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5 AdWords Hacks to Ramp Up Your Display Ads


Author: Johnathan Dane

Have you ever been so good at something that that everyone looked at you jealously while binging on Ben & Jerry’s?

sad crying eating emma stone ice cream

In this blog, I’ll share some effective AdWords Display tricks with you that not many people know about. These are the tricks that you can implement today.

But before we get into how you can create your own AdWords Display Network plan, you need to understand the key difference between AdWords Search and AdWords Display.

AdWords Search Network: You’re limited to bidding on keywords with a finite amount of ad spots. This means that your competition can make your ad clicks pretty expensive, pretty fast.

AdWords Display Network: You have almost limitless ad space across various websites, along with the ability to advertise both image and text ads in different sizes.

Now, we’re ready to jump in. These are the five AdWords Display hacks you won’t find outlined in user manuals:

1. The Competitor Email Subscriber Hack aka Gmail Sponsored Promotions

Your competitor’s hard work can actually pay off for your company. In fact, you can advertise directly to their prospects when they open your competitor’s emails. With Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP), you can target competitor domains as keywords. By doing this, Gmail will look for emails from competitors you target, and if the email recipient is in their Gmail account, your ad will show up.

Some people think that because GSP is an AdWords Display channel, the intent behind the GSP visitors would be the same as regular Display visitors—low time on site and high bounce rates—since people aren’t actively looking for what you’re offering, like on the Search Network.

On the contrary, not only do the GSP visitors hang around longer than many Search visitors, but you’ll find that some stick around for 2-4x the average time on your site. Check out the average time on site from a GSP campaign within Google Analytics:


GSP conversions can actually be the cheapest of all AdWords campaigns. Just take a look at the example below at the cost per converted click for GSP vs. other campaigns.



So what makes GSP ads so powerful?

  1. You’re paying an AdWords Display style cost-per-click that has almost as high of an intent as an expensive Search click. Since your ad recipients are interested in what your competitors have to say, they’ll most likely be interested in you too.
  2. You’re stealing away market share from your competitors, one conversion at a time, since your competitors are hoping that their email leads to a conversion for themselves.
  3. You’re going to find that it works tremendously well for high-ticket industries that have longer sales cycles, but also great for small-ticket items too. This is because some high ticket industries pay over $50-$100 per click on the Search Network, but only $0.20 with GSP ads.

2. Supersize It, Please: Use Display Layers To Improve Your Display Targeting

This next AdWords Display hack is as much a money maker as it is a mouth drooler. Consider for a second that all of your AdWords Display targeting options are one big, fat, juicy burger (if you’re vegan, please substitute for a veggie patty).

Each layer of this ‘display burger’ is a different targeting option, and the more layers you add, the more specific your targeting burger gets.burger layers

Placements: Actual URLs you want to target. You can use a tool like to see where your current competitors are having their Display ads show and target those directly as well.

Contextual: This is just a fancy word for keyword targeting. Give Google the keywords, and it will find “relevant” placements for your ads (heavy air quotes on the relevant part).

Interests: This is people-based targeting and is considered a stronger way to understand your audience’ browsing behaviors across different sites.

There are two types of interest layers you can target:

  • Affinity Audiences: People who have long-term interests, like gardening.
  • In-Market Audiences: People whose browsing behavior shows that they’re ready to buy.

Topics: This is a group of websites that relate to a similar topic.

Demographics: This is where you get target age, gender, and parental status.

Geo/Languages: This includes geographic targeting (country, state, city, radius, etc.) and the language of your targeted audience.

You may find that the more layers you add to your burger, the lower the volume, but the better your performance is. Your layers will have different results, and sometimes, simply targeting a direct placement will yield the best results.

3. The Automatic Money Making Robot

In the world of AdWords programmatic advertising, the Display Campaign Optimizer is one of my favorite tools when it comes to making money (and impressing people on the dance floor).

dancing robot voltron

Display Campaign Optimizer (DCO) takes the targeting criteria from your regular layer targeting (remember the burger earlier?) and uses that info to find new nooks and crannies based off your goal cost per acquisition (CPA) bid that you set.

