I wrote Adwords content targeting optimization for Google’s content network in 2007:
- Separate search-targeted campaigns and content-targeted campaigns
- Use Adwords conversion tracking
- Review Adwords Placement Reports and
- Stop showing ads on under-performing websites with Adwords Content Network Site Exclusion tool
Since then, Google has made improvements to Adwords content ads optimization and concluded satisfactory results:
What is Google Adwords Contextual Targeting?
Google Adwords offers Contextual Targeting, an ad serving technology, that places ads by matching keywords (including keyword phrases, synonyms and variations) to websites within Google’s content network (or display network). Google analyzes websites’ content and determine a central theme for each website, by considering several factors:
- Link structure
- Web page structure
Adwords ads are served to web pages based on keywords, language targeting and location targeting.
Google Adwords Content Network Optimization
Before running Google Adwords content targeting campaigns, you should:
- Expect to have low click through rates (CTR)
- Focus on ROI (return-on-investment) and/or CPA (cost-per-action)
- Set cost-per-click (CPC) low (i.e. lower than search ads’ CPC)
Brad Geddes, the author of the Advanced Google Adwords Book, explains how to increase your total conversions, how to increase your company’s reach, and how to expand the number of users who enter the buying funnel through Google’s content network:
- Set up proper Google Adwords account structure, as explained in Google Adwords PPC Optimization
- Use keyword variations to trigger content ads
- Use information from Adwords Placement Reports to block under-performing sites
- Set up low-budget content exploratory campaigns and high-budget placement campaigns
- Target with keywords, with sites (placements), and with keywords and sites (placements)
- Segment your audience with Adwords Content Network Demographic Bidding
- Do all your Adwords account editing in Adwords Editor
Adwords Contextual Targeting Tool
Adwords Contextual Targeting Tool allows you to create tightly themed keyword lists for your Google content network (or display network) campaigns.
- How Google’s content targeting works: Google analyzes all the keywords in an Adwords ad group to identify a theme, matches the theme to related web pages, and shows ads to the web pages related to the theme
- Adwords Contextual Targeting Tool suggests a set of keywords related to the words or phrases you have entered – Google’s Wonder Wheel tool also suggests related (or themed) keywords to your Adwords content campaigns
- Adwords Contextual Targeting Tool groups the suggested keywords into themed ad groups
- PPC Hero explains how to use Google’s Contextual Targeting Tool in 3 steps: Edit keyword list, expand ad groups and predicted placements
Adwords Conversion Optimizer for Display Ad Campaigns
The Display Campaign Optimizer is a tool that automatically optimizes both targeting and bidding to find additional conversions for your Display Network campaigns.
To use Adwords Display Campaign Optimizer:
- Opt-in to Adwords Display Campaign Optimizer
- Enable Adwords Conversion Optimizer Target CPA Bidding
- Your campaigns must have collected enough historical conversion data through Adwords conversion tracking
Adwords Display Campaign Optimizer:
- Takes your CPA goal and budget, monitors campaign performance, learns what work and what doesn’t work for your campaigns, and makes bid updates in real time
- Increases your campaigns’ conversions
- Can be opted-out from any campaigns at any time
Google Adwords Remarketing / Retargeting
- Adwords Remarketing allows you to serve custom ads to users who have previously visited your website based on users’ cookies.
- Google’s Remarketing can increase conversions and reduce cost-per-conversion for your websites.
- BG Theory describes the strategies when creating several (positive and negative) remarketing lists and mapping out Adwords ad groups
Google’s Official Guide to Adwords Content Network Optimization
Google provides an official guide to optimize Adwords content network ads.
- Create content-targeted campaigns in themes
- Use Adwords conversion tracking
- Optimize landing pages
- Set appropriate Maximum CPC bids
- Review Adwords Placement Reports and refine / re-optimize your content-targeted campaigns