How to build a global Display advertising campaign

A guide to effectively building your Display campaign internationally

1 Overview

The challenge

The success of display advertising — anywhere in the world — relies on targeting the right audience with the right message.

Your aim

To know how to best target and tailor your ads to reach your target audience in each country you expand into.

How to go about it

Google Ads has two main networks: Search and Display.

The Search Network reaches people when they’re already searching for specific goods or services that they want to buy.

The Display Network helps you capture someone's attention earlier in the buying cycle, with a variety of ad formats across the digital universe. This network spans over two million websites and reaches over 90% of people on the Internet. It is designed to help you find the right audience across millions of websites globally. It lets you be strategic and put your message in front of potential customers at the right place and right time.

Let's review what you should consider when targeting and creating your international Display campaign.

2 Targeting and ad creation

Here are the key decisions that you’ll make when building your Display ad campaign. We’ve used a travel agency as an example. Follow along with your own business in mind, and you’ll have the building blocks to create your own basic "Display Network only campaign" in Google Ads.

Focus your campaign

When you create your campaigns, think about the products and services that you want to feature for each. It’s best to create campaigns focused on a single, specific offering to help you organize and manage your Google Ads account over time. For example, a travel agency might create a specific campaign about cruises, rather than a general campaign about travel packages.

Set your campaign budget to a level you're comfortable with. With "Display Network only" campaigns, your entire budget is devoted to Display Network advertising.

Consider your keywords and placements

When you choose both keywords and placements for an ad group, they work together to determine where your ads will appear on the Display Network, and how much you'll pay for them. You can choose to show your ads based only on your keyword list, while using placements to adjust your bidding. Or, you can use a combination of placements and keywords to refine where your ads are eligible to show. Using both together helps you narrow the audience for your ads, and set the right price for clicks from potential customers.

Targeting your ads by keywords

Keywords are one way that you can get your ads to show on the Display Network. To find you an audience who’s interested in your business and more likely to take action, Google Ads uses contextual targeting. This works by Google analysing the content of each webpage to determine its central theme, and then matching to your ad using your keywords and topic selections, your language and location targeting, a visitor's recent browsing history and other factors. Based on our travel agency example, the travel agency can choose the following campaign keywords: five-star cruises, luxury cruises, premium cruises. Their ads will show on Display Network sites whose theme matches those keywords.


In general, the broader the keyword matching option, the more traffic potential that keyword has. Conversely, the narrower the keyword matching option, the more relevant that keyword will be to someone's search.

When choosing the appropriate match type for a keyword, we typically recommend starting with a broad match to maximize your potential to show your ads on relevant searches. And you can use the search terms report to monitor which keyword variations triggered your ads.

Targeting your ads by placements

Placements are individual sites and videos where you want your ads to show because you know your audience visits them, or because they fit your advertising goals. When you choose placements, your ads can show on those specific sites and videos. Our travel agency chooses to place ads on and

Targeting your ads by keywords and placements together

When you add placements and keywords to an ad group to target your ads, your ads will only show on the page that you specify when the content is relevant to your keywords. Google Ads uses contextual targeting to find pages in the Display Network with content that matches your keywords. So, if the placement you choose has multiple web pages, only the pages that match your keywords can show your ads. This placements setting is called Target and bid, and greatly restricts where your ads can show.

However, if you're targeting placements with a variety of content, such as news sites and social networks, it’s a useful tactic, as your ads will be more likely to appear in relevant locations on the sites. In any case, monitor your ad's performance to ensure that you're seeing the results that you want. For example, our travel agency has selected the keywords: five-star cruises, luxury cruises and premium cruises. It has chosen the placement So, its ads can only show on when the site contains the keywords "five-star cruises", "luxury cruises" and "premium cruises".

Targeting your ads by audience interests

Adding audiences allows you to reach people based on their specific interests as they browse pages, apps, channels, videos and content across the Google Display Network. You can select from a wide range of categories – from cars and sports to travel and fashion – and we'll show ads to people who are likely to be interested.

Affinity audiences

Select affinity audiences to reach a broad TV-like audience of potential customers and make them aware of your business. These audiences were built for businesses currently running a TV ad who would like to extend the reach of a TV campaign online cost-effectively.

Custom affinity audiences

Select custom affinity audiences to create audiences more tailored to your brand, compared to broad affinity audiences. For example, rather than reaching cruisers, our travel agency elects to reach only luxury and specialty cruisers. With custom affinity audiences, our travel agency can define this audience by:

  • Using free form interests entered as keywords
  • And/or using URLs as a proxy for interest bundles

Entering URLs establishes a theme that embodies the ideal customer. For example, we might determine that is about people only interested in the exclusive luxury end of the cruising market, on child-free, smaller ships, travelling to exotic destinations, with haute cuisine and fine wines. Therefore, that will reach people browsing content on those themes, whether or not they visit the specific site.

In-market audiences

Select in-market audiences to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like yours. In-market audiences are available to advertisers in all Google Ads languages. These audiences are designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from consumers most likely to make a purchase. In-market audiences can help to drive remarketing performance and reach consumers close to completing a purchase.

