Posted by Tessa Jackman, Account Manager
One of the best ways to maximize visibility on high funnel, competitive keywords is to use the Content Network in conjunction with search. The Content Network allows advertisers another way, in addition to search, of getting into the consumer’s consideration set. While brand terms tend to be most efficient for search, generic terms can become pricey. The Content Network helps advertisers get in front of consumers at a lower cost than generic search terms. Google recently found that for advertisers incorporating both a search and Content Network strategy, the Content Network can be as cost-effective as search.
Conversion rates are generally lower on the Content Network, but because of the reach of the network, cost per impression is very economical. In terms of reach, the Google Content Network (GCN) reaches 80% of all global Web users; it has an audience larger than Google.com. The GCN features sites like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and CBS Sportsline. According to Google, the GCN drives close to 20% of total conversions for advertisers running an integrated Content Network and search program.
The key to Content Network targeting is to have a strategic plan in place for measurement and optimization. Copy should be tested and specifically tailored for content targeting; keep in mind that the consumer may be doing research or just surfing the web when they see your content ad. Advertisers should also closely measure performance on the Content Network and opt out from non-performing sites or sites not aligned with their brand. This allows the advertiser to increase the quality of Content Network traffic and ensure that their message is reaching the most targeted audience. For example, a computer review site may drive high quality traffic for a laptop retailer and aid in getting that retailer into the consumer’s consideration set. Individual sites on the Content Network should be continually evaluated in terms of performance for the advertiser. Reporting must be in place to find what sites are working or not working.
The Content Network can be a cost efficient way to increase brand awareness, consumer engagement and even conversions as long as there’s a testing, measurement and optimization strategy in place.