5 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Google Ads Smart Display Campaign

Google Ads launched beta testing for its new Smart Display campaigns earlier this year. While advertisers may be shy to use it at first, it’s a tool that can seriously increase your CTR and drop your CPA.

Once you’ve launched your Smart Display campaign, here are five tips you should follow to optimize your campaign.

Bulk Up Your Ads

First and foremost, the more data you give to Google, the better your results will be. Smart Display campaigns allow you to write five unique headlines, five unique descriptions, and fifteen images. Google will then mix and match these assets to find the best variations. That means that you should be uploading five unique headlines, five unique descriptions, and fifteen images.

The algorithm can come up with infinitely more ad variations when you provide it with more assets. Google can take all these iterations and discover which ads perform best. When writing your headlines and descriptions, make sure that every headline matches with every description. You don’t want to be redundant in case that headline and description are paired together.

Before you move on to any of the other recommendations, you should double check that you are providing Google Ads with as many assets as possible.

Give It Time

This might seem counterintuitive, but Smart Display campaigns rely on Google’s algorithm to tell them which ad variations are best. That means that Google needs time to do it’s magic.

Give your campaign at least two weeks before making any changes to it. After that, feel free to make changes to your assets, budget, targeting options, or whatever else you’d like to try. However, make sure that you don’t make too many big changes all at once. That way, if something works really well or makes the campaign tank, you’ll know what change caused it.

Review Your Assets Report

Looking at reports sound scary, but your Assets Report is easy to find and simple to read. It’s also full of helpful tips, so checking it is vital to your campaign.

Finding your Assets Report is easy. Go to your Smart Display campaign and click on your ad group. You should see a list of your ads.

Smart Display campaign screenshot

Click “View asset details.”

If your campaign hasn’t been running long enough to generate data, this is what your asset details will look like.

Smart Display Campaign screenshot

If your campaign has been running long enough to collect data, this is what you’ll see.

Smart Display Campaign screenshot

While this pie graph may seem confusing, it provides you with fantastic information that can help you optimize your ads. There are five colors: red for low, green for good, blue for best, gray for waiting, and yellow for learning. The three colors you should pay attention to are red, green, and blue.

As you can see above, some of our assets for this campaign are doing great and some are… not so great. So what can we do with this information?

Remember, Google Ads doesn’t care about you. They just want their consumers to be happy. That’s why it’s in their best interest for advertisers to provide them with the best, most relevant ads.

That means that not only will Google Ads tell us how well a Smart Display ad is performing, it will tell us exactly which assets aren’t up to par.

Smart Display Campaign screenshot

As you review your ads, there is a performance column. Google Ads will tell you how every single piece of your ad is performing—whether it’s a headline, description, or creative asset.

If you have any ads with a low rating, simply replace it with something else. You’ll either write some new content or provide Google Ads with new creative assets, and Google will do the rest.

However, you should never “set it and forget it.” We recommend checking back in on your assets every week or two so you can continue to optimize your campaign.

Exclude Irrelevant Placements

While Smart Display campaigns don’t allow you to target certain keywords, you do have some choice over what placements you’d like to bid on.

Navigate to the “Display Network” tab in your campaign and click on “Placements.”

Smart Display Campaign screenshot

Once you’re there, simply pick which placements you’d like to exclude and you’re done.

Smart Display Campaign screenshot

Don’t Ignore Demographics

Finally, you should always adjust your demographics to match your target audience. Are you advertising for a seniors cruise? Then you’d probably want to exclude anyone under 50. If you’re selling maternity clothing, you’ll probably want to exclude men.

Navigate to the “Display Network” tab in your campaign and click on “Demographics.”

Smart Display Campaign screenshot

Then change your campaign to exclude by age, gender, or parental status.

Smart Display Campaign

This is also a great tool to look at to see if your ads are naturally hitting your target demographic. If you’re advertising to college students but are consistently getting engagement from older individuals, you may want to rethink your strategy.

If you want more specific optimizations for your Smart Display campaign, contact Wallaroo Media. Our certified Google Ads team can help optimize your entire account for the best results.


Katie Rhoton

Director of PPC + Social Marketing Manager