campaigns are designed to give you more control over bidding and focusing on “context” to help you better target potential customers. Many of these features have also rolled over onto Google’s Display Network with a few subtleties specific to Display advertising (text, images, interactive & video ads). Let’s dive into the new features and differences:

Search vs. Display
Folks who are simply browsing the Internet don’t provide advertisers with as much information as someone who is actively searching for something. When someone does a search, it’s a strong indicator of their intent because they’re actively “seeking out” certain information. In contrast, a person who sees a display ad is generally just browsing the web, but where they’re browsing (specific site or topic) is important because it can also be an indicator of “intent” or “interest.” Because of these differences, Search and Display require some different enhancements. Many of the new Enhanced Campaigns features for Display are similar to Search but we’re going to cover some differences specifically affecting Display. According to Search Engine Watch and Google, most of these differences are around Bid Adjustments and Targeting.

Bid Adjustments

  • With upgraded Display Campaign, you now get bid adjustments, which give you more control over when and where your ads will show. With these enhancements, it’s possible to set different bidding options for mobile devices, locations, and times.
  • Just like bid adjustments in Search, you can now not only make adjustments based on device, but you can adjust between targets, also known as placements. These bid adjustments, or multipliers, allow you to bid higher on certain customers who match certain criteria with the idea that they are more “valuable” to your business. Additionally, you can use bid adjustments and separate targeting for each separate ad group instead of just on a campaign level.


  • In addition to multipliers, Display allows for layered targeting options in order to be able to target a specific group of people from a single campaign. You can now set up custom bid adjustments in addition to layering in day-parting, locations, and keywords, to help hone in on specific potential customers hopefully making your display campaigns even more effective and profitable.
  • Not only can you choose to layer these targets, you can also select how those targeting methods should interact with each other without having to worry about hierarchy. According to Search Engine Watch, “If you have keywords that will show your ads on any pages matching those keywords, you can also layer targeted placements.” In conjunction with bid adjustments, the additional control helps you maximize the best combination of targeting methods.
  • Due to the prevalence of rich media and flash ads within Display, it’s harder to create unified device bidding and targeting because of the differences in capabilities of each device. For this reason, you will still be able to target the device model or operating system to limit where your ads are shown.

The Drawbacks
The main issues we’ve seen are over budgeting and control. If you choose to make use of multiple bid adjustments across managed placements, topics, audiences, and other targeting options, you need to make sure to keep an eye on your budget. Because your audience members can fit into more than one target,  your campaign costs could soar and become unprofitable. Something to keep in mind is that a person matching multiple targets isn’t necessarily more likely to convert than a person who only matches one. Additionally, using multiple targeting methods could become complex, making it harder to manage your campaigns.

Many of these new advanced features are similar to what you can expect to see within Paid Search allowing for more control over bidding and targeting. The downsides, of course, are also similar, with some loss of over device control, as well as more aggressive bidding options that can set your costs soaring.

It’s important to keep an eye on budgets and not get too complex with targeting options. With this extra control, Google has taken a step in the right direction to increase effectiveness and relevancy within Display Marketing. For more information, check out Google’s webinar, Enhanced Campaigns Series 205: Google Display Network.


Search Engine Watch
Search Marketing Standard
Google Adwords Bidding Features

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