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PPC tips and advice

Google AdWords enhancements

Google continues to introduce a number of new or improved features within the AdWords Account Management area which help to improve the planning and targeting of PPC campaigns.

The first enhancement was the inclusion of search volume numbers in the keyword research tool. Previously any comparison between search term volumes reported by Google was limited to a small coloured bar which was not particularly useful, other than to provide some rank between different terms.

Google is now showing this data as actual numbers, although each search terms is given a figure that isn't specific, it does give a better impression of likely volumes over a monthly period and allows for better comparisons between terms. The accuracy of the data against 'live' campaign information for the same period looks good for most terms although some variation is evident although there can be other factors driving this figure.

Since the demise of the old Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool, Google's Keyword Tool has become the best free source of keyword data, particularly as it is also coming from the most popular search tool as well. With the inclusion of trend date over the past 12 months and rough estimating tools for ranking position and average cost per click based on bid prices, Google is continuing to develop this as a good planning tool, whether you are running a PPC campaign or looking at SEO development.

The second development introduced in the past month has been Placement Targeting, which is now a more prominent feature of an AdWords campaign and enables more control over the Content Targeted network, so that individual third-party websites can be targeted with keywords to achieve better targeting and bid price control.

Placement targeting can either be included within existing AdGroups, or set up as a separate campaign. A new Placements tab in the AdGroup control panel provides advertisers with the option of including this feature and targeting specific domains, or even sections of large sites, through a number of selection tools.

The advertiser's advert will still appear within the content targeted network if this is selected, but with Placement Targeting there is now more control over bidding strategies on domains that are more relevant to their market. You can select sites by browsing subject categories, searching sites related to keywords, or by finding similar sites to known domains that are relevant.

The list of suggested sites that Google presents includes details on the ad formats available and the likely impressions per day. The focus of the tool does leave something to be desired in some markets, but by selecting specific websites and adjusting bid levels, advertisers can put more focus on this part of their AdWords campaign and combine targeted sites with specific keywords for greater focus.

This article was first published in the August 2008 edition of our monthly newsletter.

If you'd like to know more about how Placement Targeting can extend the performance of your Google AdWords campaign, please contact us for more details. Alternatively, please request a FREE website assessment and see what you could achieve with a successful search engine marketing campaign.