PPC Chat Streamcap – AdWords Display Network – Part 1

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another multi-part question set titled “ AdWords Display Network – Part 1.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What are your thoughts on DN topic and interest targeting? How do you best utilize these methods to show great results?

  • I like topic & interest targeting, esp for geotargeted campaigns. Helps broaden reach to relevant eyeballs. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • These are fantastic target refining tools for audience and contextual targeting! – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • I question how relevant interest topic targeting is when you’re not signed in? – Anisha (@dotAnisha)
  • I am almost exclusively using Google Display Network for retargeting, very little topic/interest targeting these days. – John Ellis (@JohnWEllis)
  • I find them to be very similar to broad match, good reach but you need to keep an eye on them. – Justin Freid (@Justin_Freid)
  • Overall, it is OK – I make sure I utilize keywords as well. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Topic and interest targeting can be a bit bigger than keyword ad groups GDN themes, so can be useful for volume. – Harris Neifield (@HarrisNeifield)
  • I’ve seen success with both, but have noticed when one works well in an account the other suffers. – Bethany Bey (@Bethany_Bey)
  • I’ve definitely seen success with Interests/Topics. Hit or miss though. Some go gangbusters and others just bust. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • I’m with John Ellis: Mostly retargeting, but Melissa Mackey brings up a good point. Can be useful for limited geo campaigns. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • Topics are very useful for negative targeting. – Tamsin Mehew (@TamsinMehew)
  • Topics work better than Interests (IMO). And I like laying topics over large-scale sites for better targeting. – Joe Kerschbaum (@JoeKerschbaum)
  • I’ve had more succes with topics than with Interest. – Tousha (@sem_tousha)
  • In my experience while DN topic/Int targeting work for branding DR results aren’t as good as contextual/remarketing. – eliteSEM (@eliteSEM)

Q2: How do you best utilize keywords to make sure your ads show in the most relevant area of DN placements?

  • And as a follow up to Q2 – Do you use keywords when picking your placements? – Matt Umbro
  • I like the contextual targeting tool a lot. i think it helps with building themes, better than our own intuition can. Prefer to use run of network rather than running placement campaigns. starting with placements can cut down volume a lot. – Harris Neifield
    • Yes! The CTT is really great for finding exclusions before you accidentally spend on bad placements. – Heather Cooan
  • Good keyword themes in ad groups works well with the whole network, just run placement reports to weed out bad placements. – Harris Neifield
    • yeah weeding out poor placements seems to be GDN optimization in a nutshell. – Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
  • I don’t usually overlay keywords onto placements, I like to run placements for control and if I need to I go to the page level. – Heather Cooan
  • Start with RON then move to placements as you find out what is working. – Justin Freid
  • The right positive & negative kws plus consistently reviewing PPRs are the keys to have ads show on relevant pages. – eliteSEM
  • I try it various ways. Some just test placements, other testing keywords. Work mostly w/small budgets, so need to be tight. – Mark Kennedy
  • It’s also very important to remember that keywords now match content just like they do on search by single keyword. – Heather Cooan
  • Found that KW targeting get’s the most bang for the buck on DN. Topics/placements are hit and miss. Also, image ads can drive costs up super fast w/ little results. Usually start with text ads, use image ads on tested placements. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
    • You can also try targeting placements that are below the fold w/CPM to take advantage of the Unseen Impression Filter. – Heather Cooan
  • Definitely keep in mind even with contextual targeting moving to the kw level the kw match type will still be broad match. – eliteSEM
  • I use Topics/Interests/Kw/Site combos for hyper-targeted semi-behavioral dynamic experiences that tightly match the combo. I do have broad campaigns with keywords; as well as some without (vio RON). Always scouting for opportunities that way. – James Zolman (@jameszol)

Q3: When creating a managed placement campaign, do you share the desired placements with the client? Why or why not?

  • I usually put together a media plan and run it by them, just for brand protection. – Heather Cooan
  • Yes, I do. In fact I ask for their input on them. Mainly because I want them on board with the strategy. – Mark Kennedy
  • I share with client and also ask them what sites they’d like to show on. Will then check if available via placement tool. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes, and get their feedback. They often recommend additional placements. – Bethany Bey
  • Sometimes clients do NOT want to be on certain placements. They know their biz best! – Melissa Mackey
  • Of course. I want them to know where their ads will be. Gets smaller clients excited to be on big sites. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Yes often placements need approval for some clients. – Harris Neifield
  • We used to do a lot of managed, but after a while the campaigns would tank, now we only do automatic and we see better result. – Lance Wilson (@crestonwave)
  • Not all of us are agencies. I only discuss interesting placements w/ business partners if there is something to note. Of course we all have admin access to our ppc accounts. We’re a very flat, open org. Suggestions fly in from everywhere! – James Zolman
  • Definitely, transparency is key. Start w/ content then goto managed. But there are some sites that are niche & perfect. – eliteSEM
  • If asked I would, clients I’ve worked with care more about big picture than that kind of specific data. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Q4: What are your thoughts on Google’s Display Ad Builder?

