As most business owners & marketing professionals know, Google Adwords allows campaign managers to advertise within Google's search results (or "search network"), allowing them to target specific keyword phrases. What most business owners & marketing professionals don't realize, however, is that Google Adwords also allows campaign managers to advertise within a network of websites separate from Google's search results (or "content network"), and that they may have unwittingly opted into both within the same campaign.Many campaign managers may even realize that they're targeting both the content and search networks within the same campaign and simply figure that this is the easiest route. So why mess with it? To answer that question, let's take a step back to understand how a customer visiting a website indirectly related to your product is different from a customer searching for your product on Google.
Display Network: The Mind of the Customer
In this case, the education section of www.nytimes.com displays ads targeting the education sector, such as offers for a career change to the financial sector: It's very likely that visitors have reached this page because they're interested in reading the latest education news and are not likely to be interested in finding out how they can find a new career outside of teaching. You might be wondering what these ads are good for then. Ads like these can actually have a great impact on improving your brand's awareness by serving up your company's message to multitudes of viewers already interested in other topics related to your industry or products (think of television commercials or bill board ads). Display network advertising falls under the category of push marketing, where marketers are 'pushing' their company in the marketplace in an effort to increase demand for their products or services. Search network advertising falls under pull marketing, where marketers are pulling in customers who are actively searching for their products or services, capitalizing on the demand that's already in the marketplace.
Search Network: The Mind of the Customer
Now let's look at what similar advertisers have done to target Google's search network: So instead of having ads written in an attempt to connect with a wider audience, these ads are specific to match the user's search phrase. Ads are written to entice the user who is looking to apply for a Pell Grant. In our display network example, the ads were written for a more general audience and therefore there is likely to be a much lower click through rate but potentially a lower cost per click. To recap, make sure your ads targeting users browsing their favorite news site or blog are speaking in a way that matches their mindset. They're currently not actively looking for your product so you'll have to find a compelling way to engage them based on the little information you have about them (for example, their interest in your industry). Your call to action should be a low-risk offer, like reading for more information. For your ads targeting users searching for your products on Google, the message should directly address what they've searched for. They know what they want and you should waste no time speaking directly to what's on their mind. The solution: Separate your account into two campaigns. One to target the content network with a message appropriate for that audience and another for your search network with messages that target precisely what the user is asking for at the moment of relevance. This concludes our series of top 5 common PPC mistakes. We hope the information was useful and would love to hear your feedback. Related Resources: Google Adwords Blog: Introducing the Display Network Google Display Network: Creating a Campaign