Over the past couple years, I have been using the content network to drive massive amounts of traffic to my offers. It’s no secret that the content network has made many super-affiliates multi-millionaires.
I remember when every guru would recommend that you opt out of the content network. While that was the case early on, it’s definately not the case now. Google has developed some really great tools to let you optimize your content network campaigns.
Not only can you run placement reports and exclude URL’s that are costing you money and not converting, you can also use the “Exclusion Tool” and ditch specific topics. Be careful here though.
It’s hard to believe but I’ve had great success with certain offers on parked domains and error pages, two topics most people will tell you to opt out of right away. While these topics may not work in every market, I find it worthwhile to spend the extra testing cash to see how they perform before I pull the trigger and opt out of them.
With all that said, what would be some good “rules of the thumb” for content network campaigns? Let’s take a look:
1) Use 30-200 keywords per adgroup, tightly themed. This has been a great debate, but I will tell you that my traffic is always a lot higher and better quality when I do this. The less keywords you use, the more of a “broad” URL list your ads end up on. It’s like telling google, “I’m willing to test on a wide variety of broadly semi-related sites”. When you add a lot of keywords, Google sees the theme you are looking for, and places you accordingly.
2) Use your placement reports to the fullest. Make sure you run a placement report after 7 days or so at the URL and adgroup level. This way you can be completely granular in your optimization efforts, and not excluding entire domains when really, it could have just been one URL on that domain that was losing you money. Also, add high converting URL’s as placements in the adgroup the conversion came from, and bid a lot higher on them. This will ensure you stay there!
3) Don’t pause your campaign. What I mean is, unless you want to stop it because you are losing a ton of money, never just flat out pause a content campaign thinking that when you restart, everything will be fine. It won’t be. When you pause a campaign, Google has to go and find people to fill your spots. When you unpause, those spots are gone and you’ll be starting over. You’re telling Google, “OK cool! Now let’s start all over”
4) Don’t be afraid to try CPM bidding on favorable URL’s. Seeing a URL getting a very high conversion rate? Look at the domain and see if the adsense ads are above the fold. If they are, target the page in a new campaign using the exact same ads from the profitable converting adgroup. You can also create an image that will take up the whole ad block on that URL which will skyrocket your CTR and give you massive sales. *Just make sure the placement is favorable because it could take a day or two for traffic to stop on a CPM campaign!! Imagine having your ad at the bottom and getting few clicks but paying $10-$15 per 1000 impressions… ouch!
All in all, if you find the right offer, and optimize your campaign properly, you can make a lot of money very quickly on the content network.
Just test test and test again until you find the right offer, and you’ll be surprised how much the content network can mean to your business.