Google Ads GDN optimization | NightJarr

Google Ads Display optimization tips 2022

Written by Ferdie Bester
Date: April 2022

Google Display Ads Optimization icon

Who should use this training guide?

Media buyers familiar with Google Ads Display and want to test new strategies to drive sales / leads.

This guide assumes that you are driving demand to ultimately drive sales.

1. Use automated bidding

Viewable CPM is a great place to start the campaign to build data and volume.

To optimize for sales we recommend importing conversion data from Google Analytics and set the bidding strategy to “Target CPA”.
This will allow Google to use it’s signal data / user data to optimize your bids to get the best CPA results.

Google Ads Display Bidding Options
Google Ads Display Bidding Options

2. Frequency capping

The purpose of frequency capping is to limit the number of impressions per user.

It improves reach and effectiveness without increasing advertising spend.

If a user has seen your ad 1000 times and not clicked on it, it’s unlikely that they ever will. This is not cost effective and a good optimization opportunity.

We suggest limiting the frequency of ads to  a maximum of 5 times per day per user  or capping the max limit at 20.

Google Ads Display Frequency cappying
Google Ads Display Frequency cappying

3. Measuring traffic quality

What is traffic quality?

Traffic quality is the value of the click received from an ad.
This is usually measured by time spent on a website or the bounce rate and is a critical KPI to determine if the correct audience was reached and to improve targeting.

How to measure traffic quality?

If you have auto-tagging enabled, Google Ads will send important parameters for each click to Google Analytics.

This data can be found in Google Analytics to show which publishers and/or audiences generated high quality traffic with a low bounce rate and a healthy time spent on the website.

Steps to optimize traffic quality: 

  1. Ensure that auto-tagging is enabled.
  2. Go to this view.
  3. Identify the publishers that generated clicks but had a bounce rate of more than 80%.
  4. Exclude these publishers in DV360 from your campaign.
Table with different bounce rates by publisher

4. Cost per action vs volume

There is an inverse relationship between sales volume and the cost per action. The more you bid the more inventory you will get, so more clicks and thus sales. However if you want to hit a lower CPA, you may see conversion volume drop.

We suggest the below approach:

  1. Document the current volume and CPA. 
  2. Set a lower CPA target and monitor the volume.
  3. Repeat step 2 until the volume drops below what is acceptable. 

You have now determined the minimum CPA you can achieve with this campaign.

We recommend that you now build a new campaign with this minimum CPA and test out new audiences, creative and publishers to optimize further.

5. Stop wasting impressions on game apps

What is going on?

If you don’t exclude games from your Display campaign (topic) targeting you will receive impressions from mobile apps like VPNs and mobile games. These perform poorly and clicks are usually accidental.

How do I know if it's happening to me?

In Google Ads go to the “Where ads showed” report. 
This will list where you ads are being show. 

How do I stop this?

In Google Ads go to the “Exclusions” report.

Add “Games” to the exclusions list for the whole campaign.

Can I exclude more?

It depends on your strategy but we recommend looking at the “Where ads showed” report weekly and exclude the placements of poor quality.

Google Ads GDN spammy placements
Google Ads GDN spammy placements

In conclusion:

We hope you found these 5 tips useful.  

Remain curious remember to make decisions on data.