Is the Display Network A Good Idea For Industrial Firms?
I recently had a client who asked me to take a look at their Pay Per Click campaign to see why it was costing them so much money. This seemed strange to me since their product was very specific. They suspected click fraud, but knowing that they were managing the account themselves, I thought it might be simple account mismanagement.
Getting into their account, I was immediately reminded of why companies who are dealing with large PPC advertising budgets should not do it themselves unless they know what they are doing. They had made all the classic mistakes, but the biggest one of all was opting into the Display Network in conjunction with automatic bidding. Fully 95 percent of their ad campaign was being eaten up in the Display Network, a network which is designed to sell to general audiences who aren’t particularly looking for anything in particular.
This made absolutely no sense for a firm that was selling a very specific, expensive high tech item.
After running a site placement report for the content network, we found only a couple of sites that were of any real relevance to what the firm was selling. We turned off automatic placements, made manual placements on these sites, and set the bid price to what we thought was appropriate. We completely overhauled the search network as well, but the simple act of turning off the automatic placements and automatic bidding on the content network cut their advertising spend by 90 percent.
Yes, 90 percent.
The lesson. There are some things that Google does very well for you in PPC accounts. Bidding and placements on the display network is not one of them. They are far too broad in their reach, far too fuzzy in what they think is a “relevant” site for you to display on. The display network is really designed more for consumer goods. It can have its place for industrial goods and services, but you must be very selective of where you advertise or you will be wasting your money on irrelevant clicks.
So my advice is this: Do not automatically opt into the display network if you are selling a very specific, niche, technical, or expensive industrial product. And, if you do, choose your placements carefully, and do not use automatic bidding. Decide what it is worth it for you to pay for an ad on a general web page and bid no more than that.