If you’ve chosen contextual targeting as your approach to the Google Display Network, Google’s Contextual Targeting Tool is your new best friend! This tool makes recommendations on how to structure a display network campaign and what keywords to target. Most importantly, this tool gives you insight into how Google identifies themes for ad groups in display network campaigns. Watch this short tutorial on how to use the Contextual Targeting Tool and how to tailor the results to your specific account.

Google’s Contextual Targeting Tool: Video Script

There are many ways to approach advertising on the Google Display Network, and one of the most beneficial is contextual targeting.  In this approach, an advertiser sorts targeted keywords into very tightly themed ad groups, which Google then matches with the content on pages within its display network. But for this to work well, ad groups need to be small, with only 3-5 keywords.  Making such tiny, specific ad groups requires a different approach than you use in search campaigns, but don’t be daunted: Google’s contextual targeting tool is here to help!

The contextual targeting tool enables users to quickly and easily create keyword lists. You simply type in the keywords or phrases you want to target and within seconds Google creates a list of keywords sorted into suggested ad groups. The contextual targeting tool will give you insight into how Google identifies themes for ad groups, while also helping you create more tightly themed ad groups for your Display Network campaigns.

Here’s how it works:

To find the Contextual Targeting Tool, go to the Reporting and Tools tab and then select it from the drop-down menu. You can also find it on the Opportunities tab under “Tools.”

Enter your target phrases or keywords into the search box. When choosing keywords, our best practice at Hanapin is to pick top-performing search terms and build display ad groups around them.

Next, click on “Advanced options” under the search box. Here you choose the location and language you want to target.

Then click search and watch Google work its magic!

Google sorts the keywords into suggested ad groups and also offers a Max CPC bid for each. This suggested bid is based on historical bids for ads that have been competitive on the sites your ad group is predicted to appear on.

There are three ways you can tailor Google’s suggestions to your account.

First, you can filter out words you don’t want.  Let’s say I don’t sell surf skate shoes in my “Surf Shoes” keyword list. I can simply delete that item and save the new list.

A second way to tailor Google’s suggestions is to expand a suggested ad group. Click “Expand” next to the ad group you’d like to dig deeper into and Google will generate more ad group options. However, keep your products or services in mind. If I don’t sell Soft Surfboards, I don’t want to include the suggested Soft Surfboards ad group.

Thirdly, you can customize Google’s results through the predicted placements. Click on an ad group and Google will show a list of the pages it believes an ad from that ad group will appear on. If you click “Expand All” you’ll see the specific page within the site that your ad could appear. This feature is especially helpful because you can see which sites would bring in irrelevant clicks before you waste your budget, and you can then exclude them from your display network campaign.

After you’ve customized Google’s suggestions, click the ad groups you want to keep and choose “Export to Adwords Editor.” You’ll be prompted to enter a campaign name, but this isn’t required. Once you hit export, your data will open in a .csv file.

From here, you can change the suggested max CPC bid to make it most appropriate for your account. Once the file is complete, import it into the AdWords Editor. Be sure to set the daily budget and target only the Display Network. Post the changes and voila! You have new, tightly themed ad groups running on the Display Network.

The Contextual Targeting Tool is still in beta, but considering the high value of this tool, we hope that it will be available to all advertisers in the coming months.

Thank you for tuning into Hanapin Marketing’s video blog. For more news and information about the pay per click industry, check out our blog at PPC Hero.com and our Twitter account, PPCHero.