4 Tactics to Improve Google Display Network Lead Quality

As business grows, companies begin to expand outside of search to find new leads. The Google Display Network (GDN) is a great tool for such expansion, but can also be very hit or miss when it comes to lead quality. Below are a few tips for improving the quality of the leads you generate with display ads.

Use Prequalifying and Conversion-Oriented Ad Copy

In essence, let the user do your job for you. If your product is meant for small business owners, put that in your ad copy. Anyone who isn’t a small business owner should avoid clicking on your ad in the first place, saving you not only the time following up on a bad lead but also the money for the click in the first place. Double win.

Clearly call out what you want the user to do once they get to your site. People see ads all over the place. Some are mere branding plays for a return visit, others offer an exchange of company info for personal info. Both of these methods are wonderful when looking at a full picture sales cycle, but for direct leads, it’s best to call out in your ad that you want that person to become a customer, right now. Don’t beat around the bush. Same with qualifying your copy – you’ll scare off those who aren’t interested in converting right now before they even click. Another double win.

Clear, Conversion-Focused Landing Pages

Assuming the users didn’t click your ad on accident, they’ve qualified themselves as the target audience and someone who won’t be scared off by final conversion language. So let’s really put that to the test. Make your landing page for high-quality, lead-focused display campaigns a one-stop shop to answer any basic-level questions before the conversion takes place.

Give info about the product/service itself. Who is it best suited for? What does it do? How can you use it? Then give details about what it would look like if they decided to purchase: How much will it cost? What type of support will they get? What does the end product/service actually look like? If it makes sense for your business, give answers to the top two to five common questions you get during the sales process. Again we’re trying to get ahead of the curve here and save your sales people some time.

Now that you’ve answered the most basic questions, ask them for a conversion. Whether it’s an online lead form, purchase, or phone call, make it clear that the conversion is their next step.

Layer Audiences Where Available

Don’t be afraid to get granular with your GDN targeting. Just be sure you’re making meaningful layers and not being too restrictive.

In-Market Audiences

“In-market audiences are a way to connect with consumers who are actively researching or comparing products or services across GDN publisher and partner sites and YouTube.” – Think With Google

Kind of says it all there. Take a gander at the In-Market Audiences available on the GDN by heading to the Display Network tab, hitting the +Targeting button, then choosing In-Market Audiences from the drop-down of options in the Interests & Remarketing section.

Other Targeting Segments

Don’t hesitate to layer in multiple forms of targeting, even if they’re not the more “buying focused” groups of In-Market Audiences. Keywords, topics, interest categories, remarketing lists, lookalike audiences, etc. are all great ways to narrow down your key targeting type to be more granular. Just be weary of limiting your audience too far.

Reverse the Display Planner to Find Demos of Automatic Placements

I’ve written before about filters you can run on your automatic placement reports to get rid of poor-performing sites, but that’s only half the battle. Many sites your ads show on might not be an obvious poor match based on conversion performance or their URL. For those sites, take advantage of the Google Display Planner.

Head to the Display Planner page and choose to “Show only estimates for my targeting criteria.” Input your automatic placements one per line and hit get estimates. (Note: You can also upload a file here as well.) That will take you to a page that shows the demographic info of all the sites as a whole, but you can then click on the individual sites and get info for each separately. Based on what you find out, you can exclude those placements from your campaigns or maybe bid on them as a managed placement if the demographics match up well with your target audience.


Leads generated using the GDN are not likely to be as high-quality as those that come through search, but they can be refined. Don’t waste your sales team’s time. Give them the highest-quality leads you can find.

What other methods have you used to increase your lead quality on the GDN? Share with me in the comments!

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