A revamped Google AdWords interface rolls out during the next few weeks, offering a Display Network Tab that enables advertisers to bid, target and optimize display campaigns in one screen.
Its goal is to help marketers determine how combining multiple targeting types -- such as keywords, placements, topics, interests or remarketing -- impacts the reach of the campaign. The changes are intended to make it easier to buy, click and track display advertising on the company's network.
Google said the feature will more effectively and easily extend search campaigns to display, as well as increase the return on investment by targeting higher-performing keywords.
Marketers are a bit skeptical, but can clearly understand how the changes will impact strategies. Kenshoo CMO Aaron Goldman said marketers can already do that through the Google Display Network. "Basically, you pick keywords you want to target, submit a cost-per-click bid, load up your image or text ads, and Google will deliver across its network of publishers," he said.
Google built display capabilities in AdWords on top of the platform initially designed for search advertising. Now the company says it has improved the contextual engine that matches ads to pages based on keywords. The Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting tool allows marketers to see the performance of display campaigns at the individual keyword level of the platform, rather than previously having to use themed ad groups.
Janel Laravie, founder at Chacka Marketing, said targeting by keyword -– rather than ad group level -- should help marketers better optimize ads. For example, a marketer tries to sell blue high-heeled shoes for a retail store. The theme of the campaign in the ad group plays on the color blue, with keywords like blue heel and blue spike.
If an ad underperforms, marketers hadn't been able to readily identify the one keyword in the ad group causing the entire list of keywords to perform poorly. It could be that the keywords "blue heel" maps to the words "North Carolina blue tar heel," a basketball team. The link would make the keywords completely irrelevant and cause the ad group as a whole to decline in value and underperform.
Google explains that the contextual engine matching ads to pages based on keywords remains at the heart of display-buying through AdWords. The new tools combine the reach of display with the precision of search, using Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting.