Now that you’ve created your keyword-themed ad groups and masterfully rolled out your display ads for those ad groups, your ads are running and collecting impressions, clicks and conversions. The next step is to allow a fair amount of data to collect so that you can then analyze how different sites are performing for you.
The most useful tool for this is the Placement Performance Report in your Google AdWords account. It segments your ad serving by domain or individual URL so you can see the performance metrics for them separately. This will allow you to find sites and categories of sites where your ads perform well and where they are struggling. The best, most important metric to analyze when looking at a site’s Display Network performance? Cost Per Conversion.
Why? Google uses what they call smart pricing as their method for click charges on the Display Network. Basically, if your ad wins the auction and is placed on a site, Google determines if that page is more or less likely to end in a conversion action for you and they adjust the price of a click accordingly. This makes cost per conversion much more important than conversion rate.
Why? Smart pricing will very likely give you a scenario of metrics like the one below when comparing two sites:
If this scenario is true its because Google determined website #2 to be less likely to result in a conversion. So, they discounted the cost per click to advertise on website 2 to make up for this. But, as you can see, you are performing relatively well on this site because they’ve discounted your price enough to make your cost per conversion 25% lower than website 1 despite your lower conversion rate. Therefore, website 2 is working better for you despite the lower conversion rate. So, you can see how smart pricing changes the game and make cost per conversion your most important metric.
Once you run a Placement Performance Report, you will have data that you can use to make decisions about your ad’s exposure. You will find sites that are both performing well and not performing well for your campaigns. If you want to block your ads from being shown on specific sites, you can use the Site and Category Exclusion Tool within your AdWords account to block these sites.
With the sites that are performing well, you may want to have more control over your bidding and targeting flexibility with them. In this case, you can take that placement and use it in a Placement Targeted Campaign, which we will talk about in my next post.
Here are some ways that you can block your ads from being shown to specific web traffic using this tool:
1. Blocking Domains – You can block top-level domains, subdomains and directories. Blocking one doesn’t block the others, so you will need to enter them separately.
2. Undesirable Content – There are six types of content that you can block if you are concerned about brand protection.
3. Video Sites – You can block your ads from being shown as content ads within video.
4. Page Types:
a. Error Pages – these are displayed when a page does not exist. If someone attempts to navigate to a domain that does not exist, a page can be shown that has ads based on the mistyped URL instead of a “not found” error page.
b. Parked Domains – These domains are owned, but they have never been developed. So, all you see is ads when you navigate to these pages. This traffic comes from users mistyping a URL or using a domain name that does not exist.
c. User-generated sites – forums, image-sharing sites, social networks, video-sharing sites
In my next post, we’ll take a look at targeting specific sites on the Display Network that you find through your gathered data and/or through a little research to take your online business to new heights…