Search & Display Campaigns - Vine Street Digital

Separating Search And Display Campaigns

Separating Search And Display Campaigns

The search network and the display network provide great opportunities for businesses. The search network allows you to show up when people are actively looking for you at the time. Presenting a solution when someone is searching is often a great converter for lead generation and e-commerce businesses alike. The display network allows you to advertise your business to people based on their interests or what they’re looking at. Not only is this great exposure, but when an ad is useful and relevant, it can be a great return as well. That being said, these two networks should not be combined into one campaign. The way they target people is completely different and hence, optimisation will be different. Separating search and display campaigns is extremely important and could save you a lot of time and money.

Different Behaviour, Different Campaigns

The main reason you should separate your search and display campaigns is because they’re targeting consumers based on two very different behaviours. With search campaigns, these are people who are looking for you at the time. Display, however, is trying to capture the attention of someone whilst they’re doing something else. This might not seem like such a big deal, but those two types of people will need different ads. Your ads will also depend on where it appears, too. One message might be captivating on search, but against the jumble of a web page, it might fail on a display ad. Similarly, bidding will be very different. Your conversion rates might be lower on display which means that your bids will need to be lower. Traditionally, display campaigns have a cheaper CPC than search. By combining search and display campaigns, you lose the ability to control the very important variables that could influence two very different customer behaviours.

Campaign Settings

Knowing whether or not you’ve combined your search and display campaigns can be tricky, particularly with all the recent changes to the Google Ads platform. When you’re adding a campaign, the options might seem fairly straightforward;

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

If you just want a search campaign, just click search right? Well yes and no, Google is going to try really hard to get you to include display.

After selecting your objective (if you have one) you’ll eventually come to a screen which gives you the network options;

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

This is Google’s default setting, and as you can see, they’re combining search a display networks in the one campaign. In order to make sure you separate search and display, you’ll need to untick that “Display Network” option if you’re going for search. It should be one or the other, not both.

If you’re working in Google Ads Editor, then the same problem is there too. Even when you select a Search campaign, Google by default will include the display network.

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

Make sure you turn it off! Change “Include Display Network” to Disabled.

What’s the true cost?

If you don’t separate search and display campaigns, it’s easy to forget what impact your display campaigns might have on overall costs and metrics. You won’t have as many options when it comes to optimisation. A lack of optimisation means wasted spend.

It’s not always the case that you’ll be tipping a fortune down the drain by doing this, but often it’s the lack of optimisation on the display network that causes the most problems. If you have combined search and display together, you can see their stats separately by going to Filter and then choosing Network (with search partners);

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

From there, you can see how things truly break down. In this example, the search network was getting all the conversions, while the display network wasn’t adding much value.

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

Each network has its own merits, its own benefits and can be tailored for particular business goals. It’s those unique opportunities that mean they’re always better when they’re treated separately.

If you’re not sure if your network targeting is correct, or you’d like to learn more about search vs display network advertising, feel free to get in touch to learn more!

Written by Gemma Renton