How To Leverage Google Display For Lead Generation

google display for lead generation

Justin Croxton (00:01):

The good old Google display comeback. I can’t tell you guys and gals, how excited I am to talk about Google Display for lead generation. We’ve been able to get leads actually a whole lot cheaper than Google Search in certain cases. There are cases where the quality isn’t as good, but sort of try to balance that with the cost per conversion, relative to the quality and the chance that someone’s actually going to become a customer, all that. But there are some really, really powerful tactics. I mean, Google has really stepped up their game over the years to identify users and individuals based on conversions and how they’ve converted, and just having sort of a really full blown blueprint and profile on individuals across the United States, let alone the world. And for us, if you’re just thinking about using Google Display for lead generation, generating phone calls and things of that nature, form submissions, you actually can, and it’s incredibly powerful. And so I wanted to sort of break down a few of some of our best practices and what we recommend to brands and to clients across the board.

Justin Croxton (01:13):

First things first, I’m going to talk a little bit about website conversion, tracking, and copy, but I’m really going to get into like some of the top end best practices that we utilize here at Propellant Media. And I want to show you a few things on the Google Ads platform as well. So, we’ll go back and forth and you’ll see what I’m talking about. But the first thing I want to say to everybody. Best practice, you still need to focus on your website. I know it’s going to sound boring. There are certain things that you can do that will actually improve the overall conversion rates on your website. So whether it’s a popup form or form submission that is right there on the homepage above the fold. Or if you have the phone number that’s at the very top, and also at the bottom, if you gate your pricing and someone has to, for lack of a better term, enter their contact details in order to see your pricing, or if you have a chatbot that’s on your site, or if you have a quiz or a calculator or ebooks.

Justin Croxton (02:18):

All those things that adds value to your customer is ultimately going to improve your conversion rates as a whole. I did a whole video on this around conversion rate optimization. This still holds true for the Google Display Network. If you don’t do these things, your lead gen for Google Display is not going to perform as well. So you really do have to look at it from that perspective. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to make these changes, but if you have a baseline already, great, you can move forward. But if it’s just, this is who I am, there’s nothing that’s really convincing someone to submit their contact details in order for you to leverage Google Display for lead generation, then you’re putting yourself in a tough position.

Justin Croxton (03:05):

A lot of times people will say that long copy on a website is bad, but that’s not true. Long copy on a website can actually be good depending on the vertical. And so for those who don’t know, Propellant Media, we’re a digital advertising omnichannel technology company based out of Atlanta and Charlotte. So you can go to But what you’ll notice is that we also do Google Ads, we do Facebook, LinkedIn, a lot of other things, but geo-fencing is really the mainstay of our agency, geo-fencing and programmatic display. There’s a lot of people who don’t know that subject. So if we only just talk about us as an agency, but we don’t try to find ways to educate the population on geo-fencing and programmatic display, then we’re putting ourselves in a tough position. Like we have so much other competition and other individuals that do geo-fencing as well. We want to be the market leader in educating the space about that specific thing.

Justin Croxton (04:01):

And so when it comes to your website, even if it’s Google Ads, you can talk a little more about those things. You can have an ebook around … Just like this video. There’s a lot of ways that you can bring value to people without it having to solely be centered around, okay, I’m just going to say who I am as a brand. This is what I’m about. And let me know if you have any questions and contact me. No, you need to think about how can I bring value to the customer before they become a lead, before they become a customer even. If you think about it that way, your Google Display campaigns for lead gen is going to perform that much better. And this doesn’t have to be a ton of stuff that you’re doing as far as big changes to your site. But those two points I had to bring up in the first five minutes, because I can’t tell you how many people launch a Google Display campaign and they wonder why it’s not performing well. So that’s that.

Justin Croxton (04:58):

Now we can get into the meat of it. Your audience is everything. In the Google Display platform, there are a lot of different ways to create different audiences. You have custom intent audiences. You have topics that you can target. You target people based on folks that are in market. People who have been to your website as well. And so I’m just going to sort of come over here and show you all little bit of what I’m talking about. So there might be a little bit of lag, but it’s not a big deal. So let’s go over here to audiences, scroll down, test account, perfecto.

Justin Croxton (05:46):

And so usually if you’re building a campaign, initially it’s not going to look like this. But normally what we typically will do is we’ll go over to the edit audience segments section. You can target people based on age, gender, income, all that, except for certain categories like real estate. You can’t really do that in that space. But in this space, you can. God, this is taking this thing forever to launch. Let’s see here. Okay, here we go. Perfect. That was really a lag. Okay. Oh, crud. I got to start over. Let’s see here. Okay. Here we go. So select your ad group. So I want you always to think about your ad groups as audiences. Always think of your ad groups as audiences. That’s really important because that allows you to better segment your campaigns and see what’s performing well. Like in this case, this ad group one, someone else set this up.