Let’s say you that you want conversions at $5. DCO would then go out and find placements and mobile apps that help you hit that goal. Some placements and mobile apps might be more expensive than others, and if that continues, the DCO would automatically exclude those placements and mobile apps and go after others.

A few other things to consider when it comes to Do’s and Don’ts of DCO:

  • Do gradually rotate in new creatives.
  • Do change your CPA bid in small increments.
  • Do use target CPA to control traffic volumes.
  • Do create new ad groups for thematically different ad creatives.
  • Don’t make full ad swaps.
  • Don’t change the target CPA constantly.
  • Don’t remove high performing placements.
  • Don’t test a ton of radically different landing pages.

The reason why you want to be careful with big changes is because the DCO uses your ad and landing page info, along with historical performance, to improve its baseline of performance. If you shake things up too often, then it won’t be able continually improve or backtrack to what worked before.

Once you find automatic placements and apps that work for you, you can extract them into new campaigns and bid on those to get more volume. But there’s a catch. DCO operates off of browsing behavior signals where it can see the path a visitor has taken prior to the placement where they see your ad. This means that if you extract a specific placement and bid on it, then the performance might not be the same as it was in the DCO campaign. While there’s not much you can do about that, you can still use layer targeting on top of that specific placement to try to replicate the results.

4. The Smallest, But Most Powerful: Mobile App Ads

Mobile apps are a huge deal these days. Just take a look at Snapchat and Uber. And then there’s things like the iPhone Blower, which isn’t worth much, but is full of advertising potential.

This is because most of the free apps have high usage rates. With high usage rates come high ad-click rates, and with high ad-click rates, come high conversion volume. And there are literally millions of apps out there that are part of the Google AdWords universe where you can buy ad placements directly in a specific app.

You can use your own targeted demographics to find a pool of apps to target or if you use DCO to your advantage (which I hope you do), then targeting mobile apps by themselves will be insanely easy because the robot finds the apps that perform the best for you.

mobile app

Not to mention that it feels like Christmas every time you see the new mobile apps the DCO robot has found in the Automatic Placements report!

Here’s where your Automatic Placements report is located inside AdWords:automatic placements

Once you find mobile apps that are performing well, you then want to find their unique package names so you can target them individually.

Both iTunes and Google Play apps have different package naming conventions.

iTunes apps have numeric package names that can be found in their iTunes URLs:

Google Play apps have alphabetic package names that can be found in their Google Play URLs:

Google Play

So now that you know where inside the AdWords Display world to go fish, let’s make sure you have the best bait possible to not just get the clicks, but the conversions too.

5. Your Army of Mini Conversion Baits 

If you know the big difference between the AdWords Display and Search Networks, then you know that your visitors are in different stages of the buying cycle.

Display visitors might not even know they need your solution until you generate their awareness first, whereas Search visitors could be looking for exactly what you have to offer and buy something today. So how do you get your Display visitors to get their foot in your door?

It’s relatively simple. All you have to do is test your bait. If a Display visitor sees your ad, but they’re not ready for a free consultation (or whatever other call-to-action you use on the Search Network), then you need to give them something that’s a different—a low threat offer.

These mini baits/offers could be a lot of different things, and you’ve likely seen them before. Here are a few examples, all of which you can mix and match:

  • Coupon
  • Checklist/Cheasheet
  • Quiz
  • Video/Video Course
  • Tools
  • Calendar
  • Podcast/Interview
  • Consultation
  • Tickets
  • Live Demo
  • Email Course
  • Swipe File
  • Infographic/Gifographic
  • Free Quote
  • White Paper
  • eBook
  • Industry Stats
  • Case Study

This almost goes without saying, but make sure your new Display visitors taken some kind of opt-in approach before they can get what you promised. If you don’t, then you can’t really nurture them to become paying customers in the future.

