Google’s content network is the largest online ad network in the world, so it’s only natural that you’d want to leverage such an immense source of traffic for your own business. The problem is that the content network can be a tough beast to tame. Your standard search campaigns might be ranking in the dough, but every time you’ve tried opting into content, you just end up shoveling that money out the window. Here are some of the most common mistakes in running a content campaign and how to avoid them.
For whatever reason, Google has made it all too easy to simply add the content network to your existing search campaigns. This means that your search campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ad text will all be run on search and content simultaneously. Even if you also choose to check the box to have separate content bids, you’re still making one campaign do double duty. The content network works totally differently from search, so your search campaigns might not always perform well as content campaigns. Make entirely separate campaigns to run on the content network only. This will give you greater control and simplicity in both reporting and optimization.
Another common mistake is not setting the geo targeting on your new content-only campaigns. One of the best ways to make sure you’re not wasting money is to make sure you are targeting your campaigns to the geographic areas that are most relevant to what it is you’re advertising. Are you promoting a product or service that’s only available in a few cities in the US? Then make sure you aren’t targeting the whole country, or worse the whole world. If your product is available anywhere in there world (like a downloadable product), you still want to make sure you’re targeting areas that speak the language in which your ads or keywords are written. No one is going to click an ad they can’t read.
If you’ve been tempted by the huge traffic potential of the the Google Content Network, it’s time to start testing the waters. No matter what your experience has been, or the horror stories you’ve heard of people losing their shirts running content campaigns, it is an extremely effective marketing channel. Watching out for and avoiding these two common mistakes will make a huge difference in your content campaigns and open up a new world of traffic to your sites.