John Lee of Clix Marketing presented first in this session and chimed in on the consistent theme of HeroConf: use solid persona research to funnel new types of traffic to your site. Use more types of targeting to reach people you might not have thought you could reach, or should reach. Test everything.
Placements play a large part in how we can optimize the display network. John laid out a few different ways he suggests finding the best placements for your campaigns
The Display Planner
It’s OK. It gives you important demographic data like age and gender in addition to what sizes of ads you can place there, and it’s gotten quite a bit better since the upgrade. But there may be better and more creative ways for you to expand and grow.
Look in the top results from any search engine for the theme or keyword you’re targeting. It’s very likely that some of these pages will have the Google Adsense network enabled. Hover over an ad on their site, if the suggested URL in the bottom left corner of your browser says “Ads.Doubleclick” then it’s on the Google Display Network (GDN).
Not as dirty as it may sound! And sometimes you find something really good…. There are likely already a ton of sites waiting around to be found and utilized in some of your other display campaigns. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t also scour them for ideas.
Are the blogs or online publications in your vertical on the GDN? You can plug them into the Display planner and find out, or you can just visit their site and have a look around. It shouldn’t take too long, unless of course you get caught up learning about some new technical thing that will make you more informed about your industry and a better marketer!
Once you have your basic campaigns set up, you should start to look at overlaying demographic restrictions to hone in on your traffic. This should come from your previously built persona research. You can start targeting by gender, age, or household income modifiers then view the performance breakdown in the Display Network tab and start setting bid modifiers.
Outside of just persona refinement for your display campaigns, you must be very careful to monitor mobile display as well. It can quickly spend a lot of your money and it’s likely that you aren’t appearing in some of the better areas.
If you decide you want to include mobile, you should plan on setting mobile bid modifiers based on OS, enable your display campaigns to be mobile specific (the same way you would a typical search advert) and use site extensions to eliminate unwanted placements. Three placements that John said we would thank him later for excluding are Adsenseformobileapps.com, anonymous.google, and appspot.com.
John outlined some great ideas for continuing optimizing display campaigns, and also hit two themes of the conference: Mobile enabled content/ad copy and persona research.