A complaint that I often hear about the Google Display Network is that it can be expensive, and this can be true if you don’t keep an eye on your metrics. In this article, I will teach you the four account settings to keep track of to make sure your GDN spend stays under control:

1. Automated Targeting

When Google launched their new interface, they started automatically enrolling GDN campaigns in automated targeting. It is being reported by many that this is causing a spike in the click traffic, even on the conservative setting. It is designed to help with remarketing and targeting the audience that have shown an interest in your brand, but it is worth reviewing what sites are being shown and to what audience to make sure that this is relevant for you.

2. Location Targeting

The default setting for location targeting in the GDN includes both physical locations and locations of interest, but it is possible to limit targeting to just one of those options. 

By reviewing the data, you can determine where the majority of sales come from and limit location targeting to just that area. For example, let’s say you run an attraction in Birmingham and want to target holidaymakers. You could choose to target the ads to people who live and work in Birmingham, and those who have shown an interest in travelling there. If a review of your data shows that the majority of people buy tickets once they arrive in the city, and not in advance, then it would be sensible to limit your targeting to just “people in my location”.

Whilst you may want to keep this setting broad for other Search Network campaigns, within the GDN is it advisable to stay specific, or you may find yourself getting a huge amount of clicks but less conversions.

3. Device Targeting

If you have had great results from mobile apps and devices, then it is understandable that you would include these in your GDN campaign. But it is worth keeping an eye on your conversion rate from these sources, as some businesses find that they get a lower performance there. Display ads on mobile devices can also be subject to a higher rate of “accidental clicks”, so by purposely excluding mobile apps or devices, you can save yourself some money.

4. Content & Site Category Exclusions

This one is a must. As soon as you create your GDN account, go to “site category exclusions” and make sure to exclude any sites or categories of sites that you don’t want your ads to appear on. This will help you to reduce your ad spend. 

All of the ad settings within the Google Display Network are important, but the four above are especially crucial for monitoring ad spend.

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About Uzair Kharawala
Uzair Kharawala is the Co-Founder at SF Digital. He is a Certified Google Partner, is a Cricket fanatic and loves Photography.
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