The key to a successful business is marketing and advertising and the key to successful advertising is to find a method of conveying your information to as many people as possible while keeping your advertising costs to a minimum. Never forget to calculate your return on investment (ROI) because doing so, may lead to huge financial loses. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is considered one of the easiest ways to generate traffic to your website and generate some decent profits from your search engine marketing campaign. And when it comes to PPC advertising, then Google AdWords is the most popular form of pay per click advertising for small businesses; partly because of Google’s popularity, and partly because it allows you to control your expenses by setting daily budgets for each ad.
Businesses get fantastic opportunities to effectively target online customers who are searching for their services.
With PPC platforms like Google AdWords, the returns on offer can be huge – but with that potential for reward also comes huge risk especially if you are targeting the google content network.
While creating an AdWords advertisement campaign you have a choice as to whether you want your ads to appear on Google’s network of content sites or only on the organic search results pages. Google content network sites are sites that have signed up for Google’s Adsense program, which allows them to display AdWords ads on their pages. Usually the content networks are not very targeted. Google tries it’s best to display your ad on pages which have got relevant content based on your selection of keywords during setting up the ad, and it does a pretty good job of it. Nonetheless, I don’t personally like this traffic, and I will tell you the reason.
In Internet Marketing, the sooner your ad is displayed to your prospect, the greater your chance of making a sale. This is the reason why search engine traffic performs so well than the google content network traffic. Most surfers initiate their Internet activity at a search engine. Indeed, many have a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or MSN set as their home page. In other words, it is the first thing they see when they log onto the Internet. So it is the psychology which makes content network traffic to be less targeted.
Let us go a little deep inside PPC and take a closer look at the chain of events that happens. A general surfer intending to buy something, logs onto the Internet because he/she wants to find something. The first thing that the surfer does is to open Google and enter the search terms/keywords and among the results the surfer sees your ad. It quickly catches his/her attention and he/she clicks through to land up to your site. Since you are offering exactly what she is looking for, she is turned into a customer and you make a sale. This is what is called laser targeted traffic and this scenario happened the way it did because we understand the virtues of targeted traffic, but it also happened because we were the first to satisfy the surfer’s needs. Makes sense?
Now, say if the surfer has been online for some time and has been surfing from one site to another, looking around and possibly doing research. Remember that with more research, comes confusion. And with more confusion, comes frustration and with frustration comes in a negative mindset. Likely, the surfer has become like a window-shopper who will look at all the products available, compare them and then get confused and finally will end up buying nothing. Either way, it becomes harder to convert this kind of surfers into a sale.
Having your ads shown on the Google content networks, means that the surfer is online for quite some time and naturally has lower chances of converting into a lead compared to another who just started looking for something. This makes you ad non-targeted.
While stepping into PPC your intention should be to receive highly targeted visitors and failure to do so will cost you huge loses since your return on investment (ROI) will be very less and in some cases zero. It is found from statistics that visitors from content networks do not convert well. But there are instances where content networks have proved to be useful for some kinds of businesses as well.
How to cleverly start advertising in google content networks?
One thing that you can do is create a totally separate campaign meant only for google content network. Bids for all ads in this campaign should be as low as possible, i.e. 5 cents. This will help you keep your cost more in line with the value of the traffic from these content networks. Another important fact to note is that more click fraud happens from these content sites and hence it is another good reason to keep your bid as low as possible.
Google has a feature where you can bid separately on your content network ads, which allows you to bid as low as possible on your content network ads without having to setup another campaign. This is useful and can be a good solution. But I would still prefer to create a separate campaign for content network advertising, however. A separate campaign allows for greater organization, statistics and analysis. The choice is yours, though, and you should use whichever option you feel more comfortable with. If you don’t mind managing multiple versions of the same ad – one for the Google search pages and the other for the content networks, then I would strongly recommend you to create separate campaigns for content networks.
In the end, you should be skeptical about content targeting, as the traffic quality will not be the same as the pure search engine traffic. If you’re looking only for traffic, then go for content networks, but smartly. If you really want the extra traffic, then make sure you bid separately for google content network campaign, keeping your bids as low as possible. You should also keep a close eye on your stats regularly to make sure that you are not paying for any fraudulent clicks. Good luck and feel free to ask any questions or opinions that you might have regarding PPC.