When Google Adwords first launched the Content Network (now known as the Display Network), it was like the Wild West.
Advertisers had little control over where ads appeared; there was no transparency in terms of reporting; the Placement Performance Report didn’t exist; and the only way to find out where your ads were running was to pore over your web analytics referral data and try to guess. There wasn’t even an option to run separate search and content campaigns in the beginning.
The Display Network has come a long way since those early days. Advertisers now have total control and transparency, including the ability to control the websites and web pages on which their ads will appear.
Here are some tips for setting up a Google AdWords placement targeted campaign (also known as Managed Placements).
Specify Which Websites Ads Will Appear On
Advertisers can use the AdWords Placement Tool to choose which websites you want your ads to appear on. Simply enter parameters such as demographics and subject matter, and the tool will offer suggestions.
Set up AdWords Conversion Tracking
While conversion tracking is important for any campaign, it’s especially critical for Display Network campaigns. Without tracking, the Display Network is still the Wild West — you’ll see which sites are generating traffic, but you won’t have any idea which sites are converting at a good cost.
One key fact to remember: placement targeted ads must “win” in the auction in order to display ahead of the other ads from the Display Network, even non-placement targeted ads. In other words, you need to outbid all the other competitors for ad space in order to even appear on the sites you’ve chosen.