The Pros and Cons of GDN Campaigns For Dealers!

Google AdWords has two arenas available for you to display adverts in – the Google Search Network (GSN) and the Google Display Network (GDN). The search network is the most popular choice for businesses wanting to advertise, but the GDN offers its own advantages which may make it more effective for dealerships.

Google Search Network

Advertisements on the search network target people who are using Google’s search engine to make a query. These adverts will appear on the search results page either above or to the side of the websites Google returns.
Image result for google search network adverts

Google Display Network

The GDN, on the other hand, is a network of websites, including blogs, news sites and YouTube, on which businesses can place visual adverts. Display ads may appear as banners or small boxes above and to the side of the content on advertising-supported sites.

Image result for display adverts

There are a number of reasons why advertising on the GDN could benefit your dealership, such as cost effectiveness and increased web traffic and brand awareness. Although, display ads may not gain the desired number of clicks, so the pros and cons must be thoroughly weighed up.

Pros of GDN Campaigns

They are relatively affordable

Display ads are similar to the adverts that you see in newspapers and they receive roughly the same amount of interest. The difference is that they are a lot cheaper and as people become increasingly digitally-oriented, you are likely to gain more impressions from online advertisements. Display ads also have a significantly lower cost per click than search ads.

The GDN encourages visual adverts

Unlike the search network, the display network allows images. Images are more likely to catch the attention of internet users and as a vehicle dealership, your business has an advantage because your product is very visually appealing. If your display ads feature one of your more luxurious cars, it will probably receive a substantial amount of interest.

You can incorporate remarketing strategies into GDN campaigns

Adwords gives you the option to add a remarketing tag to your website, so that when visitors to your site leave without buying anything, your adverts will appear on sites which are part of the GDN that they visit after leaving your site.

Remarketing Campaigns

Remarketing is often successful because the people you are aiming your promotional material towards have already expressed interest in your business.

They raise brand awareness

The Display Network encompasses more than 2 million sites and according to Google’s data, it reaches around 90 per cent of internet users. Such a broad audience creates a lot of potential for increased brand awareness, which can help you gain more clicks from organic search listings.

Cars are not usually something that consumers will buy immediately and whilst they are considering their purchase, a GDN campaign can help to ensure that your brand sticks in their mind.

GDN campaigns enable you to target specific consumers

With GDN campaigns, you will be able to target specific consumers, based on behavioural, demographic and geographical information.

Google Display Network

This means that your adverts should reach internet users who are more likely to be interested in the vehicles that you are promoting, improving the likelihood of conversion.

Cons of GDN Campaigns

GDN campaigns can be difficult to set up

The initial set up of a GDN campaign can be complicated and it may also be more expensive to set up than a search campaign due to advertisement design fees.

The traffic they bring to your site may be low-quality

Casting a wider net is not always a good thing. If your ads reach a large number of people who are not specifically looking for a product or service you offer, you may receive clicks from people who do not actually have any interest in your business.

You can only avoid this low-quality traffic to an extent by using targeting techniques, but if you want to significantly improve brand awareness, it may be worth the cost.

The click-through rate for display ads can be low

The main aspect that can deter businesses from GDN campaigns is the low click-through rate (CTR). Statistics from WordStream show that the average CTR in Adwords across the automotive industry is 2.14 per cent on the search network, compared to 0.41 per cent on the GDN.


The reason for the GDN’s lower CTR is likely to be that internet users aren’t in ‘shopping-mode’ when they see display ads, whereas search ads appear when they are actively searching with intent to buy.

That last GDN campaign con may be enough to completely put you off display ads, but hear me out! Just because the statistics show that CTR is low, this does not mean your GDN campaign is not bringing in leads.

Although, internet users may not click your advert when they come across it, it may stay in their heads and they might actively search for your dealership later, when they are in ‘shopping mode’. This is a more cost-effective way of getting customers and increasing brand awareness.

For more information on how Click Dealer can help your dealership with a GDN campaign, get in touch today via , 01782 478220 or send us a message on our contact page!

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