When it comes to Google Display Network (GDN) there’s a ton of ways you can setup a campaign. I’ve invested thousands of dollars into testing all the methods; and still am puzzled at how many times the methods differ from vertical to vertical a LOT. That’s why its super important to follow a series of best practices which help you do the maximum IMPACT right from the start.
One of these things is to setup the campaign so it’s only catering to one type of traffic right from the desktop. (Read my guide on how to block mobile and all kinds of other crap from your campaign HERE)
The things that seem to have worked best for us when running GDN campaigns was to layer contextual advertising (that’s targeting based on keywords so your ads show up on pages that match your keywords) with specific placement targeting; keyword + topic targeting and keyword + interest targeting.
::Keyword + Placement targeting
Let’s say you are promoting a t-shirt for friends t-shirt.
You’d first make a list of highly relevant keywords that people who want to buy a friends t-shirt would likely type into google.
Next you’d use the display planner, or manually come up with websites that are related to friends tv show.
After you have a list of websites; you’d setup the targeting so your ad runs on specific placements you provide (the list of websites you collected) and also matches the keywords you want the ads to appear on.
So, if there’s a site about friends and there’s a page on it about the coolest friends t-shirts – your ad will show up there.
::Keyword + Topic
Let’s say you are promoting golf clubs; you specify list of golf club keywords, and under topics you select GOLF related topics.
If the keyword matches and the website it appears on is part of the golf topic; then your add will show.
::Keyword + Interest
You are promoting a new exhaust (lets say a Flowmaster) for a Camaro. You would specify exhaust upgrade, flowmaster exhaust, exhaust for camaro, etc keywords and under the interest section you’d type in Chevrolet Camaro and see which interests it throws back (Maybe Muscle Cars?, American Sport Cars forums), and you’d target like that.
If the keywords match, the interest your ad would show.
It’s probably a good idea to make 3 campaigns, and run a test for each of the above, and cast a wider net that way and then look at the placements that show up and block by excluding any that aren’t related and keep tabs on your maximum spend per placement (ie offer payout x2 or x1 depending how aggressive your optimization technique may be)
PS: You also want to make sure you set a frequency cap; the more times an ad is shown to a user the more annoying they will become – I generally like to set a 2/24 frequency cap – anything more than that and the conversion tends to decline in my experience.
PPS: When you are doing placement research, the more relevant the placement is to your offer the better. Let’s take affiliate marketing as an example. I know that if I am promoting an offer and my demographic is affiliate marketers; they hang out on sites like stackthatmoney.com. I will look in a tool like similarweb to see who sends stackthatmoney their traffic, and where the traffic from STM goes to. Then I will look up all the keywords that send most traffic to these sites and make a list. Next, I will type in each keyword into google and open the top 10 sites and look for ones that have ad space for Adsense – That means I can advertise here.
I write every single down that I believe is relevant in a notepad and after I add them into a campaign under DISPLAY NETWORK > Placements, ensuring I turn off Let Adwords Find More Customers. That way my ad will only show up on these websites. Now depending on my offer; I might want to laser target the ads so they only show up on these placements for specific terms – I would then layer the placements with keywords to accomplish that.
Want an example? Let’s say I am promoting banners & landers LANDING PAGE service for $40 bucks. There are bunch of affiliate marketer blogs; and they got a ton of articles from how to setup a campaign, to what affiliate marketing is, to how to split test, and why variations are important.
If I’d take the keyword split test, and my ad would appear on that site; then I could show my ad to people reading the article about the importance of split testing landers and link my ad to a landing page on BannersLanders that talks about how we build landing pages with variations for split testing purposes.
Does that make sense? I hope so! 🙂