Managing a content network PPC campaign is different from the standard search network campaign management.

Watch the video below if you’re just starting out with content network advertising.

In this post I’ll cover more advanced optimization strategies. Whether you’re new to the Content Network or have been using it for a while, you can get better results from your campaigns by employing some of these strategies.

Build effective campaigns

Taking time up front to set up your campaign correctly goes a long way in getting higher quality traffic to your site. The top strategies are:

  • Separate Search and Content Network campaigns: Setting up a separate campaign just for the Content Network will give you more control over daily budgets, ad groups, keywords and bids.
  • Create many, tightly themed ad groups: AdWords can target your ads more precisely if you build multiple ad groups, each with a small tightly-themed set of 5 to 20 keywords.
  • Copy your best performing text ads from Search campaigns: For initial setup, it’s best to use the text ads with the highest click-through rates from your search campaigns.
  • Setup the same starting CPC bid as your Search campaigns, but monitor impressions and clicks often and slowly lower the bids every 4 hours or so, until you are satisfied with your CPC
  • Set up Hitslink Conversion Tracking on your website. It is imperative to know which ad groups are converting and which should be paused.

Optimize for better results

It’s important to monitor your campaign’s performance and consistently optimize individual elements. Before making significant changes (e.g. changing bids, excluding high volume sites, pausing ad groups), wait until you’ve accumulated enough click or conversion data. We recommend having at least 5 conversions or 100 clicks per site.

  • Exclude poor-performing sites: Get more qualified traffic and boost conversions by excluding sites that perform poorly for your campaign, based on the number of clicks, the average CPC and the number of conversions.
  • Focus your keywords and exclude less relevant keywords: Add more keywords that describe your product and ad group theme in greater detail. Also, add negative keywords to refine your targeting and prevent impressions on irrelevant sites.
  • Adjust your bids to manage your costs: Change your bids for ad groups or individual sites based on conversion rate, average CPC and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) to meet your performance goals. You should bid higher for better performing sites to get more traffic, and lower for poorly performing sites.

Expand your campaign for more traffic

To get additional traffic and boost sales from your campaign, we recommend creating a keyword expansion strategy for the Content Network.

  • Use the Wonder Wheel tool for ad group ideas: You can use Wonder Wheel on Google Search to brainstorm new ad group themes and keyword ideas. When you search for any topic on, Wonder Wheel will generate up to eight related topics for you to consider.
  • Create new ad groups to reach additional parts of the network: Each topic in Wonder Wheel represents a possible ad group theme for your campaign. Simply click on any of the topics to see other searches and themes related to it. Any closely related topics that are less relevant to your product are great candidates for your negative keyword list.
  • Expand your keyword list to get more traffic: Once you have finalized your ad group themes, use the AdWords Keyword Tool to get keyword ideas. Enter ad group theme descriptions or keywords under the ‘Descriptive words or phrases’ tab. Select the 5 to 10 most frequently searched keywords and save them to your ad group This will help to ensure that your list stays highly relevant to your ad group theme.

I hope these tips help you get even better results from your Content network campaigns! For more in-depth and detailed analysis of your search terms and web site optimization requirements, retaining an SEO consulting firm can lead to increased search engine visibility and consequently ROI.

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