Google AdWords Combines Contextual Targeting Features With Placement Targeting

The Google AdWords Blog announced that AdWords advertisers can now combine keyword-targeted and placement-targeted campaigns in the same ad group. This allows for the targeting of keywords on contextually relevant pages and at the same time the ability to use placements to set specific bids or restrict your targeting to specific sites. In the past, you were not able to manage your campaign this way.

This is a feature available within the content network and is optional. For more information, check out the Google help document.

Google tells us two ways you might want to use this new feature:

(1) Set custom bids for specific placements. Let’s say you’re selling laptops, and you’re using the content network to advertise on pages relevant to the keywords ‘laptops,’ ‘laptop computers,’ and ‘laptop accessories.’ After checking your Placement Performance report, you see that you’re getting sales at a great ROI from three technology review sites. You also see a few sites where you’re getting sales, but your costs are too high to advertise effectively on them.

If you currently have a $1.00 bid for the content network as a whole in this ad group, you can now add the high- and low-performing sites as placements into your ad group with custom bids. For example, you might set a $2.00 Max CPC for the three high-performing sites, and a $0.50 Max CPC for the low-performing ones. Meanwhile, you’re still using the keywords in your ad group to target relevant pages across the content network, but now you’re adjusting bids for the sites in the network that perform better or worse than average.

(2) Show your ad only when both keywords and placements match. Suppose you check your Placement Performance report again and see that your laptop ads are showing often on sites that discuss how to make laptops more energy efficient. You know that you sell some of the most energy efficient laptops available, and you’d like to write an ad that highlights the power-saving benefits of your products. But you don’t want to show this ad on pages whose readers aren’t as concerned about energy conservation.

Now you can create an ad group containing the same ‘laptop’ keywords you’ve been using and add each of the energy efficiency sites as placements. Next, change your campaign settings so that your ads show only on the sites you’ve added, and only when their pages are relevant to your keywords. This gives you the freedom to write an ad highlighting the energy-saving benefits of your laptops to this unique audience, since you know that your ad will appear only on relevant pages on the placements you’ve selected.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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