Is a Google AdWords Smart Display Campaign Right for You?

May 15, 2018

In today’s digital marketing landscape, Google AdWords smart display marketing exemplifies one of the most exciting developments.

Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, Google’s smart marketing platform is taking all the guesswork out of pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. The result is a highly cost-effective way to get the results you want.smart-display-ads


If smart display marketing is right for your business, this platform can become a critical asset to your overall digital marketing strategy.

What Is Smart Display Marketing?

To understand smart display marketing (SDM), we must step back and revisit the basics of display marketing.

Display marketing (DM) refers to artifacts like the banner and inset ads you see on various websites. When working with Google for display ads, your ads will appear on sites that are members of the Google Display Network (GDN), which includes YouTube, Gmail, news media sites and a variety of mobile apps.

Although Google doesn’t publish a list of all the GDN sites, the company indicates that the network consists of millions of sites.

The important distinction between DM and SDM is that, when you run an SDM campaign, Google’s sophisticated algorithms use machine learning and the company’s massive data stores to manage many of the tasks that previously had to be done manually.

As a result, SDM campaigns have much more effective reach, putting your business in front of prospects earlier in the purchasing process. Your display ads will also reach a more highly targeted audience, significantly improving ROI and conversions.


How Do AdWords Smart Display Ads Work?

Back in the dark ages, we had to design display ads by hand, including image selection. We also had to provide tons of information to get ads placed in the most effective locations to reach prospects. Finally, we had to decide how much to bid for our search terms and hope we didn’t fall short.

Today, SDM takes most of the work — and almost all the guesswork — out of this process by applying three optimization technologies: automated bidding, automated ad creation and automated targeting. Setting up a campaign takes only a few clicks — very much a “set it and forget it” approach.


Even better, Google’s algorithms manage your campaign. Within a few days, machine learning technology will have identified the most effective ad design and audience. The algorithm will adjust accordingly to capitalize on this knowledge while continuing to reevaluate and reoptimize in real time.

Simply create SDM ads using the Google AdWords interface. Then enter different versions of your ad headline, descriptions, individual images and your logo, based on the specs that Google provides. You’ll also provide your CPA (cost-per-acquisition) and campaign budget along with geographic target(s).

Now the real magic happens. Based on the words in your headlines and descriptions, Google’s algorithms determine the optimal places to position your ad. Different versions of your ad are displayed in the targeted locations, and based on the conversions you get, the system will tweak and refine ad design, location and CPA.

The more conversions you have, the better and faster the algorithms can perfect your ad — and the more conversions you should get. You can monitor the campaign’s performance, and if you prefer, you can make incremental changes to the campaign accordingly.

Could Your Business Benefit from Google AdWords Display Marketing?

As with any digital marketing platform, AdWords SDM isn’t for everyone. But for many businesses, it may become a key component of their internet marketing strategies. When used effectively, SDM will improve results and save precious marketing dollars.

This approach has been so successful, in fact, that other platforms have begun to offer their versions of Google’s SDM format. For example, Facebook offers ad delivery optimization, which lets you turn the reins over to FB’s algorithms to get you the results you want.


If you’re not already using some form of smart marketing, the chances are good that you will soon. As machine learning and artificial intelligence technology continue to improve, online advertising and marketing platforms will move further and further in this direction.

To learn more about how SDM can help you exceed your sales and marketing goals and improve profitability, talk to the digital marketing experts at Be Locally SEO.

A local company with a national reputation, Be Locally SEO provides a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to businesses throughout the United States. In addition to search engine optimization, we provide dynamic web design and development services, content marketing, local SEO and social media marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how Google AdWords smart display marketing can help you get real results.

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