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Display Advertising

How Online Educators Should Be Using the Google Display Network

Written by Diane Chelius, Production Associate

Over the last few years there has been a debate about which type of advertising is more beneficialfor lead generated clients: Search or display? Both types of advertising have their perks, but why not combine these two forms of advertising to help push your leads further down the sales funnel? For some lead generation accounts, leads are the main KPI. For other clients lead volume is great, but the focus is on collecting conversions. In this whitepaper, we will list two different ways where display could help your lead generated clients obtain the leads they deserve.




If you are new to display advertising, a great place to start is by creating a display campaign through Adwords. To use display to its full potential, you need to know your client’s business, audience, and goals. You can use this type of marketing for remarketing, targeting websites, or targeting your client’s ideal audience.


We are going to focus on targeting audiences through interests in the “Topics” tab in Adwords. For my upcoming example we are going to look at an educational client which is a post-secondary school with programs that involve healthcare, business, and trade skills. For the account structure we separated the different programs into their own campaigns so we can target different audiences. Once you have set up your display campaign you can add targeting by clicking on the red “Targeting” button.



Afterwards, you can select “In-market audiences” to browse which topics would benefit your ads. You can also search to find the most relevant audiences and you can add multiple topics to your ads. Below are the search results for “nursing” and Adwords has a few audiences we can try for our new campaign. Just select the audiences and you want to apply and make sure to save any of your changes.



After your campaign has run for a little while, you can optimize the campaign by pulling a “Automatic Placements” report in the Dimensions tab. This report shows on which websites your ads are appearing and if they are performing well for your account. If you noticed there are a few websites you don’t want to be associated with or are not performing well, you can exclude these websites from your display network.




Targeting by topic is a great way to hit several audiences which gravitate towards your client. Now let’s focus on capturing the audience who has already shown interest in our client. As digital marketers we direct traffic to the lead form page. Does that mean our job is now done? No, not at all – that was only the first part in our conversion equation. Now we should use display advertising to help turn our lead into our next conversion. We are going to remarket to these leads with the help from our client to push them towards the bottom end of the funnel.


We can now use a tool called Customer Match with resources our leads have already given us. Customer Match allows you to upload email addresses and you can then target these specific leads when they are signed into a Google account. Your display ads will then be able to appear on YouTube and in their Gmail inbox.


To use Customer Match you will need a list of emails from your client. The client has access to the emails from the leads you helped generate. Below is a lead form that captures a whole lot of information from our new lead. Your client will know exactly what information they want to gather sfrom their leads, so their form may have more or less sections to fill out.


You will want to talk to your client about what they want to achieve from the list they provided. If we continue with our educational client example, we need to know what our client considers a lead and a conversion. For this client a lead is anyone who has filled out a lead form on a landing page. What they consider as a conversion is when the lead has scheduled an appointment with the school.



For this strategy to work successfully we will need to ask our client to filter the list of leads they have obtained with individuals who have not scheduled an appointment. When you have this list you can work on ad copy that focuses on the next step in the conversion process. You will need to make sure you are sending them to a different landing page than before, we don’t want the customer to get stuck in the lead circle. We want this customer to go to a new page and set up an appointment with our school.


Technically these Customer Match lists do not expire in Adwords, but you will want to work with your client on updating your list over time. We want to make sure we are removing the customers who have scheduled an appointment and also include new leads to this list. Setting up a process with your client from the very beginning will help keep your Customer Match List accurate and will help move more leads through the conversion tunnel.


After you have mastered Customer Match in Adwords you can try using the same technique through other platforms. The current platforms that have this type of advertising are Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. When advertising on social media platforms, think about which platform fits your target audience. Each platform has a different type of audience and you want to make sure that the platform will be the best fit for your client.




Paid Search has been a staple in PPC advertising for a long time, but now is the perfect time to jump on the display advertising bandwagon and work it into your marketing strategy. Display is not just used for brand awareness or to remarket to your search audiences anymore. Through the “Topics” section of Adwords you can target individuals who share interests that could relate to your client’s services or products. Some clients get worried that display campaigns can spend without much gain. Through the “Automatic Placements” report you can optimize where your ad appears and exclude websites that are spending without reaching your client’s goals.


If you are currently just using display for remarketing, you can step up your remarketing game by targeting interested users through Customer Match. This customer has already trusted you with an email address, they are wanting more information about your client. Take this user to a different landing page and show them the next step in your conversion funnel. If you need your lead to make an appointment to your client’s school, create ad copy suggesting they need to lock down that appointment and connect them to a landing page where you can make that conversion happen.


Display can be the perfect extension to your client’s Paid Search strategy. As a digital marketer, once you nail down how display ads can help motivate leads to push through that sales funnel and become conversions, you will be thrilled to discover how to use display advertising through other platforms as well.