AdWords is an awesome tool for getting traffic to your site and building your business. They really want you to succeed, but we need to remember they are a business. And their end goal is to make money.

PPC ad in adwords

It blows my mind that when a new advertiser signs up for AdWords, there’s a default setting that can eat up your money fast! The feature is Search Network with Display Select. And it can literally blast through your budget! Unfortunately if setup incorrectly, there are many mistakes in Adwords that an advertiser can make. But this one can really hurt your campaign badly.

What the Search Network with Display feature does is lump your search campaign and display campaign all into one big party. Well, party for Google that is. For anyone scratching their heads, search ads are the Google ads on a search page that get triggered when someone types a search term into Google. Display ads are banner and text ads that are displayed on websites across the web. Google partners up with these sites and they are a part of their network.

The Problem With Search Network With Display Select

The problem is that grouping them together will spend from one budget. So if Google sees your search ads aren’t working one day, they will try to spend your budget on display ads. All sounds great but generally speaking, display ads don’t always convert all that well. All campaigns are different but let’s think like a user:

  1. They are interested in a product or service
  2. Type it into Google and then see the search results
  3. They click on an ad and (hopefully) become a customer

Search ads kind of blend into the search results so for some users (believe it or not), they don’t look like ads. If I’m watching my mom search for something she will click on an AdWords ad without even knowing it’s an ad. Sorry, Mom!

For display ads, Google will show your ads on relevant websites (well hopefully relevant websites) as the user surfs around the web. They are in the form of an image, text, rich media, or video ads.

But here lies the problem. Check out these stats:

Only 2.8% of users find display ads on websites relevant. 2.8 percent! (Source)

That’s terrible.

And this:

About 50% of clicks on mobile ads are accidental.(Source: GoldSpot Media & Hubspot).

That stinks! Google states that they have technology to prevent accidental mobile clicks, but many times I’ve clicked on display ads provided by Google’s network, and did not get this Google “technology warning.”

What Can You Do About It?

Let’s talk about how you can fix this. Basically you want to turn off Search Network with Display Select and break your campaigns out into 2 separate campaigns.

  1. Jump into AdWords and see if this feature is turned on in your campaign
  2. Go into your campaign
  3. Select settings
  4. And under type select Search only network
  5. I suggest selecting all features

Now if you don’t want to run a display campaign, you can leave it at that. But if you want to also run a display campaign you would go to the main part of your AdWords dashboard and do the following:

  1. Select the red campaign button and click Display network only
  2. Run through Google’s wizard to setup a campaign

Now you can set a budget for this campaign and for your search campaign. As you can tell I’m more of a search marketer rather than a display marketer, but I always run both campaigns. Usually my display budget is much smaller but I like to run both, especially a retargeting campaign (the creepy ads that follow you around the web).

If you need help, comment below and I’ll answer your questions.