Justin Croxton (06:45):

But this ad group one, I wouldn’t name it ad group one. I would give it a better name so that I know what audience I’m targeting, whether it’s topics or whether it’s people that are in market. But this is where you’re going to like really play around with the different types of audiences that you can go after, within the Google Display Network, essentially. And what’s also cool too, is they’ll tell you how many impressions that are available, not based on your budget, but just within the audience itself. So I use this pretty frequently just to kind of project out a little bit, which is really nice. And again, it’s just taking a little bit of time. So I might skip this part just a little bit, or we may come back to it. But custom intent, you can build all different … Let’s see here. Let’s make certain I get to the right section. We were just at the section. Let’s see here. Here we go. Sorry about that. No, I’m not there yet.

Justin Croxton (07:46):

Here we go. Sorry. So there are cases where you can create, what’s called a custom intent audience. There’s different combinations of folks that are like take for example, if someone is doing a Google search, like Google keyword search, you can take all those keywords and reach that entire audience. Like all those people that are doing those searches, you can reach them on the Google Display Network, which is pretty powerful. They have many different categories of individuals that are in market. So if you want to reach individuals that are in market for furniture, and this is kind of where it is right here, where I can … These are some prebuilt ones that we had. But if you come over here to browse, you can target people based on their affinity and their interests and their habits, people that are in market, you can create your own custom audience. You can combine different audiences.

Justin Croxton (08:40):

And what we tell to a lot of people is it’s just nice to play around with it, like build out three to five, maybe six to seven different audiences. And then you can see, and you put each audience in its own ad group. And then you can determine the performance of each of those different audiences effectively. That’s normally the approach that we’ll typically take in many instances. And I think if you do, if you look at it from that perspective, more from a testing environment standpoint, you can figure out which one is going to perform the best for many of your campaigns. So we’ll do topics. We’ll do affinity. Let me make sure I add that in there as well. Out of all of them, the custom intent audience one is pretty powerful. The in market is pretty powerful. And then this is sort of like a lookalike audience version or a site retargeting audience. Those are like the four to five that I usually, and that our team builds out.

Justin Croxton (09:35):

Every once in a while, we do have to go to some of the broader topics like topics in affinity, but those are ones that are really powerful and I think you’ll get a lot of legs from those. We also recommend, as I was mentioning a few times before already, you always want your campaigns to be segmented out by product and service. But within the individual product and service campaign, you want it to be, or category for that matter. So let me just make this quick change. Category. You also want your audience to be segmented out by ad group so you can do a better job or make a determination of which audience is or is not performing well. So what I mean by that is don’t try to just lump all of your audiences into one ad group. Be thoughtful, take the time to segment it out. And if you do, you’re going to be able to determine which ones are or are not performing well. So I’ll just say that.

Justin Croxton (10:33):

Quick tips. When you’re building a Google Display campaign, ad group is always set initially to 1 cent. So sometimes when you start a campaign, you’re like, why isn’t my campaign performing? I got plenty of impressions from the audience calculator. What’s going on here? Go to your ad group, go to your location settings, as well as your ad group settings or not settings, but go to the ad group itself, and then see what you’re bidding at. And if you started off with a max CPC bid strategy, it’s probably that. Change it to like three bucks, five bucks, and then it should start delivering in most cases. Not always, but that’s typically the culprit 8 out of 10 times.

Justin Croxton (11:11):

Next, start with your max CPC bid strategy. I want you to start there. And then as you start to see conversions, start it to take shape, I want you to start to move over to more of a max conversion strategy or a CPA bid strategy. In many instances, when you’re starting with a max CPC bid strategy, it’s just you have a little bit more control. And you obviously, and for those who don’t know, you do have to have conversion tracking set up. We have a whole video on just that by itself. You have to have conversion tracking set up and that’s really the power behind the lead gen for Google Display Network. You have to have conversion tracking set up. I don’t care whether it’s phone calls set up, form submissions. You can have a micro conversion like a button click, whatever. You got to have something that does an effective job measuring conversions.

Justin Croxton (12:02):

Because then when you move over to a max conversion strategy, a target ROAS strategy, a CPA bid strategy. In that moment, the system is going to find the audiences and just build a campaign centered around maximizing conversions for your campaigns. Or if you just want to target a certain CPA, you can do that as well.

