Google AdWords Strategies: Placement & Keyword Targeting

Last month Google began allowing the option of combining placement targeting and keyword targeting in the same AdWords campaign. Agencies are always thrilled when we’re given greater control over where, when, and how our clients’ ads are placed, especially on content networks.

When placement targeting rolled out over a year ago we were excited to be able to serve ads on specific sites matching our own targeting criterion, which is much more targeted than advertising on the entire Google content network.

I see these new options taking the targeting of Google’s network to a whole new level.

Campaign Settings

Before you get started, make sure you fully review your campaign settings before you launch any new campaign. Poorly set up campaigns is the easiest way to fail in AdWords.

How it Works

By using placement targeting without keywords your ad can appear on any page of a particular website. If your ads are relevant to all pages of the site, then there’s no need for further targeting refinement – adding keywords to the placement targeting campaign won’t be necessary.

Adding keywords to your placement targeting campaign will be beneficial when you want to advertise on large sites featuring multiple topics, such as Kaboodle.com. This product review site shares reviews on many consumer products, so if you’re selling Zebra brand printer repair services, you wouldn’t want your ad showing up next to reviews for zebra print slap bracelets (see the middle ad below).

To prevent paying for unqualified traffic, test adding keywords that describe the product/service you wish to promote or keywords that describe the pages of the site you’d like to advertise on.

Concluding Notes

I personally have several strategies in mind for a variety of business models that I’ll be testing in the coming months. I truly believe that with continued testing and a trained eye for SEM strategy, these new options have the potential of taking conversion rates on contextually targeted ads to new heights.

Happy bidding!