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


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.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

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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