Google AdWords Managed Placements

Site Targeting with Managed Placements in Google AdWords

When Placement ads were first launched, AdWords advertisers had little control over their content network ads. The lack of control led to untargeted ads with low conversions and high costs – especially relative to search network ads. As a result, the majority of advertisers began turning off content network ads and focusing their efforts on improving their search network ads instead.

The introduction of the “Site placement” targeting option ushered in a plethora of new features that gave advertisers control over nearly every last detail of their content placements. The new system enables advertisers to control bid pricing, specify demographic targeting and handpick the sites they’d like to see their ads appear on.

Selecting the best placements for your business

Selecting your placements may seem like an overwhelming task: Google’s network includes thousands of sites from around the world. Luckily, there are a number of sorting options available to make the process a little less challenging.

1. Browse Categories – Google has developed an intuitive hierarchal directory of sites available in the Site Placement network. Here advertisers can browse by categories such as Entertainment > Comics & Animation. This is a great way to explore and discover new sites within the Site Placement universe.

2. Describe Topics – This is a great option if you have an existing keyword list and are interested in searching for sites specifically geared towards your keywords.

3. List URLs – This allows advertisers to simply enter a list of sites they want ad space on. Keep in mind, only publishers currently participating in the Google Content Network are available through Site Placement. To avoid confusion, it’s best to find sites you’re interested in by browsing for them using the first method. That way, there is no question that the site you want to target is available on the Content Network.

4. Select Demographics – This is a good option for the advertiser less concerned with specific sites or topics and more focused on reaching a specified audience. The Demographic targeting tool allows you to set Gender, Age and Household Income, among other advanced variables. This information is obtained from Gmail and Youtube account registrations as well as information from some of its Adsense publisher sites.

Determining Site Traffic and Ad Formats

When selecting sites in the Site Placement system, you will be presented with some important details about each placement. In addition to the site name (URL), Google will provide you with an average impression share and the ad formats accepted by each site.

A few factors to consider before adding a site to your targeted list:

1. Don’t always go for the site promising the most traffic. – As advertisers we are motivated by traffic–the more traffic the better. Right? This may be true in brand awareness campaigns, but it’s not always the most efficient way to spend your budget. For example, in many cases Myspace.com is the top listed Site Placement domain. It will certainly drive a lot of traffic, but is that traffic relevant to your business? Rather than focusing on high traffic, focus on building a list of specific niche sites closely related to your offerings. Highly targeted audiences are more likely to connect with your business.

2. Visit the sites before committing your ad spend. – When you decide to syndicate ads on a publisher site, you are effectively “partnering” with the site. Are you comfortable with the content and the audience the site attracts? Visit the site and find out. 3. Be sure that your ad format is accepted. – By and large, this is not an issue for advertisers focusing on text ads—virtually all publishers in the Google Network accept text ads. However, if you are planning on using banner or video ads, verify that your ad’s dimensions and format are accepted. This information can be found in the “Ad Formats” column located within the results list.