Modcloth and Inflection Drive Performance with Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting

Advertisers use contextual targeting on the Google Display Network to reach new customers as they browse content related to their products and services. In March we launched Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting, which enabled our display advertisers to manage their contextual campaigns with the same level of precision and granularity as search. In a few short months we’ve been delighted to see how it’s translated into real results for our customers, and today we’d like to shine a light on two specific examples.

Modcloth, an online retailer selling vintage inspired clothing, had been using contextual targeting on the Google Display Network as a way to scale their message across a wide variety of sites. Their challenge was figuring out which keywords were triggering which conversions across their multiple product lines. With keyword level reporting and optimization levers, Theresa Rockovich, Modcloth’s SEM Manager, was excited to finally put her SEM skills to work. “Before the ability to target and bid on keywords, we were barely making these campaigns profitable. Now that we’ve been able to adjust our bids and see which keywords are driving performance, margins are the healthiest they’ve ever been.” In nine weeks, their keyword-level optimizations helped turn three unprofitable contextual campaigns into some of their highest performers. Their jewelry lines saw a 460% increase in click-through-rates and their dresses campaign saw a 700% increase in ROI.

Andrew Wong, Marketing Director at Inflection, similarly took a search-focused approach to managing their contextual campaigns. “We took the shell of our search campaigns and copied them onto the Google Display Network” and created specific page URLs for each product line. After a few weeks of generating traffic, they turned on the Display Campaign Optimizer – the Google Display Network’s auto-optimization tool that automatically manages targeting and bidding – and the results were phenomenal. With the help of DCO, they increased conversions by 480% at a cost-per-action 10% lower than the rest of their display campaigns.

Keyword level targeting is one of the many reasons why our Display Campaign Optimizer  has improved in both accuracy and efficiency the past year. We've seen advertisers are usually able to reach their target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) in about two weeks, versus the two months it often took before these changes. Coupled with new bidding capabilities, such as real-time bidding, MaxCPC and Enhanced CPC, DCO is now available to use on ‘hybrid’ search and display campaigns.

And it gets even better
In addition to keyword targeting, bidding and reporting, today we’re announcing  new keyword status messages to assist advertisers troubleshoot for more effective and consistent keyword matching and delivery. Now you’ll know if a keyword is pointing to a suspended site, has been disapproved, or if it matches too few pages (Few Page Matches). We’ve also added a notification that alerts users with display-only campaigns when a Display Network bid - which overrides keyword bids when ads are shown on the Google Display Network - is in place. We recommend removing the Display Network Bid in display-only campaigns to take advantage of keyword level bidding. Click here to learn how.

Learn More
We look forward to seeing even more success stories as we continue to roll out these new features! To learn more about how to implement these strategies into your display campaigns, download the Google Display Network Guide here!

Posted by Katie Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager Google Display Network

More ‘Flexible’ Targeting on the Google Display Network

Last month we introduced the Display Network tab, a new interface in AdWords dedicated to making display buying easier and more efficient by combining your targeting, bidding and optimizing in one place. To give you even more control over your display ads, we’re pleased to announce the new Flexible reach targeting setting on the new Display Network tab.

In the next couple of weeks, the Networks and devices section of your Settings tab in AdWords will include a new targeting option called “Flexible reach.” Flexible reach enables you to fine-tune where your ads show by choosing your settings at the ad group level instead of the campaign level. This will give you more control over where your ads appear and who sees them.

Why the Change?
Today, you can manage your display targeting on the campaign level by selecting Broad reach or Specific reach.
  • When you select Broad reach, your ads are shown on pages that match your primary targeting method.
  • When you select Specific reach, your ads will show on pages that match all of your targeting methods.
Flexible reach allows you to select any combination of multiple targeting selections at the ad group level, plus the control to combine different methods for targeting and bidding at the ad group level. It also provides transparency into how your targeting selections are affecting the reach and impression volume of your campaigns.

How will this affect my campaigns today?
The Flexible reach campaign setting will appear as an optional setting in AdWords accounts in June and will eventually replace the Broad and Specific reach options later this year.

Once you’ve selected this option in an existing campaign, you can’t revert back to Broad or Specific reach and any new ad group will have Flexible reach by default. Your current targeting and bidding selections will remain the same, but you’ll now have the control to select how to target and bid on an individual ad group basis.

Learn More!
To find out more about how to take advantage of Flexible reach, visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Subha Subramanian, Product Manager, Flexible Reach

Display Campaign Optimizer Available to All

Recently we announced the most significant enhancement to our contextual engine ever: the ability to optimize Google Display Network campaigns down to the keyword level using Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. These new controls will help advertisers fine-tune their campaign performance on a completely new level - like upgrading from a standard engine to a 6-speed manual gear-shift race car. For advertisers that prefer to put their campaigns on cruise-control and let Google technology do the heavy lifting, our suite of automatic optimization tools maximize the performance of your Google Display Network campaigns while saving you valuable time and resources. From adjusting bids with Conversion Optimizer and Enhanced CPC, to automatically finding optimal placements around the network with Display Campaign Optimizer - these features help advertisers achieve their ROI goals, with a fraction of the effort.

