Don't Mix Search and Display Campaigns | Search Scientists

Day 6 of 100 Days of AdWords Help: Separate Search & Display

Always separate display and search campaigns.

If you don’t, you’ll likely be making one of the biggest mistakes of your AdWords account.

Both the display network and search network are terrific networks. On search, you can capture people who are actively looking for your products or services. This allows you to get your website in front of active buyers and people who are already eager to make a decision.

On display, you can target your demographic as they’re looking up relevant information. For example, maybe you are a local gym, and you want to reach people who are reading about health and fitness. You can easily select to advertise on myfitnesspal using Google’s Display Network Planner.

However, just because both search and display are great networks, it doesn’t mean you want to combine their targeting.

Never Combine Search & Display Network in One Campaign

The reason why you don’t want to combine these two networks is because they behave very differently.

Your conversion rate on the search network may be 3 times your conversion rate on the display network. However, your costs on the display network may be 0.25 cents per click, while your costs on the search network may be 2.20 dollars.

If you were combining this data, you would have a very skewed view of what is working, and what is not working.

Separating these two networks is an immediate way to improve your AdWords Account.

How Can I Tell if I Have Mixed Search & Display Together?

Head over to your AdWords account. While viewing your ‘campaign’ tab, you will be able to see your campaign type.

google adwords search & display
How to check your campaign type in AdWords

Unfortunately, combining search and display networks is the default setting. If you have already set up a campaign, with search & display mixed, go to the campaign -> settings -> all settings -> general -> campaign type

Don't select'search and display networks'
Don’t select ‘search and display networks’

 

This post is part of a series: ‘100 Days of AdWords Help’.

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Michael Erickson

Michael Erickson

Emailing my clients and telling them I helped increase their return on ad spend by 300% never gets old. I love rising above the technical jargon and providing your business with online marketing momentum to reach new heights. Enthusiast for all things science, surfing, and Search Scientists.

4 Replies to “Day 6 of 100 Days of AdWords Help: Separate Search & Display”

  1. Interesting article, but you said:

    “Your conversion rate on the search network may be 3 times your conversion rate on the display network. However, your costs on the display network may be 0.25 cents per click, while your costs on the search network may be 2.20 dollars.”

    Yes this is a problem if you use CPA targeting. But would it be okay to combine search & display if you use CPA targeting? This way we don’t care that search conversion rate is better or display CPC is cheaper because CPA considers both and adjusts bids accordingly.

    1. When it comes to segmentation, it usually helps to be “as segmented as possible without impeding optimization”

      So if you feel like combining the two of them is going to allow you better analysis and optimization, then you definitely should.

      That said, looking at display campaigns with the mindset of “let me optimize these display campaigns” and then looking at search campaigns with the mindset of “let me optimize these search campaigns” is usually more efficient for people.

      It can get messy if you constantly have to parse out a report between search & display metrics (i.e. how did this perform on search VS display). So if you segment the two at the campaign level, it saves you the extra steps of separating your data from aggregate.

      Of course, there is a limit to segmentation. i.e. if you were going to have 50 campaigns for all 50 states * by 3 devices * genders -> is 300 campaigns where probably just a few would suffice. Use the rule “as segmented as possible without impeding optimization” as a guideline.

      1. Thank you for the quick reply. The advantages of segmentation that you mentioned make sense, specially if I could come up with different ads for search and display network.

        Since I currently use same ads for both search and display I prefer to combine them in a single campaign. However I noticed that when the two were combined I would get very few displays and a lot more searches. Only after I created a separate display-only campaign I started getting more display views even though the target CPA is the same for both. Do you happened to have a explanation for this?

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