Display Software

Overview and usage

What is the Google Display Network?

The Google Display Network (GDN) is a group of over 2 million websites, apps and videos that can display Google ads.

Overall, GDN is 90 and above Percentage of Internet users worldwide.

You can use a type of Google Ads called display advertising To serve ads on the Google Display Network. And reach millions of potential customers.

Display ads on GDN look like this:

GDN display ads

How the Google Display Network works

GDN allows you to place online ads on sites, apps and videos related to your business. And to users who match certain criteria you define.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Interest-based audience targeting

Interest targeting allows you to reach people who are interested in your products and services.

or anyone engaged in activities related to your business.

You can choose from three main interest targeting categories:

  1. Affinity
  2. custom
  3. in the market
Interest targeting infographic

Affinity Category

This category includes 80 different interest-based groups. “I like running,” “I like action movies,” and “I like books.”

You can show your ads to one or more of these audiences.

There is no limit to the number of affinities you can add. However, the more you add, the more targeted your audience and the smaller your reach (potential impressions).

Custom Affinity Category

You can further refine your targeting by creating Custom Audiences using search terms (called keywords).

For example, if you’re running a Google Display Network ad for a triathlon outfitter, you might use keywords like ‘triathlon training’, ‘triathlon beginner’, ‘triathlon event’.

Google will show ads to users who visit sites containing these keywords.

You can also add specific URLs that your viewers may visit. Then target the sites you want your ads to appear on.

In this case it is or

market audience

Use this targeting category to find people who are actively looking at similar products and services.

Useful if you want to raise awareness among the “on the market” people looking to buy. Also known as a person with a high desire to buy.

Using the same example, it could be someone who added triathlon gear to their shopping cart on another website.

Or maybe you’ve seen product reviews or product comparison videos.

Demographic audience targeting

Demographic targeting lets you reach potential customers of a specific age, gender, parental status, or household income.

You can also combine demographic and interest targeting to reach a more specific and relevant audience.

For example, let’s say you run a yoga studio for women. And we would like to promote a special class for working mothers.

You can focus on the ‘Female’ demographic group within the ’25-54′ age range and specify the ‘Parent’ status. Along with affinity groups based on yoga, pilates and fitness.

Remember, the more specific your targeting, the fewer people will see your ad. Test out several targeting combinations to see which one drives the most conversions.

Google Display Network and Google Search Network

The main difference between the Google Display Network and the Google Search Network is where your ads appear.

of Google search network A collection of Google search-related websites and apps where ads appear.

Google Search Network ads appear in Google search results and other Google partner search sites when users search for phrases related to your keywords.

like this:

Google Search Ads in SERPs

with Google Ads Display NetworkHowever, ads are displayed while users are visiting other sites, apps and videos.You can’t always reach out to people proactively looking for what you offer.

like this:

Advertisements displayed on the website

There are other notable differences as well.

For example, on the search network, advertisers target keywords.

But the Display Network targets audiences, interests and websites.

Additionally, search networks tend to be the best at getting engaged audiences.

The Display Network, on the other hand, has great brand awareness.

Comparison of the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network

How much does it cost to use the Google Display Network?

Our average cost-per-click on the Display Network is less than $1. But the total cost ultimately depends on your budget.

GDN operates on a live auction system similar to the Google Search Network. You pay each time someone clicks on your ad.

The beauty of GDN is that keyword bidding is generally less competitive.

This increases your chances of reaching people who are interested in your product or service. The intention is less strong, but you get more impression.

A primary use of GDN by advertisers is awareness.

How to create Google Display Ads

To run your ads on the Display Network by creating a Display campaign, Google Ads account.

In the left menu, selectcampaign, then press the plus button. next,”new campaign

New campaigns for Google Display Ads

Then select a goal. If you don’t already haveCreate a campaign without goal guidance

Edit your campaign goals page

next,”screenas the campaign type.

