Google wants to make advertising easy. They describe AdWords in simple terms, they make setup quick and easy, and they provide simple reporting on the stuff that suggests progress.
But the gun has no safety.
AdWords makes it remarkably easy to do insanely stupid and wasteful things. Things they could easily prevent at the cost of simplicity for you and revenue for them.
Take content network advertising, for example.
The idea of bundled, co-mingled search network and content network advertising is crazy. The two have almost nothing in common. Mixing them assures poor and confusing results. And yet bundling is the system default.
So you should un-bundle.
Why Search is Not Content and Content Is Not Search
Google search and the search partners are search query based. Ad show when people execute specific searches matched to your ads via keywords and match types and quality scores and bids.
The content network is site targeted or contextual. Ads show when people are visiting a specific site or type of content, based on keywords and quality score and bids.
They keywords are different (one is an attempt to match queries, the other content), match types are different (content doesn’t have them), quality scores are calculated separately using different formulas, performance is wildly different (much lower CTRs on content networds in most cases), the types of ad copy that is effective is different, and on and on.
The fact that AdWords opts you into an automatically inappropriately managed advertising channel is astounding. It’s as if there were a ‘Waste 25% of my budget’ option. And they checked it for you by default.
Do not accept their kind offer.
The Content Network Is A Good Place To Advertise
None of this is to say that there is anything wrong with the content network. There was a few years ago, and Google has done a great job of improving it to the point where it is a viable and valuable advertising channel if appropriately managed.
But it has to be managed on its own terms, independantly of the search networks.
It works differently, had different options, and different success metrics. It’s a different advertising channel.
You should learn about the content network, allocate time to exploit it, and profit from it. But don’t get fooled into thinking that if you don’t have the time or knowledge to do so you can just tag it onto your search campaigns and get even marginal results. Do it right or don’t do it.
NOTE: Other than this one, the 21 Secrets of High-Resolution PPC are focused on the search networks. To learn more about the content networks, we recommend the book ‘Customers Now’ by David Szetela. (You can get a free ebook download, or order a hardcopy version.)
What Do You Think?
This blog post is part of a series extending and amplifying the ideas in our free ebook ’21 Secret Truths of High-Resolution PPC’.
What they’re saying: “Everything you know about AdWords is the basics Google wanted you to know. Just enough to get you hooked. But what if there was fundamental secrets that they neglected to share? Would you want to know them? Now you can! 21 Secrets Truths is what you must read, no, act on, before your competitors do.”
– Bryan Eisenberg Conversion Expert and New York Times Best-Selling Author ’.
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