AdWords advertisers running display campaigns have been using a system that was designed for search-based advertising, and doing so for many years. It's worked well but according to an announcement made today, Google is preparing advertisers for the fairy tale-like future that is display, rolling out some big changes that aim to simplify the increasingly important process of buying and running display ads.
For starters, Google will be rolling out an entirely new interface for display ads. Google built the interface for the exclusive purpose of running display campaigns. Through the system's interface, advertisers will be able to bid, target and optimize their display campaigns from a single location.
Perhaps most noteworthy are the improvements Google has made to its contextual engine -- which matches ads to pages based on keywords. AdWords advertisers will soon have the ability to combine the "reach of display with the precision of search", according to Google. Translated from Google-speak, that means advertisers can optimize performance of contextual campaigns down to the individual keyword level.
Google provides a good example below:
"Let’s say you’re running display campaigns for a travel agency who offers a vacation packages in several Caribbean islands. In the past, you would have created themed ad groups targeting vacations to Turks and Caicos and the Caribbean. Now, with this new keyword level transparency, you might realize that the keyword 'Turks and Caicos vacations' is four times more profitable than the keyword 'caribbean vacations'. You can optimize your campaigns to aggressively target these high-performing keywords, and be more conservative on 'caribbean vacations'."
Providing a dedicated tab and improving the ad refinement capabilities are just two of the enhancements coming soon. Google has also introduced a way to help advertisers visualize the reach of campaigns and see how "reach" is impacted by "combining multiple targeting types, such as keywords, placements, topics, interests or remarketing."