I’ve been reading up on the Content Network before launching a first campaign there in years. The following’s a list of posts I’ve found useful and the key takeaways. They may repeat and overlap in some ways. That repetition is summarized below. The links are accompanied by notes on what’s unique in that guide.
Google AdSense unit image courtesy of Frank O’Dwyer.
All these guides broadly suggest:
1) Don’t just copy search network campaigns to the content network
2) Your content network adgroups should be formed with modifers added to you base keyword/phrase. E.g. Air Jordan Basketball shoes | Nike basketball shoes | Nike high-top Basketball shoes
3) The ads have to shout, not speak politely. This is because people are in info-gathering mode, not search mode. You need to INTERRUPT!
4) Content quality score = CTR
5) Individual keywords don’t trigger ads, it’s the adgroup theme that determines where ads are syndicated.
6) The corrolary to #5 is that tracking happens at the adgroup level. If your campaign is small in keyword #s, you can have 1 keyword per group to see what keywords perform best.
7) Run placement reports regularly to see where ads showed up. Cut the low CTR and low conversion rate sites.
8) Use negatives liberally, but be careful not to misapply them in the wrong context. Should the negative be at an adgroup or campaign level?
http://www.pointit.com/blog/10-ways-with-google-content-network/ – Several unique keyword research tips there, as well bidding advice. “Don’t be a wimp!” [regarding bids].
http://www.adhustler.com/google-content-network-strategy/ – His last point on pruning and reviewing sites from the placement report is juicy.
http://www.ppce.net/ppc-management-google-content-network.html – Clever point on bid management for content towards the end, regarding placement targeting (aka site match).
http://www.webrageous.com/ppc/contentnetwork – Section on multimedia ads and what niches they work for makes sense.
http://tommiepowers.com/the-importance-of-placement-targeting-research-for-your-adwords-content-network-campaigns/ – Couple of tool links, including a free one, w0000t!
http://sites.google.com/site/gcreativebrief/google-content-network/gcn-case-studies – Case studies I found around
I also found this SEW article useful for having some nice tool links at the end, though I haven’t tested or compared vs the free one listed by Tommie.
Lastly, I’m currently trying out PPC Blog’s private community and getting some great, fast responses.
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