Display option highlighted

Add a URL, enter a name for your campaign, and click[Continue

Add your URL and campaign name before continuing

Then you will be asked:

  • Choose your target location and language
  • Set your budget and bid strategy
  • Add audience targeting parameters
  • Create ad copy and upload visuals
Final steps for Google Display Ads

For a more detailed step-by-step workflow, check out our Google Display Ads guide.

How to optimize your ads for the Google Display Network + best practices

Follow these guidelines to create your Responsive Display Network ad.

(Responsive display ads are the default ad type in GDN.)

Google will ask you to submit assets (headlines, logos, images, descriptions, etc.). It also automatically adjusts everything for different devices and available ad space.

To help Google create ads that reach your users and improve performance, follow these best practices:

image size

Images are one of the most important elements of display advertising. Help users understand your business, products, and brand.

Proper image sizing is also very important for good ad performance.

You can upload up to 15 images in 3 aspect ratios: square, landscape and portrait. Alternatively, you can choose from Google’s free stock image library.

Choose up to 15 images to use in your ad

Google allows you to set the aspect ratio for any image you choose from your library.

Image with rations highlighted

If you upload images, follow these size guideline:

square image

Ratio: 1:1

Recommended size: 1200×1200

Minimum size: 300×300

Landscape image

Ratio: 1.91:1

Recommended size: 1200×628

Minimum size: 600 x 314

Portrait image

Ratio: 9:16

Recommended size: 900×1600

Minimum size: 600 x 1067

Ad image size guidelines

Note: Maximum file size for all images is 5120 KB.

image quality

Not only do you want your images to be the right size, but you also want to make sure they are of high quality.

For best results, avoid blurry, overly filtered, upside down, or bordered images.

please do not:

  • overlay logo on image
  • Overlay text or other graphics
  • overlay button
  • Use a logo with a colorful background


  • Use a single image (no collages)
  • Focus on your product or service
  • Use physical settings with natural shadows and lighting
  • Use a logo with a transparent or white background
When to do infographics in quality and when not

text recommendation

The most important guideline for text is to use clear and simple language to describe your product or service.

Also, avoid generic text, all caps, and clickbait at all costs.

short headline

You can add up to 5 short headlines to your responsive display ads.

please do not:

  • Punctuation at the end of short headings
  • Use the same copy for headings and descriptions
  • Use your business name as a heading
  • use all caps


  • Tell users what they can do: “Pay with a credit card”
  • Describe your offer in detail: “Free Next Day Delivery”
  • Make it unique and compelling: “running shoes cheaper”
When short headlines do and do not use infographics

All short headings should be 30 characters or less. Otherwise, it may be truncated by Google. And make sure all assets are unique.

long headline

You can add one long headline for your responsive display ad.

Describe your brand or product’s value proposition in a compelling way. Make it useful and interesting.

please do not:

  • Put punctuation at the end of long headings
  • repeat short headline copy
  • use all caps
  • use clickbait


  • Write the headline so that it can stand on its own. Google may display without descriptive text.
When long headlines do and do not use infographics

Keep long headings under 90 characters to avoid discontinuities.


Google will display the description next to the short headline. Not a long headline.

So write a descriptive text that complements the short headline.

You can add up to 5 descriptions. What do we recommend? Add all five.

please do not:

  • use a generic message
  • use all caps
  • use clickbait


  • Make text easier to read and understand
  • Use sentence capitalization
  • use details
  • Articulate your value proposition
When the description uses infographics and when not

Keep the description under 90 characters so it doesn’t get cut off on certain layouts.

Outperform competitors’ advertising campaigns

Understanding the Google Display Network and how it works is just the first step.

If you want to see returns, you have to go one step further.

That means looking at your competitors. Reveal your strategy for advertising, ad spend, and the Display Network.

And then build on those insights.

For example, tools like AdClarity can help you:

  • In-depth analysis of your competitors’ digital campaigns
  • Know where (and how much) your competitors are spending on advertising
  • Compare (and benchmark) a competitor’s strategy against yours
  • See what the top performing advertisers are doing

more. From a database of 650,000 advertisers in over 50 global markets.

AdClarity overview

Create a free Semrush account and try AdClarity’s 7-day free trial.

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