Any advertiser who has experimented with image ads within Google AdWords has probably asked themselves ‘how do I know my ads are being seen by the right audience?’ Recently, I had the opportunity to answer this question for a client.
Image ads are also often referred to as display ads. Image ads are a vital component for any cost per click (cpc) campaign since these types of advertisements rely on a visual aspect, versus text ads. Implementing image ads can attract visitors to your site who may not have visited through traditional text ads. Since image ads are only available through the Google content network, many advertisers become concerned whether or not their ads will appear on relevant websites for their brand, brand or service.
Google’s placement targeting feature gives marketers the opportunity to pick and choose which sites they wish their ads to be featured on. Although each site is different, each site only allows image ads of specific dimensions. It is best to use the Google placement tool to see which image sizes are most common and create image ads based on these specifications. By selecting the sites or genre of sites you want your ads to appear within, advertisers can rest assured knowing that the image ads are being seen by the ideal demographic.
Once your image ad campaigns build momentum and begin to generate impressions, advertisers can run paid placement reports. Paid placement reports are helpful when optimizing the image ad campaigns as they allow advertisers to see which sites are generating impressions, what cpcs should be increased, which sites are leading to conversions and much more. When selecting a placement site genre, advertisers can transparently see which sites are producing, or not producing traffic within the new Google AdWords interface. Placement targeting also allows the opportunity to remove or block certain cites from receiving clicks and impressions.
Google’s placement targeting feature can not only ensure that your ads are featured on relevant pages, but can also help you improve brand recognition and most importantly, conversions.
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.
I recently created a vertical marketing campaign for a client and was very impressed with the options Google offers to manage this type of strategy. It doesn’t seem like too long ago that a proposal of this size would have constituted multiple media buys across many networks and websites and the management of the program would have been a major task. Just keeping up with all of the different invoices from each media buy was a full time job, not to mention that each network or site had its own way of reporting results! With Google’s Placement Targeting program you can create a robust, wide reaching vertical marketing campaign and manage the program all in one place!
The advantages from both a management perspective and the ability to reach your precise audience with Google’s Placement Targeting program are substantial. I was able to create a campaign targeting over 50 specific vertical sites for my client and manage the program all within one interface. I didn’t have to spend time going to each website to negotiate 50 different media buys and I was able to get consistent reporting for the entire campaign. My client was impressed by the extensive list of sites available to them within the Google Content Network and particularly liked the idea of one invoice to cover the costs of the entire campaign. Within the Google Content Network, depending on the publisher’s site, you can place targeted text ads, banner ads, or even video. We were able to leverage these different types of ad formats, testing regular text ads, banner ads, and videos across many of the sites we utilized during the campaign.
The final results are still pending, but it is certain to be a campaign we will look to build upon in the future. With the flexibility and options available within the Google Placement Targeting program, I was able to offer my client an easily managed vertical marketing campaign. The next time you consider a vertical marketing campaign think of all the advantages a “one stop shop” solution can save you in time and effort.