Managing a content network campaign with AdWords can be tricky, especially if you’re still unsure about some of the settings and tools available to maximize your traffic. Today I’m going to help explain the benefits of using a “managed placements” campaign on the content network and how to use Google’s Placement Tool to improve an existing or establish ground with a relatively new content network campaign. Managed placements are sites on the Content Network you have singled out as particularly valuable.
First off you need to have a campaign that is opted into the Content Network and you need to have managed placements in your ad groups.
To get the best results, turn the campaign settings onto “Relevant pages only on the placements I manage” and the ad rotation settings to “rotate”. Two benefits of having managed placements are that it allows you to bid more competitively or aggressively for placements on certain websites, and it gives you better control over a placement that you don’t necessarily want to exclude completely.
Now that you have your campaign settings correct, all you need to do is access the tool within the new interface. To get there, just follow these basic steps:
1) Click into an ad group, then click on the Networks tab and go into your managed placements. Click on “Add Placements”.
2) Under “Want Ideas” to the right, click on “Try the placement tool”.
3) Within the next screen is the actual placement tool where you’ll run into the following metrics:
- Browse Categories – Select Topics from Categories that are related to your specific industry (if applicable).
- Describe Topics – Enter keywords or phrases that match the topic of your ads.
- List URL’s – Enter the URLs of websites where you would like to advertise, or that represent the kind of site where you’d like to see your ad. The system may also use the sites and terms you entered to generate a list of other content network sites and placements that may be a good fit for your ads.
- Select Demographics – Choose the audience along the lines of who your client’s ideal prospect is. Remember the more demographic information you check off, the narrower the list of available placements may end up being.
4) Within each one of these topics and categories, the system will display a maximum of 100 placement results. You’ll notice in the results that the tool sorts by a few columns.
- Site Placements – This column includes the exact placements that came up in the results as well as all subsets of the ad inventory on the website, as defined by the publisher.
- If you click on the “view all” under the main placement, it will display the specifics on the subsets of that placement site. You may notice that certain pages with that website may only display the images in one specific location (for example, top center). You can click on the subset to display more detailed information if the publisher provided it, as well as go to that exact page for a preview.
- Ad Formats – Notice an icon that represents Text Ads, Image Ads sizes, Video Ad sizes, and In-Stream Video Ads. You’ll notice that you’re also able to add a filter at the top that only shows the specific of each ad type format and size.
- Impressions Per Day – This is Google’s estimated maximum amount of impressions per day for each placement.
- Status – Click “add” to add that specific placement onto your list to the right. After hitting save and continue in your list, you can go onto different methods to add more placements. After you have added any placements into your list, you will notice a small link below your selections that says, “Find more placements like these”. This will have the system analyze the current placements you have selected and find related or similar placements. You can then continue to take it one step further by then repeating the process to find additional placements like the ones you just found.
5) When you’re done just click “Save and Continue” and it will revert you back to the previous screen to add placements. Click save once more to finish the process.
Another option if you’re targeting a more general website is to also include keywords within your ad groups. This next level of granularity will only show your ads where those keywords are also predominant on the placements where you’ve targeted your ads to show up.
While running a new managed placements campaign, you can experiment with different ad slot as well as different subsets of the main placement site. Remember to always keep your bids high to increase your position, as you will be competing with other advertisers and will have to out bid them to even have your ads show up.
Lastly, note that Google doesn’t guarantee that your ads will run on every site that you pick. Some sites only have a limited amount of space and may not run certain ad formats, or may halt advertising for other reasons. My suggestion is to keep experimenting with several different placements over time and look for the best combinations that work for you, and start to optimize those combinations to find the best efficiencies.
By Jerrold Burke
Paid Search Analyst