Automatic Placements or Manual Placements – Which one should you use for your Display Campaigns?

Smart advertisers are concerned about two things.

Increasing conversion rates and reducing costs per conversion… without these two everything else comes secondary.

Running Google ads is a great opportunity to get in front of people who are actively looking for your product or service.

But here’s the big downside… Other businesses have figured out that they can find customers on the Google Display Network which means prices are high and they are continuing to go up as more and more businesses jump on the Google Advertising train.

So if you have a tight marketing budget and are trying to figure out where you can immediately spend some money and start seeing magical results back, Google Ads might not be the right platform for you!

Running Google ads is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

It requires countless hours of testing, tweaking, and data crunching to analyze which strategy works well for your business.

Google ads are a proven platform but it is an expensive platform especially if you are just starting out as there are plenty of PPC experts who test Google Ads day in and day out.

It is not reasonable to think as a beginner you can jump on the platform and compete with pretty much everyone who does it every single day.

In this post, let’s look at a few ways to use Google ad placements effectively, as well as discuss relevant ad placement strategies.

Google Ad Display Placements

As per Google, Placements are locations where your ads can appear on YouTube or the Google Display Network.

A placement can be a website or a specific page on a site, a mobile app, video content, or even an individual ad unit. 

Let’s look at the most commonly used ad placements

Automatic Placements – is where Google discovers the best websites to display your ads on based on sites it judges to be most relevant to your business.

Managed Placements – this option allows you to be more in control of which websites your display ads are being served on across the Google Display Network. If you have an idea of which websites your audience spends time on, this is an ideal option for you.

Okay – Let’s stop for a second and look at an example of a bad ad placement…”chuckles “

a bad placement gone wrong …” chuckles”

Image Source – Yahoo

As you can see on the example placement above, you can tell this company made a mistake possibly by targeting the keyword “delivery” as a placement of a news site.

Generally, this would be a well-defined target, however, this could be a bad idea if unintentionally placed next to the wrong content- The news website that had just published an article regarding body parts being delivered to home!

Nevertheless, you know the likes of your audience better than anyone else.

Sure using automatic placements might be the easier route to take.. allowing Google the upper hand in selecting which sites your ads are to be displayed on…however, hasn’t the thought crossed your mind that maybe Google wants to make your display campaign barely effective enough so advertisers are more likely to overspend to see results?

Could that be possible? If so, using automatic placements could be leaving a hole in your pocket within your display campaigns if Google is showing your ads on websites that do not convert well with your target audience.

Buckling down and setting managed placements for your ad campaign may be a time taking and long process however if it leads to an increase in conversion volume and decreases your cost per lead it would be well worth it right?

Setting up your own Managed Placements

Managed placements is a more involved approach because you are calling the shots as to where your ads will show.

Just like how you would add keywords into your ad groups, you will be adding placements to accompany them as well.

The only condition to your placement choice is that it has to exist on the Google Display Network.

If you choose to use managed placements its best that you have concrete reasoning behind choosing a particular placement

If you have an idea of certain websites that attract a lot of traffic from your target customers, including that website as a placement would be a worthy endeavor.

This means that if you notice a placement getting better results you can increase your bids to be more competitive and increase your overall exposure.

Let’s walk through a few ways your business can get in front of the right people

  • Consider the traffic of the websites that you are adding as manual placements, ask yourself is there enough traffic to meet your campaign goals?
  • Take a look at your existing placements – research on them, see which ones are performing well on your list and weed out the rest.
  • Test, Test, and Test to accumulate data on which websites convert overall.

On to optimizing those placements

Now that you have come up with some placements, let’s see a few ways to optimize each and every one of those placements once in a while so that we can get an idea of what’s working and not

This should be done regularly so your business is up to date and keeping up with any market changes.

If things are going well for you –

  • Consider increasing your budget to your bid adjustment.
  • Look out for other websites posting similar content and add it to your list of placements

If things are not going well for you 

  • Consider taking off the placement and reallocating the budget.
  • Look at traffic coming into the sites, and reconsidering to take out if it’s not supporting your campaign goals

In the meantime, if you’re running display campaigns, we’d love to talk to you and learn from your experiences.

Feel free to reach out to us and we’d love to chat and see what we can do together.

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