While running a search today I came across this interesting feature – an expandable Google Maps listing.
I thought it was only available for 1st position advertisers, but here it is at position 3. When did they “expand” the policy?
Nothing strikes fear into the heart of PPC newbies quite like the content network – a mystical black hole that sucks in all advertisers who dare pass too closely. While true that many an advertiser has lost hundreds or thousands of dollars in the content network, if properly used the content network can provide cheaper clicks and cheaper conversions for your business.
Divide and Conquer
Step 1 for the beginning AdWords user is to create separate campaigns for the content network. There are three main reasons for this:
- Keywords: The content network is contextually-targeted. Ads are not triggered by the exact keywords you have in the campaign. Ads are triggered if Google feels the intent or context is similar to your keywords. Therefore, for content campaigns you should feel free to use competitive head terms like weight loss or divorce lawyer (whereas in your search campaigns you are likely using more specific terms like “weight loss after pregnancy” or “Los Angeles divorce lawyer”). This will get you loads of impressions, and hopefully clicks, quickly.
- Ad Copy: Ads showing in Google’s content network are alongside articles, blogs, etc. In search the user is looking for you. In the content network they are doing something else and you need to entice them to click on your ads. This important difference is why you should use different ad copy. For the content network you need more compelling copy that draws attention.
- Stats: Users aren’t looking for ads in the content network. Therefore you will get lower CTR in the content network. Don’t be alarmed, but keeping content and search separate will help you know just how big the difference is. The low CTR shouldn’t scare you though. The content network will get you far more impressions to make up for the low CTR and you should be able to convert the traffic as well, or better, than your search campaigns.
Now you know the basics for getting started, but how do you control the beast? That will be the topic of my next post. Tune in next Tuesday!
After reading the most recent State of the Twittersphere report I realized that I’m kind of a big deal (compared to the average Twitter user). Therefore, I asked my awesome followers to share their wisdom and asked “What is the #1 AdWords mistake made by small businesses?”
- @marcbitanga – Not leveraging negative keyword report
- @russpage – Use of broad match only
- @BigBags – Inappropriate campaign structure (Nate has an entire blog post on PPC Tips For Small Business explaining this)
- @mengliang – Immediately relating correlation with causation
My contribution to the list would be the following:
Not testing on a consistent basis
Thank you to these guys for helping me out and if you take these points to heart you’ll avoid a lot of mistakes. Anything we missed?