There are three major components to executing a Google AdWords advertising campaign.
1. Ad creation
2. Media planning
3. Media buying
After you’ve figured out what your ad will look like and how you’re going to pay for it, the only thing left to do is figure out where your ads will show. If you’re smart, you’ve picked sites that are highly relevant to your product and sales efforts. For example, advertisements about your line of coin-operated dog washing machines would best be displayed when people are looking at blogs on pet care or while reading a news story about a local dog walk-a-thon. Contextual marketing is an arrangement that puts your advertisements in all the right places among the abundant sites in the Google Display Network.
The Google AdWords Contextual Targeting Tool allows you to develop “tightly themed” keyword lists for any of your ad campaigns on the Google Display Network. The Contextual Targeting Tool is one of the smartest AdWords developments to ever come out of the Engineering offices in Mountain View, California.
Why? Because keyword lists are sometimes tough to develop and media planning in advertising (figuring out where best to run your advertisements) is tedious and often suffers from human error that leads to flat returns.
Over the years, contextual advertising has made a significant impact on revenues for commercial sites. Because these advertisements are highly-targeted (in terms of placement and promotion), the ads are certain to see a greater click-through rate (CTR) and any analytics are expected to show more engaged visitors and a higher time on site.
Human error no longer a concern? Perhaps. Depends on how well you manage the tool for each of your specific campaigns.
Here’s the set-up: The main factors that go into effective contextual targeting are the keywords in your lists and the current ads in your campaign. Obviously, with keyword-to-target-site relevancy in mind, the more specific your keywords are, the better you’ll fare. Narrow keyword phrases like “dog washing” are going to help populate your ads with greater overall targeting effectiveness than a broad term like “pet care.” As stated before, keywords lists are often difficult to develop – hence the need for a clever Contextual Targeting Tool.
Where to get it:
You can find the Contextual Targeting Tool in AdWords by clicking on the “Campaigns” tab and then expanding your online campaigns in the Navigation Panel. Click on the Ad group that you would like to address and go to the “Opportunities” tab. The Contextual Targeting Tool for this Ad group is found on the bottom-left “Tools” menu.
To use the Contextual Targeting Tool, add a few of your most-relevant keywords to the blank Contextual targeting field. The tool will return a three-column list that includes suggested ad groups, other suggested keywords to consider, and suggested bids.
You can then select any of the suggested ad groups and edit the suggested keywords to further narrow your target audience. Also, clicking on the blue-highlighted ad groups will show you a URL list of where your new ad group is likely to appear. Very cool.
At this point, the Contextual Targeting Tool allows you to create new ad groups with the suggested related keywords. You will need to download and use the AdWords Editor to do this.
A word of CAUTION here: when you import your new ad groups into the AdWords Editor, you will want to review and change the Max CPC you’re willing to pay for each. The import feature brings over the “suggested bid” information as well.
In the end, the reviews are fairly positive. The Contextual Targeting Tool should help optimize the performance of your Display Network campaigns if you’ll take the time to make the fine adjustments to the keywords lists yourself. It’s clever but far from perfect. Some of your keyword suggestion will seem strange from time to time. It’s your ad, your market, so expect to spend some time refining. The guys at Google are smart but they’re not mind readers. The tool is likely to offer many advertisers a much simpler pathway toward quickly creating targeted campaigns, reducing business processes and getting your word out to the market in short time. This is a good thing.