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Eliminate CTR penalties using Adwords placement campaigns.  A placement campaign allows you to specify which websites will display your ad.  This gives you an opportunity to improve the quality of content network traffic.

Assuming you are familiar with the proposed Adwords strategy, you’ll recall that the key to getting low cost per clicks with Adwords is relevance. Relevance is determined by two means. First Adwords checks your keyword, ad and landing page to assign a quality score. The guide discussed in detail how to get a good or great initial quality score.

Second, Google reevaluates the relevance and quality score using the Click Through Rate or CTR. Adwords will assume that your landing page is relevant if consumers click on your ads. So, the more consumers that click on your ads, the higher the quality score you receive. On the other hand, if you have many impressions but a low CTR Adwords will penalize you and lower the quality score. The process is very much like Darwin’s natural selection where strong ads are rewarded and weak ads penalized. A half percent CTR is required for maintaining a good quality score. A half percent CTR means one click per every 200 impressions.

There are a few options for an ad that has stopped showing due to a poor CTR.

1) Delete the keyword and ad. Generally this is a good idea because it will keep the poor performing ad from dragging down the entire campaign CTR.

2) Rewrite the sales copy to make it more compelling and increase the CTR. Your ad must still be showing for this to work.

3) Pay a higher cost per click to have the ad appear again.

There is an alternative to the keyword driven campaign that eliminates relevance, the CTR reevaluation and just about any other Adwords penalty you can think of. It’s an Adwords placement campaign where you pay per impression. Adwords does not charge you per click. Instead you pay per impression or CPM, which is the number of times your ad is shown.

An Adwords pay per impression campaign doesn’t need to track relevance, quality score or CTR. Adwords doesn’t care how your ad performs. You will be paying for impressions, not performance. Adwords has shifted the burden of monitoring the performance to you.

You have to track your performance. You don’t want to pay for thousands impressions of an ad that doesn’t generate clicks. You must be sure you have a compelling ad that generates clicks.

In addition, you can choose which websites will display your ad. This allows you to target a specific audience and market. Generally speaking the content network traffic in Adwords is the lowest quality traffic. This is traffic that doesn’t convert well after it has come to your landing page. The content network is Adsense publishers, so you have websites trying to get ad clicks by any means necessary, which results in lower quality traffic than Google Search traffic.

But with the pay per impression campaign, you can specify which websites to advertise on. For example, you can advertise on About,com, which is owned by the New York Times. You can be assured that the Adsense tactics used on will lead to higher quality traffic.

Pay per impression is a viable alternative for getting into a competitive market. If you find that regular Adwords campaign is too competitive, try a placement targeted campaign, either CPM as discussed or a CPC campaign. Again, make sure you have a compelling ad first.

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