Posted by Matthew Roderick Eschert, Account Manager
The Content Network can be a cost effective way to increase visibility for your brand and conversions for your products. However, Content Network traffic must be closely monitored in order to uncover which Content Network sites are driving conversions and which are not. Advertisers can then opt out of lower-performing sites to increase the quality of Content Network traffic. This also decreases costs as you are excluding low quality traffic from certain Content Network domains.
One of the best ways to evaluate Content Network traffic is to look outside the search management platform (i.e. DART Search) to your onsite analytics (i.e. Google Analytics). Site analytics can be used to proactively help optimize the paid search channel in several ways, especially by segmenting visitors from the Google and Yahoo! content networks. User segmentation allows you to identify poorer performing sites that Google and Yahoo! farm search traffic out to.
For example, Performics recently combined back-end client data with Google Analytics to analyze Yahoo! Content Network performance. This revealed client ads that were serving on suspect and poor-performing Yahoo! partner sites. A grouping of the 24 poorest performing sites accounted for 12,000+ clicks and only 23 conversions over a three month period. This came to a 0.19% conversion rate. These sites were then added to the Yahoo! Content Network domain exclusion list. In a two-week period following exclusions, overall Yahoo! Content Network conversion rate for the client increased 255% to 2.69% from 1.05%. These results show that the key to Content Network targeting is to have a measurement, domain exclusion and optimization strategy in place.