Targeting Potential Customers With the Google Content Network

David Wurtz

Have you ever been browsing the internet, maybe reading your favorite blog or news site, and come across a page with Google ads? They often say ‘Ads by Google’. Odds are you have, though maybe you didn’t realize it. Google puts these ads on any website that is a member of their content network (there are millions of said websites). These ads come in different shapes and flavors– sometimes a group of text ads, sometimes image or banner ads, and sometimes even video ads etc. Google determines what ads will show based on the content of the page.

Here are some examples…

If you aren’t taking advantage of the content network you are missing out on quality traffic to your site. By high quality traffic, I mean traffic that converts at a high rate. By specifying content ‘Placements’, combined with geographic and demographic targeting, you can tell Google to only show your ads on specific websites, for viewers in a specific region, that are of a specific age, and a specific gender. For example, I created an AdWords campaign for one of our clients that targets women who are over age 35 that live in the Denver area, and are interested in laser liposuction. This client is a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in light-based treatments.

How did I target people that are interested in laser liposuction?

The key to targeting interests is using ‘Managed Placements’ effectively. These placements are specific websites and webpages that you want Google to show your ads on. To do this effectively you need to think like one of your customers. What websites do they go to? What information might they look for prior to making a purchase? What do they like? Review sites, forums, and blogs are often a good place for this type of thing. I was fortunate enough to find a highly reputable, high traffic site that has multiple pages dedicated laser liposuction reviews, information, and frequently asked questions. What’s even better, is that these pages have a nice big 300×250 pixel block that is reserved for Google ads.

So what did I do? I created a campaign that only uses Content Placements that I specify. To do this you simply go to the campaign settings and under the ‘Networks, devices, and extensions’ section, disable the search network and choose ‘Relevant pages only on the placements I manage’ in the Content Network (This campaign settings page is also where you select your geographic and demographic targeting.) To specify your Placements, select the ‘Networks’ tab. You should now see a row called Managed placements. Click show details and then add the websites that you want. As you find more and more sites that you want to advertise on, simply ad them to the list. Just make sure the site already has Google ads, otherwise the placement is useless.

Once you have a well targeted campaign set up with adgroups and keywords, the next thing to do is create your ads; but thats blog post for another day. Tune in later this week for a follow up article on how to easily create quality image ads.

If you are a business owner and aren’t already advertising with Google, you should seriously take a minute to consider doing so. Hopefully you found this article convincing. No need to have a marketing degree or be technically savvy– there are numerous blogs and articles that offer detailed guides that can help you get started. If the task seems too overwhelming you can enlist a third party such as BlitzLocal to help you with your local online advertising.

You can take your local reach a step further by using sites like Judy’s Book to manage your reputation and engage with customers who review your business. An added perk to using these sites is that Google Maps attaches customer reviews to your local business profile, which makes you rank higher in local searches.

David Wurtz is a Marketing Manager at BlitzLocal, specializing in getting small businesses found on Google, and generating new phone calls and leads.

This entry was posted in Judysbook on by .

About dennisyu

Co-founder and CTO at BlitzMetrics. Making tools for young leaders to help businesses drive results in online marketing. I also stand for what's right when the little guy gets stomped on by unethical (but still legal) business practices. I like to eat wings and play ultimate frisbee.

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