by Daniela Araujo
These tools give advertisers more transparency and control, allowing them to make data-driven decisions. Before being afforded this control, advertising on the Google Content network was more art than science. There were no reports or filters measuring a campaign’s success and strategies were imagined primarily via intuition and creativity.
Advertisers can now base their contextual targeting campaign strategies on hard data provided by Google. Below are some advanced techniques to get the most out of these powerful new tools:
1. Creating and Sorting the Placement Performance Report
- Within the Report Tab of the AdWords interface, create a Placement Performance report with at least one month of data. Select domain, URL (sub domain), clicks, impressions, cost, and conversion columns. The CTR column is optional as CTR in the content campaign is usually very low when compared to straight search.
- Sort the report by “Clicks” or “Cost” in order to evaluate the high cost websites.
- Evaluate high cost websites for relevancy – those that aren’t relevant or aren’t sending qualified leads or conversions need to be blocked to prevent wasted advertising dollars. You can create a label in order to sort out these websites for easy removal later.
- Check the ‘special category’ for obvious trending. Tip: Sort the placement report by ‘special category’ and look for patterns (e.g. all parked domain websites are not converting or all error pages are converting) in order to determine whether or not the special category websites are netting a return on investment.
*Note: Analysis should be made only after a large enough data set has aggregated to ensure detected trending is accurate.
2. Employing Filters using the Site and Category Exclusion Tool
The Google content network filters allow advertisers to block or exclude websites that aren’t relevant to the campaign. These websites, also referred to as “negative websites,” can be excluded by bulk upload via Google editor or via campaign settings listed under site and category exclusion.
- If you created a label for those websites you wish to exclude on the placement performance report, sort the report by the “to block” label you created. Copy and paste the domains or sub domains into Google editor or into the campaign setting site exclusion box. Large campaigns can require hundreds of site exclusions and this tip can save hours of work!
- After spotting any issues within the ”special category’ column of the placement performance report, use the Category Exclusion tool to quickly and easily delete any undesirable websites.
By incorporating these simple steps into your daily Google content campaign management, you should see a dramatic increase in ROI. To ensure maximum results, it’s essential that you build your contextual targeting campaigns following Google content campaign best practices.
3. Ensure Maximum Results by Implementing Google Content Best Practices:
- Include more generic keywords that describe the specific industry or field for each product or service.
- Run separate content and search campaigns. Keywords may not have equal success in both channels and budgets and bidding can be managed more effectively.
- Build a comprehensive negative keyword list to exclude unrelated sites.
- Increase bids on promising websites within your target audience.
- A/B test ad copy variations, creating ad copy with enticing call-to-action phrases and appealing promotions.
Please feel free to share any of your own Google Content Networks tips and tricks and let us know how these new techniques work for you.