Here’s What You Should Do Next

Even though we only covered a small part of what’s possible with the AdWords Display Network, you now have five easy-to-use and actionable ways to expand and grow your conversion volume.

Aside from continuously testing, be relentless in tracking everything directly to revenue. You may find odd nooks and crannies that you never thought would make sense to target, but once you have the complete revenue picture, you’ll be excited to continue fishing and expand your AdWords Display targeting portfolio.

Happy fishing! What other AdWords Display hacks do you know of? Share them in the comments section below.


5 AdWords Hacks to Ramp Up Your Display Ads was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

The post 5 AdWords Hacks to Ramp Up Your Display Ads appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Source: Marketo

How to Make Visitors Read Your Entire Article


You spent a long time writing that blog post. Your visitors had better read the whole thing.

But here’s the cold hard fact: They probably won’t.

Is there some method that will help readers stay engaged for the entire article? Is it even worth it to aim for higher dwell time and full scrolls?

The bad news

The Internet is full of information that conspires against you. Basically, people don’t read entire articles.

Take this Slate article by Farhad Manjoo. Apparently, 16,000 people shared it, but how many read it to the end?


Or take this cheery headline from The Verge:


True to Adrianne Jeffries’ prediction, the article garnered several thousand shares. How many people read the article? Meh. Probably not a whole lot.

The stats in these articles aren’t all that inspiring.

Check out the graph below. You can see that a paltry few are even going to view the entire article. That leaves maybe your best friend and mom who are scrolling to the end.


Image source

But what about all those tweet numbers, Google plusses, and Buffer shares? Don’t get too excited. Chartbeat’s research demonstrates that there is “little correlation between Twitter activity and article completion.”



The Verge’s report had a similar depressing scientific analysis of shares vs. reads.


Image source. Statistical analysis from Upworthy

Jakob Nielsen, the venerable godfather of Internet research, told us way back in 2008 that most users read about 20% of the words on a page. In today’s content marketing world of 1,500-word articles (like this one), I’m surprised if people get that far.

According to @NNgroup, most users read about 20% of the words on a page via @neilpatel #contentmarketing
Click To Tweet

Sorry to disappoint you. When you look at the data, you might feel like all the time and money you spend on blog content creation is a glorious waste.

Here are the facts:

What’s the problem with people?

Smart people have tried to explain why people don’t read all the content. Here are their guesses:

The good news

As a writer, however, I’ve skillfully held back some important information until this critical point.

Statistically speaking, this is the golden spot in the article at which I’ve lost all the disengaged readers, and am speaking only to a coterie of engaged learners.

(Hi guys. Thanks for hanging on.)

Even though your articles are frequented and shared by hypocrites, quitters, and cheaters, a few chosen ones will read the whole thing.

These are your engaged users. They’re the only ones who really matter.

Let’s go back to some data shared by Slate:


This thermometer measures the readership of Slate articles, and its stats are pretty good. Your mileage may vary.

The red-hot spot in the middle represents the people who really love you – the people who are intensely engaged in the article. You are speaking to them.

Interested people will read your article. The whole thing. Even if (to quote Jay Baer), “your blog post is too damn long.”

Interested people will read your entire article. Even if “your blog post is too damn long” via @neilpatel
Click To Tweet

And that then begs the question – How do you make them interested? How do you get them to read the whole thing?

The secret to engaged readers

Here is a process-driven method that will help you understand the facts of life (not everyone’s going to read the article) and develop a strategy for the future (how to connect with the truly interested).

