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Google Display Ads in 2020: Protecting Performance

Published: July 27, 2020

Author: Shawn Grenald

As 2020 grinds deeper into the third quarter, advertisers must continue to assess ways to engage with customers. Depending on how the year’s events have impacted your business, you need to consider different strategies and modify your approach for each channel. In this post, we’ll outline different steps that you can take to help manage your display campaigns in Google Ads.

Steps to mitigate poor 2020 performance

If your business has been negatively impacted in 2020, there are measures that you can take to ensure that you maximize your available budget. One of my immediate recommendations is to use Google’s Performance Planner to help optimize your account. The Performance Planner will help you forecast your future performance as well as recommend places where you should pause budget because of poor performance.
In combination with the Performance Planner, you should optimize your campaign settings to maximize efficiencies. I would recommend looking at ad scheduling, your current geo targets, and brand safety measures to ensure that your account is in good shape. By doing this, you will also be able to see different segments where performance might be poor and pull back budgets accordingly.

Steps to build on momentum

If 2020 hasn’t resulted in a drastic downturn to your business or has even ushered in an increase in revenue, there are also measures you can take to improve performance. A first step would be to introduce Smart Display Campaigns (SDC) and Smart Bidding to your current account. These automation tactics allow you to easily connect with customers by using algorithmic learnings to gain conversions at the most effective cost. Within Smart Bidding, there is also the option of selecting the Pay for Conversions payment structure, by which you only pay for the conversions you receive instead of for each click generated.
Once you’ve enacted SDCs, I recommend that you take a look at your current audience breakout. Ensure that you are fully leveraging your audience targeting and confirm that it currently includes Customer Match, Remarketing, and Custom Intent, to name a few. Lastly, I would recommend incorporating Responsive Display Ads. This ad format shows users the most relevant ads from the myriad available assets.

Consider creative

No matter how your business has been affected, a very important but often overlooked step is to review your current creatives. Creatives within display campaigns are of the utmost importance, and consumers can be easily put off by brands that they feel are insensitive to the current climate. Examples of poor creatives right now could be vacation photos, taking flights, engaging in large groups, etc. Take the time to review your creatives to ensure that they are delivering a message that meets your consumers’ current emotional needs.
The above should provide some helpful resources as we continue to navigate through these tumultuous times. Best of luck!

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