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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    February 11th, 2008
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    Using "Placement" vs. "KeyWord" search in AdWords
    I'd appreciate any thoughts on how to think about when to use placement or content bidding vs. keyword search bidding for Google adwords campaigns. Does it all come down to the best ROI? Or are there situations when the lower bid price and broader exposure make it worthwhile despite the lower ROI?

    I have begun to separate all my campaigns so I no longer combine search and placement.... just to make the analysis a little easier. I hope there isn't some hidden negative impact that I'll encounter from that decision?!?

    BTshoes

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Winter Park, FL
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    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by BTshoes
    I have begun to separate all my campaigns so I no longer combine search and placement.... just to make the analysis a little easier. I hope there isn't some hidden negative impact that I'll encounter from that decision?!?
    Smart move.

    Quote Originally Posted by BTshoes
    I'd appreciate any thoughts on how to think about when to use placement or content bidding vs. keyword search bidding for Google adwords campaigns. Does it all come down to the best ROI? Or are there situations when the lower bid price and broader exposure make it worthwhile despite the lower ROI?
    Quote Originally Posted by BTshoes
    no longer combine search and placement
    For clarity though, let's first talk about the words you're using a little more.

    "search" can refer to Google itself ("google search") and also the partners google has that are considered search network partners ("google search network"). Those search partners include good sources like AOL and ASK, but they also include some cruddy stuff, like parked domains.

    "placement" is one way to reach sites that use AdSense to display ads as part of the google content network. Placement can be run on a CPC basis as well as a CPM basis, I'd advise against the CPM method if you're an ROI based marketer. Other ways to reach the content network include keyword-targeted contextual (the most popular method, and good choice for ROI based marketers) and pay per action (PPA). PPA is generally not for affiliates because you need conversion snippets installed and linked to both your adwords account and your cart's confirmation (thanks for buying) page, not normally doable for affs. G also has partners in radio, tv, newspapers, magazines and other print mediums that can be targeted.

    As for what's best... as an affiliate, it's my opinion that your priorities, based on your best chance of positive ROI at G, go:
    1) g search
    2) g search network
    3) g content network via keyword-targeted
    4) g content network via placement, bid as cpc
    5) g content network via ppa (if the possibility exists, rarely does for affs)
    6) g print
    7) g audio / radio
    8) g content network via placement, bid as cpm

    Obviously, this order doesn't always work out exactly this way, especially once you get past the top 4 spots. But it's safe to assume it'll likely work out this way until you test your specific campaigns and find it otherwise.

    3 & 4 are also close if you use 4 properly, but few people do. I recommend affiliates new to ppc use 3, not 4. If you've been using 3, split out and separated from everything else for more than 6 months, then begin experimenting with 4 to improve your ROI. What 4 allows is further specificity than 3 - so you can find high ROI sites mainly through 3, then seek to control some of the larger scale ones, on a more precise basis, using 4. With that kind of control, 4's ROI can surpass 3's. 4 can also be a great way to experiment with different media tuned for very specific audiences. For branding campaigns (usually not an affiliate activity, but can be), 4 provides a great opportunity to reach truckloads of folks.

    The content network (3,4,5,8) allows all of these formats: text, banner & video. The particular format that works best for your needs can also change the order of all the above priorities substantially.

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