Display's Self-Driving Car - Display Campaign Optimizer
The Display Campaign Optimizer was launched in 2010 as a limited beta, and since has become one of our most popular automation tools for large advertisers managing high volume campaigns. In addition to fully automating your targeting and bidding, it uses a variety of signals like context, demographics and interest categories to find additional conversions across our vast AdSense publisher network - all at your desired CPA.

Watch how it works

As we highlighted last fall, advertisers have had great success using Display Campaign Optimizer. Recently it helped Dale Carnegie Training expand their online reach to more than 85 countries in the world without a lot of hands-on effort. After implementing the Display Campaign Optimizer on two campaigns, they increased conversions by 308% and 101% in only six months while maintaining a steady cost-per-lead.

Dale Carnagie Wins Friends and Influences Buyers with Display Campaign Optimizer

Now Open to All
With greater adoption and a significantly improved engine, we’re excited to announce that Display Campaign Optimizer is exiting “beta” and available to all advertisers through AdWords. Previously only large advertisers with very high conversion volumes (150/month) could take advantage of this powerful tool. The new and improved Display Campaign Optimizer now has the same low conversion requirement (15/month) as Conversion Optimizer. This means you can simply opt-into DCO on any campaign running on Conversion Optimizer and take advantage of the added benefit of more conversions!

Get Started!
Starting today you can easily set-up Display Campaign Optimizer campaigns in AdWords. For more information on how to set up your Display Campaign Optimizer campaigns, review our step-by - step guide on our AdWords Help Center.

A better way to buy display

Editor's note (Monday, May 7th, 2012, 11:41 am PST): We have updated the date of the Display webinar mentioned below to June 19th.

Display advertising has undergone a bit of a fairytale-like transformation over the past several years, from the medium of “Click Here!” banner ads, to one that can be smart and sexy and help bring big ideas (even those from advertising’s past) to life. Now that display has had its “Cinderella moment,” we figured the “carriage” could use an upgrade as well. So today, we’re unveiling some changes designed to simplify the way you buy and run display through AdWords.

Display’s New Home in AdWords
For nine years, AdWords customers have been buying display campaigns through an interface designed for search. This is like trying to run in glass slippers -- it might work, but it’d be a lot more effective with the right running shoes. So we’re giving display its own tab within AdWords. Rolling out over the next few weeks, the new Display Network Tab is an interface built from the ground up to run display campaigns, and will enable you to bid, target and optimize display campaigns all from a single place. Click the image below to see the different Display Network Tab targeting options.

Display Network Tab

A Revved-Up Contextual Engine
The contextual engine, which matches ads to pages based on keywords, is at the heart of display-buying through AdWords. We’ve been hard at work behind-the-scenes to give this engine its biggest enhancement ever, the ability to combine the reach of display with the precision of search, using Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. This means that you can fine-tune the performance of your contextual campaigns down to individual keyword level, which will help you take the performance of your marketing campaign to a completely new level. It’s now easier for you to extend search campaigns to display and more efficient to run the two types of campaigns together.

For example, let’s say you’re running display campaigns for a Travel Agency who offers a vacation packages in several Caribbean islands. In the past, you would have created themed ad groups targeting vacations to Turks and Caicos and the Caribbean. Now, with this new keyword level transparency you might realize that the keyword “Turks and Caicos vacations” is 4 times more profitable than the keyword “caribbean vacations”. You can optimize your campaigns to aggressively target these high performing keywords, and be more conservative on “caribbean vacations”.

Giving a Visual Edge
And like the writers of the best fairytales know, sometimes pictures communicate better than words (or numbers). Along with the new Display Network Tab and contextual engine, we’re introducing a way to visualize the reach of your campaigns, and see how that reach is impacted by combining multiple targeting types, such as keywords, placements, topics, interests or remarketing.

These changes are some of our biggest steps to date towards bringing together the science of search advertising with the art of display. We hope they give you some powerful new tools to connect with their customers and deliver engaging and relevant display ads.

Learn More
We’re rolling out the new Display Network Tab to all advertisers in the upcoming coming weeks.
For more information on what’s new on the Display Network Tab visit our help center article.

Please join Google in our upcoming webinar on June 19th to learn more about optimizing your targeting strategies for campaigns using the Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. Check out our new webinar page to register.

Watch Brad Bender, Director of Product Management for Display talk about the new Display Network Tab and the Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting.