PPC Basics : The Google Content Network
I had a good little email conversation over the weekend with a friend of mine who threw his hand into the ring at the Google Online Marketing Challenge with some members of his class at the University of Tampa Business School. I had written earlier about some basic SEO questionshe had during initial setup, but now the campaigns were officially launched and suddenly every second counts. I get it, that’s part of the fun. Off topic, one of the coolest things about Woopra Analytics is the real-time-iness and the ability to follow your website traffic as it happens.
Back on topic. So as much as my friend thought he thought of everything you could think of when getting a new paid search campaign started, he was bound to miss some things. Not everyone who starts a new campaign is going to miss these things, but it happens more often than people would like to admit, I’ll tell you that! Here were some of his other questions:
Too Many Impressions Too Fast!
If you’re interested in fine-tuning your click through rate or starting with slower impressions and building up to something as you learn how to maintain the flow of information, then it might be a good idea to say good bye to the Google Content Network for now. In the beginning it may be best to focus on the Search Network and those visitors who are definitely searching for something, as opposed to many on the Content Network who have in fact found what they were looking for and are skipping over your ad to continue reading. It is fine for later, but at least make an entirely new campaign for that side of paid search so you can tweak and monitor it independently of your traditional campaigns.
If You’re Going To Do It, Do It Right
If you must dive into the Google Content Network, then at least put some thought into it. Create a separate and finely-tuned campaign for your ads. Be sure that your search terms, creative and landing page are all relevant to eachother. This is just like traditional paid search but with an added dimension. The web page where your ad may show is not a search engine results page, but a regular content-filled page. Readers are meant to see your ad while reading the content on that page, so make sure your ad is as relevant as possible to whatever motive the content is trying to establish! For example, a review of a product or service should have Content Network ads that are trying to sell you that product or service. If it’s a bad review, then those ads should probably be for the competition!
Take The Power Back!
I think it’s obvious that the above heading was forced by me into this post. It had to happen. Anyway, one of the most effective things you can do to target relevant content with a microscope is simply to paste the URL’s of those pages directly into your Content Network campaign. I know Google gives you some pretty general, really worthless websites to choose from. This is why you’ve got to do your own research. Find a number of related websites that you’re comfortable with and get them together on a notepad. Select some of Google’s lame choices and submit it, then manually edit that list. Delete all of the general choices and paste your own specific web addresses in. You’re going to see far fewer impressions and a much higher CTR and conversion rate.
Those were the only things we talked about in our weekend email exchange and I’m looking forward to hearing how the week in paid search turns out for him. Maybe I’ll let you know too!