Justin Croxton (12:26):

Another strategy that we always recommend is if you have your own creative, like the 300 by 250, the 320 by 50, those mobile sizes and desktop sizes, upload those. But also I want you to think about using the Google Display responsive ad infrastructure as well. There’s a lot of people who don’t like to use it, but personally I do. There are ways to kind of get the ads to sort of up to brand standard, if you will. And it really is a powerful tool. It truly is because you’re going to naturally get more clicks and more impressions. And they’ve built it up in such a way, and I’m kind of clicking around so you can kind of see what it looks like a little bit. But they’ve built it in such a way where the ads don’t look perfect, but they look good enough.

Justin Croxton (13:17):

And so you enter all your information, final URL, business name. I like to add tons of images just to add some variation because the system that adds themselves are going to optimize to what’s getting the most clicks or optimize them towards your key conversion metric. So images, I have two day different types of logos for Propellant Media. So we have that. We do this ourselves, of course. We try to practice what we preach so we have that. If you have a video like something that’s 30 seconds we have a explainer video for Propellant Media so we may upload that. Then you definitely want to take advantage of all the headlines, up to five headlines, one long headline and then up to another five descriptions. If you do that, I think you should be able to get your … This will show up as complete initially, but if you get that up to a good or even to an excellent, then you’re in really, really good shape. That’s typically what we recommend when it comes to the ads themselves in our experience.

Justin Croxton (14:19):

Let’s see here. So do both upload your own creative as well as use the Google responsive display ads as well. For those who don’t know, you actually can take advantage of some extensions, including I believe it’s called including lead gen extensions as well. And so if you come over here, you’ll then see what’s available. If it will let me. Come on. Come on. Okay. Just give me some … It’s because of the lag. That’s probably why. Yeah. All right. So probably waits. Okay. Then I scroll over on top of that, click extensions. Perfect. And so these are all of the different extensions that you should be able to take advantage of. I believe it’s location, lead gen. I think phone call is another one. Yep, yep, yep. Yep. That’s correct. So you got location, you got call, let’s see here. I think there’s a few others that’s yeah. It’s also automated extensions as well.

Justin Croxton (15:31):

If you use just those two, the call and the location, you’re pretty solid in my experience. And so that’s always what we recommend for clients that are running campaigns. Also, what’s nice for a lot of those retailers with brick and mortar locations, you can measure people who saw one of your ads and then actually came to your location because not just someone who clicked, but also someone who saw the ad as well. Something super, super powerful that we do for a number of folks in like commercial real estate, traditional residential real estate, that entire space, very powerful. We always want to set that up as well.

Justin Croxton (16:05):

Be mindful of your location targeting settings. You want to reach people that are inside of your targeted location. Because this is display network, sometimes it can be a little bit of the wild Wild West. So you do want to focus as much as you possibly can on reaching people within your targeted DMA. Don’t try to reach people that are outside of your targeted DMA, meaning, it’s sort of something that has to do with the location settings within your campaign infrastructure. So if I were to show everybody what I’m talking about, if you come over here, just kind of like try … I think I’m going to skip that part, but I think everyone gets to gist. Don’t reach just people who express an interest in your location. You want to target people that are located in that area that you’re really honed in on. If you do that, you should be in a good space.

Justin Croxton (17:00):

And then last but not least, we also leverage video. Propellant Media, we have an explainer video. So we actually incorporate our YouTube video with our Google Display ads as well. It’s very, very powerful. It does help improve the overall quality or the scores on our ads, but it actually does translate into actual leads for us too. And we use that in the Google Display Network as well.

Justin Croxton (17:26):

There’s a number of other things that I can show you. You don’t want to target all the inventory that’s out there. I think starting off with standard to limited is fine. Just picking out sort of some of the categories that … How do I say this? Some of the inventory that’s going to be a little bit more relevant. So you don’t want to target kids that are under the age of 18, for example. Maybe you don’t want to show your ads on park domains. We do that often as well. And then if you’re doing these things everybody, I mean, Google Display Network can be a really powerful channel. I don’t suggest putting more money to this over Google Search. If you were to give it a budget, eh, maybe 20%, maybe 15, 20% towards Google Display, maybe the rest towards Google Search. Definitely have peppered in there some site retargeting. If you’re like a PI attorney or in the healthcare space, it’s tough to do site retargeting on the Google Display Network.

Justin Croxton (18:19):

Us here at Propellant Media, we’re actually able to do site retargeting through a lot of our programmatic ad exchanges for a number of clients. So there is that benefit, but outside of that, like you absolutely can use Google Display Network for lead generation. And if you do, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. And there are many cases where the cost per conversion and the cost per clicks are that much cheaper than the Google Search network. So it’s nice to sort of have a little bit more of an omnichannel campaign running that incorporates both Google Display and Google Search. So thanks so much for taking the time everyone, greatly appreciate it. And I’ll talk to you on the next one.

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