  • Tried it once a while back, didn’t like it much, prefer to use a designer. – Mark Kennedy
  • The display ad builder is better than nothing. with text only you only show on sites that take text ads and reach is lower. – Harris Neifield
  • I love using Google’s Display Ad Builder for quick market testing. It has improved a TON over the past year and a half or so. – James Zolman
  • Not a fan of generic templates, always worked in agency with in-house designers that produce much better custom ads. – Timothy Jensen
  • To be honest, I don’t want my clients’ brands being represented through these designs. – Matt Umbro
  • For anyone w/o a designer it’s great if you have time. Tip #1 is make sure all your ad sizes have messages that fit. – eliteSEM
  • Never used it, I’ll turn to MS paint first. – Justin Freid
  • I really like it for the fact I can quickly create new ads. Also good for showcasing multiple products/offers. – Alma Smith (@Alma_Smith)
  • Mostly feel bad for people using it. Lots of $$$ lost. Works in few cases. Remarketing perhaps. – Luke Alley
  • Nowhere near as good as a designer, but can be fast & cost-effective way to get started. – Robert Brady
  • The InVideo static image format is accessed through display ad builder, have seen excellent CTR on that. – Timothy Jensen
  • Glad it’s there for people that don’t have other resources, but don’t feel they look professional. – Bethany Bey
  • Is great for smaller clients who can’t afford creative and for quick launch campaigns. – Heather Cooan

Q5: Who creates image and/or rich media ads for your clients? If you or your agency creates these ads, do you charge a separate fee?

  • We use a freelance designer. – Mark Kennedy
  • Varies by client and circumstances. – Harris Neifield
  • Yes, we are a full service agency so charge hourly for for in-house designers to create ads. – Timothy Jensen
  • 99Designs.com is a great resource. – David Szetela
    • We use 99-We also use freelancers, bannersnack, designpax, 20dollarbanners. – James Zolman
  • Generally, we use in house designer and charge fee per set ads (9 different sizes). – Matt Umbro
  • I’ve mostly worked with clients who design their own. They like to have control over visual ads. – Bethany Bey
  • Sometimes clients do; if we do (which we can), we charge separately. – Melissa Mackey
  • We have an in house designer, but give our clients the option to provide us with one or have us create one. – Welborn Social Media (@WelbornMedia)

Q6: What is your criteria for excluding placements? In other words, why would you choose to exclude a specific DN placement?

  • I exclude a placement if it’s inappropriate or isn’t converting. – Harris Neifield
  • Irrelevance, lack of conversions, low CTR. – Timothy Jensen
  • #1 performance, #2 way off topic (if not enough data yet). – Luke Alley
    • I see a lot of sub-1% CTRs in GDN and they don’t bother me. – Robert Brady
      • I usually leave high impr count ads alive unless we’re in a cpm campaign and it’s costing a lot w/out direct roi. – James Zolman
  • Bad performance (high CPL/CPO); or where we can definitely tell we’re not matching the right audience + high impressions/cost. – eliteSEM
  • If costs too high. otherwise, leave alive. – James Zolman
  • If it has anything to do with Justin Bieber. I swear I find those placements in all my accounts. – Bethany Bey
  • Q6.1 What about when you see weird placements in remarketing campaigns? Do you exclude these sites?
    • Weird is subjective. if it’s weird and converts, don’t exclude. if it’s weird and doesn’t convert, exclude. – Harris Neifield
    • If they convert they stay! – Matt Umbro
    • I rarely exclude in remarketing unless sites aren’t performing. Ppl visit weird sites. – Melissa Mackey
    • Lean much more towards ROI in remarketing cases. Weird sites could still convert. – Luke Alley
    • Definitely not unless they are inappropriate sites in terms of content. We target the person and not the site for remarketing. – eliteSEM
    • Excuse me, remarketing. Don’t exclude unless it’s inappropriate. you’re targeting the person not the site. – Harris Neifield
    • I let remarketing run wild unless it’s really ridiculous (subjective). – Mark Kennedy
    • With remarketing or GDN interests I think it doesn’t matter where your ad shows as long as it’s converting (for the most part). – Logan Durant (@THELoganDurant)
    • No. I’ve had clients contact me when they see their ad on weird sites though, then had to explain remarketing. – Bethany Bey

Resources

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

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This guy will pop a PPC StreamCAP in yo azz!

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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