Through the Adwords interface you are able to target certain websites that you feel are relevant to and may be being used by your target audience. You can search for sites by keyword using the Placement tool in Google Adwords or you can select types of sites to target by topic.
However, I stumbled upon a different technique for targeting sites within the Google display network.
There is a way to use the Google Display Network to find target websites through following the users on your website to see where they go after visiting your site and to then target those sites under the assumption that if a number of the visitors to your website are using that site then there will be more looky likey people using the site too who just haven’t found you yet.
This is made possible through using the Google Adwords re-marketing functionality.
Re-marketing works through anonymously tracking the users who come to your website once they leave your site and go elsewhere on the web.
This is the re-marketing process:
1) User visits www.your-website.com
2) A 30 day cookie is dropped on the users browser (could be set to be shorter or longer).
3) User leaves your site.
4) Then for a period of 30 days whenever the same user pops up on any websites within the Google Display Network (there are millions including many large press and media sites) they are served an ad for your website.
5) The user then clicks on one of these ads on one of these sites and comes back to your site (hopefully to make a purchase/leave their details).
6) You pay Google a cost for each click that brings a user back to your site.
The technical set up for re-marketing is incredibly simple.
1) Log into Google Adwords and go to the Display Network Tab >Interests and re-marketing > create and manage lists
2) Create a new re-marketing list by giving it a name – I normally name lists based on the area of the site or the behavior on the site that I will be using as criteria for re-targeting the user e.g. users who added an item to basket but didn’t purchase.
3) Generate the code – just click on the code tab.
4) Paste the code into all pages of the site that you want to track – e.g. in my example above it would be the shopping basket page.
5) Go back into Adwords and create a campaign and ad group for your re-marketing campaign.
6) attach your re-marketing list to your ad group.
7) Create some text ads and image ads (you really should take the time to create image ads – they get much better results).
8) Wait until there are 500 users in your re-marketing pot (you can monitor under the re-marketing lists tab) and then your ads will start running.
Google Display Network Targeting through analysis of re-marketing campaigns
Once you have a few weeks data gathered it is time to go and haul in the nets to see what you have landed.
1) Under the display network tab select “placements”
2) You will see 3 options; managed placements, automatic placements and exclusions – select automatic placements
3) Select your desired date range at the top right and then hit the download button (small button with down pointing arrow) – currently this is just below the “Topics” tab.
4) Now you will have a download in MSExcel of all of the sites that your users visited within 30 days of visiting your site.
Some of the sites will be a little generic e.g. Youtube or large media sites but you will probably find a good number of niche sites that relate to your business well. Now you can add these sites to an ad group targeting these sites not through re-marketing but as managed placements on the Google Display Network.
As always; if you have any questions then please leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.