Did you ever want to know where Google ran your text ads when you opted into Content? Were you unwilling to pay for a bid manager or tracking device that could provide it for you? Well, have no fear search true believers, Google has answered your prayers for more visibility. If you've been reading this blog or have known me for a long time, you know that I urge you to tread carefully when it comes to content.
Quick lesson: when you run a search campaign with Google you have three options; Google only, search results from websites in Google's network, and content targeting where Google serves your ads based on keyword targeting. Oh coincidentally, content is currently the only place within Google where you can run image and video ads. Ok, back to our show.
Back a few years ago, I almost always turned content off. However, these days I'm becoming more at ease with content, especially now with Google's content placement report. As the press release and Inside AdWords blog writes, you can now see where you ads ran (by domain and URL level) as well as impressions, clicks, CTR, conversions, and CPA performance metrics. This gives you almost complete visibility into your content media buys. Why is this so important?
- It helps with your Whack-A-Mole problem where your ads mysteriously appear on sites that you don't want. Now you can get ahead of the curve and exclude them using the site exclusion tool.
- You can get an idea where Google places your ads based on their targeting engine which can get you more comfortable with running content.
- Once you find a website that performs well, you can use Google's site targeting to heavy up on a spend there.
- As I wrote above, content is the only place Google lets you run image and video ads so if that is a course you want to pursue, you had best start mastering it.
- I've always believed that the majority of click fraud came from content, so now you have better control. The site exclusion tool will become your best friend.
So besides having the report available, I'd like to see Google make improvements to their targeting engine and give you the ability to opt out of sites based on a minimum monthly impression level. Once you run it, you'll see the Long Tail of search marketing at its best and realize that if you only want your brand on a few sites, you'll end up just opting out of 100s of smaller ones. Anyway, I love the fact that Google provides this visibility and once you have it activated you should run the report ASAP. Now, if only Yahoo will figure out this report too, than we might have a better picture of content.