Articles written in April, 2009

April 27 2009

Content Targeting vs. Placement Targeting in PPC Campaigns


If you are looking for additional ways to market your brand and increase your visibility online, Content Targeting and Placement Targeting campaigns can be excellent options.  It is important however, to understand the differences between the two channels and align your goals with the strengths of each.

Content Targeting gives you the opportunity to reach a huge audience.  The Google content network has thousands of publishing partners from widely known websites to very small forums and blogs.  Google will automatically deliver your ads to content network sites based on the relevancy of your keywords and ads to the site publisher’s content and themes.  Content Targeting gives you a chance to increase brand awareness and you can expect to receive thousands of impressions per day.  But the Google system is not perfect and this type of campaign must be watched and managed closely.  Google offers a report titled Placement Performance which provides performance data from the content network sites where your ad(s) have been shown.  This report is extremely useful in identifying sites within the network that are not performing to your expectations.  Be proactive in running this report daily and add sites to your “excluded sites” list to optimize your content network campaign.

Placement Targeting allows you to deliver your ads to a much more targeted audience.  Instead of your ads being shown across all the publishing partners who Google determines have relevancy with your ads, you choose the sites from the content network.  Many site publishers within the content network allow both text ads and banner ads.  If you have banner creatives already in place this can be valuable way to test your banner ads against text ads on specific websites.  This type of campaign must also be watched closely.  There are usually only a few available ad positions on these content network sites and if you simply set up the campaign and let it run you may find your ads are not being displayed.  It is important to assign a value to visitors from placement targeting sites.  You may have to bid much more aggressive in order to achieve ad delivery on sites with a lot of competition.

April 24 2009

Defining Your Advertising Goals


What are your advertising goals? What is your return on investment? How much are you willing to pay per conversion? All of these questions seem pretty straightforward; however you might be surprised how many advertisers can’t answer them.

Defining your goals should be a priority in any form of advertising: online or offline. While traditional advertising has always had more barriers to tracking performance, online advertising offers ways to evaluate performance that some businesses might not be using.
Define what your conversion points are. Do you want your site visitors to sign up for a newsletter, become a member, or make a purchase? Next, decide how much you are willing to pay for that conversion.  You may have many conversion points on your site and each one may be worth more or less than others.

What do you want to track? With the transparency of online advertising, you have the ability to track just about any metric you want. You can track how much revenue was brought in by a particular search engine, such as Google or Yahoo. You can even determine which keywords are generating conversions.

Once your goals are clearly defined, you can then begin to determine how effective your advertising is. Are you making a profit? What is your return on investment?

Investopedia defines ROI as “a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments”. You can easily calculate your ROI by using the following formula.


For example, if you earned $18,000 from your Google paid campaigns and you spent $4,000, your return on investment would be 350%.

If you are able to determine if your goals are being met, you can easily begin to optimize the performance of your efforts. If you are not seeing a return, you can also determine what efforts you should not continue or work to improve.

April 23 2009

Where Are Your Customers In The Buying Cycle?


Every business owner probably has their own idea of how a potential customer becomes a loyal buyer. The stages begin with interest, to research, and finally purchase, and may vary from industry to industry. However, understanding how this factors into writing your ad copy will help to capture these searchers at every stage of the buying cycle.

In order to attract new potential buyers, you have to create the interest for your product or service. This can be done by simply showing your ad in the right place. Using general ad copy that is displayed on contextual networks is a great start. The networks will place your ad on sites that are relevant to your business. This is a great way to first grab someone’s attention.

When a searcher steps into the research phase of the buying cycle, you want to leverage your competitive advantages within the ad copy. Do you offer free shipping? Lower prices? Better service? All of these differences can work to set you apart from the crowd.

Finally, when the searcher becomes the buyer, you want to make sure that you are making the steps as simple as possible. Make sure that your ad copy is closely related to the keywords being searched upon. Drive traffic to specific product pages to help eliminate extra steps for your visitors.

Keep in mind that you have potential customers all over the web who will find you in different stages of the buying cycle. Make sure you are doing your part to target all of them in appropriate ways.

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