Targeting your ads by remarketing

Remarketing targets ads to users who have already visited your site. It’s a powerful tool because it allows you to stay connected with your target audience, even after they leave your site, and tempt them back for more.

They’ll see your ads as they browse any of over two million websites, or watch YouTube videos. Whether you're looking to drive sales activity, increase registrations or promote awareness of your brand, remarketing can be a strategic component of your advertising. You can customize your remarketing lists to achieve specific advertising goals. For example, you can create a "Shopping basket abandoners" list to show ads to those who added something to their basket but didn't complete a transaction.

Targeting your ads by demographic targeting

With demographic targeting in Google Ads, you can reach a specific set of potential customers who are likely to be within a particular age range, gender, parental status or household income. For instance, our travel agency sets their demographic targets to 55-64, female, not a parent.

But, remember, demographic targeting narrows your targeting and therefore limits people outside of your chosen demographics from seeing your ads.

Create your ads

Display lets you engage global users with appealing ad formats – text, image, video or rich media. Colour and motion attract attention. Animation or video can tell a story. Vary the message, imagery and appearance of your ads and test the variations as you go along.

Text ads

Write text ads with clear and compelling language about exactly what you offer. You’ll want ad text to relate to the keywords that you’ve chosen and the landing page where you send people who have clicked the particular ad.

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Other ad formats

You can also use other ad formats like image or video ads. You can upload an image or video ad that you've created directly to your ad group. Or, you can make use of pre-made templates to build a custom image or video ad in just minutes with your logo and product images.

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Combine your keywords, placements and ads into ad groups

An ad group contains one or more ads that target a shared set of keywords, and each of your campaigns will be made up of one or more ad groups. Use ad groups to organize your ads by a common theme, such as the different product or service types that you offer. Many advertisers base their ad groups on the sections or categories on their website.

Ad group Luxury cruises
Keywords 5-star cruises

Luxury cruise

Premium cruises

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Eventually, you'll want to create an ad group for every one of your products.

Ad group Luxury cruises Budget cruises Family cruises
Ad alt text alt text alt text
Keywords Luxury cruises

Premium cruises

5-Star cruises
Budget cruises

Cheap cruises

Affordable cruises
Family Cruises

Family holidays

Cruises with childcare

Adjust your campaign settings

Adjusting your campaign settings helps you tailor your campaign. The settings that you select will apply to all ads within the same campaign.

Setting Description Reference
Campaign name Enter a name for your campaign. Although Google Ads enters a default campaign name for you, you should choose a name that clearly describes the theme of the campaign so that you can easily find it in your account. Your campaign name isn't visible to your customers.
Campaign type The campaign type that you choose tailors the campaign setup to what's appropriate for your goals. You are choosing Display Network Only. You’ll also choose a campaign sub-type. If you prefer a simpler overview of your campaign and feature options, consider using the Standard campaign subtype. Select All features if you want to see everything about your campaign and feature options. Choose the campaign type that's right for you
Networks The Networks setting indicates where you want your ad to appear based upon the campaign type that you choose. For example, with the Google Display Network, your ad shows on other sites that partner with Google to show ads.
Devices Campaigns target all types of devices; desktops, tablets and mobile devices. Later, you can choose to customize ads for different devices. Learn about types of mobile ads
Location and Languages Your campaign’s ads are eligible to show to customers in your targeted geographic locations, or to customers who have selected your targeted language as their browser’s language setting. We recommend choosing the language that you serve your customers in. Learn about location and language targeting
Bidding and Budget Choose to manually set your bids for clicks on your ads or let Google Ads do it for you. Depending on your campaign type, you may see additional bidding options to choose from.

Your bid strategy controls how you pay for users to interact with your ads. Your bid limit is the most that you’ll pay per click for ads in an ad group. Your budget is the average amount that you’re comfortable spending each day on your campaign. The budget that you choose is entirely up to you, and you can adjust it at any time.
Set your bid and budget
Ad extensions Include even more information with your ads, such as location information, links to pages on your website and your phone number. Enhance your ad using extensions
Additional Settings Here are some additional optional features to help you optimize your campaign:

Schedule: Set a campaign start and end date.

Ad scheduling: Choose certain days or hours of the week for your ads to show.

Ad delivery: By default, Google Ads shows your ads when they're more likely to get clicks or conversions, but you can choose to show your ads more evenly throughout the day.
Learn how to use ad scheduling

Measure your results

Google Ads lets you measure how well you’re meeting your international targets. You can see what web pages your ads ran on, which ads delivered the most clicks and which sites give the most sales for the lowest cost.

Based on your campaign reports, you can adjust your targeting and bidding strategy to get the most value out of your campaigns. When data shows that a click from a Google Network page is more (or less) likely to help you meet your specific goals – such as online sales, registrations, phone calls or newsletter sign ups – the Google Ads system may automatically reduce or increase your bid, ensuring that you stay on budget, helping you get the best return on your advertising spend and reach your business goals.

Google Ads has the tools to help you, during and after each campaign, to improve your banners, their placement, targeting and landing pages, for every export market.

Helpful links