PPC Google Content Network Success.- Making Money With The Content Network

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I see so many posts on the forum about the Google content network, some say it is the holy grail, while others get burnt, and spend their budgets fast with nothing to show but a empty bank balance.

According to Google (you can get the CPA white paper here) the content network reaches over 80% of internet users, serving over 6 billion ad impressions... but how do we master it?

Making money on the content network depends on many variables, not least the product or service you are promoting, however there are a number of factors that are essential if you want to have success with this medium.

No matter what your product or service, the rules I list below are the minimum you need. Some you may have seen before others may be new to you.

The Five Things You Must Do When You Set Up Content Campaigns

1. Your Google Content Network Campaign should always be separate from your search campaign. The 2 mediums perform very differently you need to be able to control each individually. You should not be using the same ads or landing pages for both the Content and Search Networks. To do this you'll need to edit the campaign's settings after creating a campaign. Simply uncheck the Google search check box, and check the content network one.

2. Separate content campaigns into small ad groups -- each with, ideally, 20-40 keywords -- never more than 50.

3. There is no need to use different match types -- e.g. phrase and exact match in Google. Match type is ignored by the content matching algorithms.

4. There is also no need to use separate bid prices for each keyword -- these too are ignored, and Google operates based on the ad group's default bid.

5. Create ads and keyword lists that,when taken together, will match a particular theme or category.

The Buying Cycle

Understand the conversion process and where the content network fits into it.

Time for a little marketing 101. This is the buying cycle for those who don't know
• Awareness
• Interest
• Consideration
• Purchase
• Retention
• Advocacy
With the Google content network,the people who are going to see your ads are positioned earlier in the buying cycle.

Unlike the Google search engine where a keyword search triggered your ad the content network website is different. Your ad is not the reason they are on the website.

Just like in traditional print advertising your ads need to distract the reader's attention away from the articles and toward the ads. To do that you have to stand out.

How To Make Your Ads Stand Out On The Content Network

Get the Click

It's logical to assume that the reader of a content ad is at the very beginning of that buying cycle process. We first have to make them aware of you, then get their interest so your ad must push them over the edge. How? Try these: Scream. Think loud. Your ads can, and should, shout their way off the screen. Don't be afraid to be on the verge of rudeness if it works for Perry Belcher, it can work for you!. Seriously, with content ads you can afford to be much more disruptive than you are in your search ads. One major reason you can push the limits is Quality Score doesn't count. Since keywords don't trigger bold words in your content ads you are free to use anything you like in your headlines, so get creative. The more eye-catching, the better.

Bribe. Just like a dodgy politician, we can't resist a bribe. I will say it again, the person who is reading your ad is at the beginning, or before, the sales cycle. They need a strong incentive to proceed. Complimentary offers such as free downloads, shipping, or trial versions work well. If you're a B2B advertiser seeking leads, bribe readers with a free whitepaper. B2C advertisers can give free samples, free guides etc.
Loyalty clubs can give free points. And so on.

Stand Out. Your ads are not only competing with the Web page's content but also most likely four other ads on the page. Your ad needs to distract attention away from the page content and the competing ads - by no means a simple task. I suggest you study your competitor's ads and make sure yours are different, preferably louder and more obnoxious!

Use Imperatives. I have found that imperatives in headlines and also within body copy work well to get attention. Words like: "Stop!" ""Look!" Wait!" "Listen!" attract the eye in the same way as if the reader heard them shouted.

Pray On Their Emotions. Play with the reader's most basic emotions. For example, we all hate to think we are missing out on something important. Use your ads to tell people what they'll miss or fail to achieve if they don't click on your ad. Do what Life Insurance companies do, scare them into action...Bring the coffin to the door and let them smell the flowers! Tell them about the serious consequences that lie ahead for them if they fail to click.

Hopefully this gives you some insight in how to approach the content network. I don't care what your market is, be it selling your own products or products from clickbank, or cpa offers, you should be able to see how to structure your content network campaigns to bring you the results you want. Shy, understated, soft-selling content ads don't work. They just sit quietly, begging to be ignored.

The good news: it's not hard to write ads that will jump off the page and get you the desired results, if you combine that with a proper understanding of how content matching algorithms work, and how to control where and how your ads are placed, your content ad campaigns can produce the same kind of good results -- CTRs, conversion rates and ROI -- as your paid search campaigns.
#adwords #content #google #making #money #network #ppc #success–
  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Ward
      Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

      Good post Dave!

      I've heard it's true that CPM bidding will cause your ad to take up the whole ad space. Is this true?
      Thanks !

      In theory yes CPM ads take the entire ad space to themselves, however they win the space only if the CPM is greater than the combined effective CPM of the top CPC ads.

      To quote Google

      Cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) ads compete with each other in the same marketplace. Neither type of ad has a special advantage over the other.

      Because the two pricing systems are different, AdWords uses a system of effective CPM or eCPM to compare and rank them. For cost-per-click (CPC) ads, the AdWords dynamic ranking system considers the bid, click-through rate (CTR) and other relevance factors, all taken across 1000 impressions. The resulting figure is the ad's eCPM or effective cost per 1000 impressions.

      For any available ad position, the eCPMs of cost-per-click ads are compared to each other and to all CPM ads. The highest-ranking ad wins the position and is displayed to the user. When a CPC ad is displayed, it is charged only if the user clicks on the ad. A CPM ad is charged for an impression whether clicked on or not.
      CPM is very good for brand building, so for Nike launching a new product, I would say it is a good fit. Again, depending on a clients market goals, it can be effective.

      It can be very productive if you know of a placement site that brings you good conversions, using CPM to ensure only your ad shows on this webpage is a popular tactic used by smart marketers.
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  • Profile picture of the author cmdsonline
    Really nice post. I 100% agree with your insights. In fact it sounds like you have had some time with the Google Agency Team maybe. They have specialists who teach these best practices which you listed. No more than 50 keywords, broad match only (since it's all based on themes).

    Speaking of which, there is actually an extensive list of "themes" that Google has which they base their content algorithms on, I believe. This is what the content analysts told us when I was at a ppc agency. I believe I may have had access to that at some point, oh well, not anymore!

    In any event I don't think it's that important anyway. There is a really nice technique you CAN use with CPM as mentioned below, if done properly you can really capture some cheap traffic. It only works sometimes.

    As far as straight-up content campaigns, most people have no idea how to run them so they would ever have a chance of converting, unless they just get semi lucky. Most people say content is awful just because these best practices just aren't well known, even by some SEM's.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Ward
      Originally Posted by cmdsonline View Post

      Really nice post. I 100% agree with your insights. In fact it sounds like you have had some time with the Google Agency Team maybe. They have specialists who teach these best practices which you listed. No more than 50 keywords, broad match only (since it's all based on themes).
      Thank you. Yes I have spent time with them, to be fair to Google they have worked hard at improving the Content Network, and I have found they do listen to suggestions and take an interest in our results. I do think the white paper I linked to in the first post is a bit selective in how it presents its data though, but that is for another post on another day.

      I think the google video now says 15 to 30 keywords, but the theme method is certainly the best way to do it.



      As far as straight-up content campaigns, most people have no idea how to run them so they would ever have a chance of converting, unless they just get semi lucky. Most people say content is awful just because these best practices just aren't well known, even by some SEM's.
      I am with you on that one !
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      • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
        That was a nice post Dave, especially for someone like me who wants to succeed in the content network. I am trying some campaigns for the content network and the things you talked about really gave me an insight.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dave Ward
          Originally Posted by ademmeda View Post

          That was a nice post Dave, especially for someone like me who wants to succeed in the content network. I am trying some campaigns for the content network and the things you talked about really gave me an insight.
          You are welcome, I am glad you find the tips helpful. Let me know how you get on.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevScarb
    Dave,

    Are there any products you feel don't work well on the content network ?

    Also should you start with the content network, or search network first with a new product ?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Ward
      Originally Posted by KevScarb View Post

      Dave,

      Are there any products you feel don't work well on the content network ?

      Also should you start with the content network, or search network first with a new product ?

      I would always test a new product first on the search network. You want some idea of the keywords that work, before you start to develop your theme on the content network.

      It not so much a product that does not work well on the content network, more the action. What I mean is, it is easier to get someone to opt in for more information, than it is to sell the product at that stage. You have to remember that in most cases on the content network, the user was not looking for your product before he clicked through.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Good post, anyone who hasn't used the content network before and is looking at breaking in with it should read this!
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  • Profile picture of the author pauljeaston
    Great, great post! I am a newbie with the content network and this is simply just the right info I need to get there. Ill perhaps try more of email submits more than trial offers.
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