21 Feb 2012

Placement Targeting on the Google Display Network

February 21, 2012PPC Advertising

There are three common types of ad placements on the Display Network of which you need to be aware. These are important because the sites where your ads show greatly influence the success of your campaigns. This is good news because it gives you the opportunity to assign the placement of your ads to ensure that your campaigns are reaching their maximum potential.
First, there are “Automatic Placements”. This type of placement is determined by context, meaning that your ad will automatically display on sites that share the same or similar offerings insinuated by your keywords. This approach requires less planning, however you may miss some specially targeted audiences if you take this route.
The next type of ad placement on the Google Display Network (GDN) is called a “Managed Placement.” Here you have the ability to designate where your ad appears based on specific websites or pages that you select. This kind of placement takes more up-front organization, but it can be helpful if you know the specific sites you want to show on.
The final option for placements is called “Excluded Placements.” This is similar to the Managed Placement option, but instead of choosing sites where you want your ad to appear, you select sites on which you do not want your ad to run. This type of placement has the option for the most control.
If all of this sounds overwhelming to you, have no fear. Google provides a special Placement Tool to help you decide which option is best for you and your campaigns. In order to access the Placement Tool, you will need to visit the Reporting and Tools tab in your AdWords account.
From here, you will have the ability to enter certain phrases and specific URLs to assist in targeting where you want your ad to be seen by potential customers. After you enter your criteria, click the search button. You will see numerous returned results, and you can select the sites on which you want your ad to appear from the corresponding list. If you want to set more limitations, simply visit the Advanced Options tab where you can narrow your focus by restricting by language, location, and other demographic factors.
Last spring, Google introduced Topic Targeting. This method encourages you to examine the general themes of websites and pages, rather than rely solely on keywords when deciding how you want to control your placements. Google generates your placement based on the theme of a website or page in order to make your ad appear on relevant sites. You have the option to further restrict within this approach by setting refined keywords in addition to placement and topic targeting.
Audience Targeting is perhaps one of the best ways to reach relevant customers. It’s no secret that Google has been compiling information on Internet users since 2009. For this reason, you’ll often see ads appear on the GDN that are directly related to your interests. You can take advantage of these user profiles by administering Audience Targeting to reach individual users by visiting the Audience Tab in AdWords.
From here you can start looking at a list of interests for your potential customers. Use these interests and apply them to specific ad groups to reach specially targeted users. For example, if you are running a company that sells at home beer brewing kits, you can make sure that your ads appear for users who have already shown interest in that hobby or similar activity. This is a very advanced and specialized way to reach your audience. You can also use the Custom Combinations option within the Audience Tab to reach folks who may have visited your site in the past, but never made a purchase. There are many options for remarketing within the Audience Tab.
As you can see, Google has made it entirely manageable to reach your specific audience. Not only can you select that sites on which you want your ad to appear, but you can also take advantage of using real data (compiled by Google) to reach your most valuable potential customers. Take some time to examine how the different options for placements can benefit your AdWords campaigns the most.