Although it has been around for many years, the content network is still one of the most misunderstood areas of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Many advertisers make the mistake of setting up and managing content campaigns the same way they would manage a campaign on the search network. Because the various networks target users with different search intentions, it’s important to set up and track content campaigns separately.
To help advertisers create successful content campaigns that allow for greater reach and increased ad visibility, we recommend the following three steps:
Perform keyword research. The first step in setting up a successful content campaign is determining the type of page content you’d like your ads to be displayed on. The most important thing to remember is that keywords in a content campaign do not represent specific keywords that users will be searching with, but instead serve as cues to help the search engines identify appropriate content placements.
For example, if I had an ad group in a content campaign with the keywords “website design” and “web design,” the search engines would place my ads on websites within their network that contain content relating to general Web design. Alternatively, if I had an ad group with terms like “custom web design” or “custom website design,” the search engines would look for sites containing content specific to “custom” website design. Because keywords simply serve as theme identifiers, phrase and exact-match keyword modifiers are irrelevant in content campaigns.
Segment keywords into targeted ad groups. The next step in creating a successful content network campaign is to segment keywords into targeted ad groups. Because the keywords in each ad group provide the search engines with an overall content theme, it’s important to maintain tightly knit ad groups. Doing so allows advertisers to cast a wider net and better determine which types of website content drive the greatest results. In most cases, we recommend that advertisers create 20 to 50 ad groups with no more than 2 to 5 keywords per group. Once the ad groups have acquired a sufficient amount of data, advertisers can then pause the underperforming ad groups and hone in on the ones that have proven more successful.
Create targeted ad copy. Once the keywords have been segmented into themed ad groups, advertisers should create ad copy specific to each of the various themes. Because this can often be a daunting and tedious task, we recommend that advertisers create general copy that can be tweaked for use throughout the campaign. When creating copy, keep in mind that users on the content network—unlike users on the search network—are not necessarily “actively” searching for your product or service. As a result, we recommend that you take a slightly different approach in your ad copy by first identifying your customers’ needs and then discussing how your product or service can meet those needs.
While the content network may not be perfect for all PPC advertisers, when approached correctly, it can be an effective way for advertisers to expand their advertising reach. If you have any questions or need help setting up campaigns on the content network, feel free to let us know. We have a team of professionals who can help you create campaigns geared for your online success.
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