Google Content Network: Top 10 tips and tricks
The Google Content network has been around for a long time. And sometimes it generates better leads than the search network. Here are a few tips-n-tricks that I use to drive up my conversions. And I can tell you, these simple tricks work very well.
- Clear Message: People have less than a second to glance over your ad. So keep the design easy to understand and the message clear.Research the Network: Research the publishers listed in Google Adwords under the placements sections. See if you can select publications that make the most sense to advertise in. Also check to see if they run more banner or block type of ads. Usually one type gives you better conversion for each site.
- Time and Locality: Go to the campaign settings tab and try to test different variables. Limit your geographic market to what makes most sense. Also try running the ad scheduler to find the best time to lure visitors. For example, limit your self to Ottawa/Gatineau region when selling to the Canadian Federal Government. Also, prioritize your budget spend between 6 am – 6 pm on weekdays (government employee work hours.)
- Target by Association: Keywords in the content network help define a “theme” for an ad group (works differently in Search networks). So make sure you choose a bunch of closely related keywords for each ad-group. Keep your list of keywords manageable, I find a dozen keywords work best for me.
- Be Negative: Use negative keywords aggressively to remove non-converting types of content. For example, I often use “free”, “freeware”, “freemium”, “warez” as negative keywords to remove the free-loaders.
- Generate Demand conversions: Visitors in content sites are usually in the “research” mode. They are looking for ideas, hints, best-practices, etc. That’s why content networks deliver best conversions in demand-generation campaigns (i.e. download white paper, register for webinar, listen to podcast, etc).
- Say it in 3: Describe your primary offer in 3 words or less. This phrase should occupy about a third of the ad space. Make sure the 3-phase offer is relevant to the keywords in your ad-group.
- Design for Online: Keep in mind the same basic principles of print apply in Content networks. The only difference is that you’ve to design for screen. So think of RGB palette and sans-serif fonts.
- Flash in a Dash: Animation is good, but keep it short. Movement on the screen is excellent for catching attention, but not for message delivery. So have your main message appear within 3 seconds.
- Change is the Game: Keeping it fresh and different in a content network helps you stick out from the crowd. Adding new ad copies every few weeks is a very good idea.
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