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Placement Targeting:

Placement Targeting, earlier called Site Targeting, is a special feature in the setup of a Google AdWords campaign.

Aside from running a keyword targeted campaign, which is the most frequently chosen option, one can also select Placement Targeting


Placement Targeting

Screenshot of the Google AdWords Campaign Management dashboard. To the right the two options for creating a new campaign, the "usual" keyword targeted and the less known Placement Targeted.

Placement Targeting would mean that the advertiser doesn't care about keywords and keyword research but in the campaign setup selects specific websites on which he wants his ad to appear. Only those websites can be selected which are part of Google's content network. That means, the network of website owners who have applied to join the network to be able to publish Google AdSense ads on their sites.

For the advertiser the difference between selecting a keyword targeted campaign with the content network option included (that would mean the ads would not only appear on the Google SERPs but also as AdSense ads on external websites) and a Placement Targeted campaign is, that for keyword targeted he has basically no control on what exact websites his ads will be displayed. This would be determined by Google alone.
In the Placement Targeting mode the advertiser has total control about this factor.

After having created the ad for his campaign the advertiser can select his targeted sites in different ways as shown in the next screenshot:

Placement Targeting

This an example of a Placement Targeted campaign in the category Advertising & Marketing. The advertiser can

  • chose websites from  the whole available content network sites in this category (the "Browse" option),
  • can enter his own topics and Google will list all relevant sites
  • if he has a specific site in mind which he would want to publish his ad he can list the url and find out, if this site is part of the content network and
  • "select demographics" (the option chosen in above screenshot) for even narrower targeting the righ public for his product. For example if the advertiser is promoting some arthritis remedy he would want to target users in an age range of 45+ years.

There are a couple of other important differences between Placement Targeting and keyword targeting:

  • the campaign cost does not depend on the number of ad clicks (CPC) as in keyword targeting but on the number of ad impressions. In the campaign setup the advertiser has to make a max. bid for 1.000 ad impressions (CPM). The CPM depends on the selected website. That means that the campaign will cost him money every time a user visits the targeted website even if he doesn't click on the ad! Therefore the ad copy must be very good to incur clicks. Plus the targeted website has to be very well chosen. Extensive testing will be needed to optimize the campaign.
  • The Google slap with it's quality score for landing pages does not apply to Placement Targeting. Therefore there are no relevancy issues. The advertiser doesn't have to fear raised bid prices because his landing page might not be sufficiently relevant to his ad or the publishing website.

For informed advertisers Placement Targeting can be a very valuable alternative which depending on circumstances may deliver better results than keyword targeting.

[Place comes from Latin platea = courtyard, open space, broad street;

Target comes from Old English targe = light shield (an object to aim at in a battle)]




Recommended Resources:

  • A free video which gives detailed insight in the secrets of successful Placement Targeting (there are several videos on this page. Watch the 3rd from the top).

  • The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords  written by Perry Marshall, generally known as the AdWords expert (you can watch a 2 hours AdWords marketing lecture by him here ).

  • AdWords180 , a very recommended ebook with information on how to deal with the infamous Google Slap and how to structure campaigns to achieve minimum CPCs.

  • Affiliate Radar  is a membership site for PPC advertisers which provides almost everything needed to setup and run a profitable campaign, especially the all important tracking of individual keywords. This feature allows for identifying the profitable keywords and deleting the unprofitable from the campaign.

  • The Landing Page System . Similar but less features than Affiliate Radar. The 2 main differences: 1) it is not a membership but a script hosted on a server. Therefore only a one time expense. 2) It allows dynamic keyword insertion on the landing page according to the user’s search phrase. This is a real conversion booster.

  • You can sign up for a Google AdWords account here


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