  • Step 1: Don’t worry if all your users don’t read the whole thing. Some will. Some won’t. Focus on the best; forget the rest. Your goal isn’t to attract all the readers. Instead, your goal is to satisfy the ones who are the readers.
  • Step 2: Know exactly who you’re trying to reach with your content. Every successful content marketing initiative is built on the foundation of a successful customer journey and persona. You can’t reach your audience, let alone the read-the-whole-article folks, unless you know who that is.
  • Step 3: Create content that meets their deepest needs. Every piece of content should be designed to solve some hairy problem that your audience faces. People will do anything to get rid of pain or to achieve success. If your content promises and delivers on that point, you win.

Here’s what is important

Should you forget about the huge percentage of your readers who are skimming, sharing, and bouncing on your article? Should you completely neglect them, and focus only on the elite group of marathon readers?

No. Of course not.

Your content can still be effective, even if the skimmers, sharers, and bouncers aren’t that engaged.

Content effectiveness does not always require sustained engagement.

How can you make an impact with your non-reading users?

Consistency – Get them to come back for more.

Each piece of content should possess appeal. You may not engage readers for a long duration, but you should try to attract them into your conversion funnel.

One approach for doing so is through email captures.

The most successful inbound marketing channels are those that invite users to subscribe via email. Noah Kagan’s blog, OKDork exploded with massive traffic as he snagged thousands of email addresses from interested users.


Buffer’s viral growth hack happened when it started pulling in thousands of email addresses through its sizzling hot content.


Style – How you do it is the message.

Every content platform and channel has a certain style and approach. When you can create a consistent brand vibe in your content, you are communicating to your users, even if they don’t read the whole article.

Take my blog, for example. My goal is to produce content with the following characteristics:

As long as I’m producing content with these qualifications, I know that my content marketing is effective.

Both casual users and regular readers (there’s a difference) know what to expect from your content because it has a specific style. That, to me, is a win. I’ve established a brand message, even if I don’t get eyeballs on every blog post, every paragraph, every word.

The essence of content marketing is not the individual words of a given blog post. The essence of content marketing is successfully communicating with and attracting the right prospects.

Big idea — The main thing is more important than all the little things.

I would love it if every reader remembered the details of my blog posts – all the tidbits of research, facts, stories, and images that I showed.

That’s obviously not going to happen. A common statistic is that people remember only 10% of what they read.


The claim is misleading and not research-backed, but the point is plain: We don’t remember everything we read.

But what about the big idea? Every blog post ought to contain a central, compelling point. Can you get your reader to remember that?

Take a look at a standard assessment of read time on an article:


Image source

There are a lot of people in that low-read-time quadrant, aren’t there? A lot of my articles on Neil Patel and Quicksprout clock in at around 3,000 words. An average reader could plow through that article in less than 20 minutes.


But 20 minutes is a long time.

I applaud long-form content. It persuades better, converts better, shares better, ranks better, and is better.

But some of your readers probably aren’t going to read every word. And that’s OK. As long as they get the big idea, you’re going to be just fine.

How do you communicate the big idea? Here are a few ideas.

  • Write a strong headline. More people will read your headline than any other part of the article.
  • Communicate the main point in images. People do look at pictures.
  • Restate the main point in various bulleted and numbered lists. Lists are easy for the eye to intake rapidly. Skimmers love them.
  • Emphasize the main point in each of your headings. Since headings usually have large typeface, they are easier to read as a user scrolls through or skims the article. They are more likely to be read and remembered.
  • Restate your main point at the conclusion. If a reader doesn’t get through the entire article, she will probably jump to the end to understand your conclusion. Use this section to make your main point again.

The entire article should make a single point, and you should say it again and again and again.


Let me leave you with the big idea. It’s not essential that you get users to read your entire article.

You can and should strive for engagement. But you don’t need to obsess over a full and glorious readership. Instead, give your users a memorable experience, deliver the point, and let the few readers – no matter how few – enjoy every last word.

What does your data say? Do users read the entire article?

Want to read the average 20% or be a star reader and consume 100% of expert insight, tips, and inspiration for your content marketing? Subscribe to the CMI blog.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

The post How to Make Visitors Read Your Entire Article appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

Source: Content Marketing Institute

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