In the last two installments of this column, I described using tools and techniques for coming up with the best keyword sets for keyword-targeted content ad groups. This week I'll turn to a new method for finding sites for Google AdWords placement-targeted content ad groups that will have you building great placement campaigns quickly and easily. (You might want to go back and re-read my previous columns on placement-targeted campaigns here, here and here.)
In today's example I've used a tool called Web Data Extractor that automatically runs search engine queries on search terms you input, and generates a list of sites that feature those terms. Web Data Extractor (WDE) has many other features, but we'll just focus on URL extraction for these examples.
Using the tool is simple: you specify one or more search terms, choose a set of search engines, hit a button and seconds later you have a text file chock-full of pertinent web site URLs.
Though you can specify more than one search term, I recommend using only one per session – that will make cleaning out junk URLs (described below) easier. You also have the option of specifying only U.S./International search engines, or select ones from outside the U.S.
I used the tool to find bodybuilding sites – to create a placement-targeted campaign to augment the keyword-targeted campaign I illustrated in my column a few weeks ago. I specified the search term "bodybuilding equipment" (including the quotation marks to tell the software I wanted to see only sites with that exact phrase). Within seconds, WDE produced a list of 557 URLs. A quick glance revealed there were some very pertinent sites included – but also quite a few irrelevant sites, like google.com and youtube.com.
Rather than manually weed out the less-relevant URLs, I simply pasted the entire list into Google's Placement Tool – and let the tool tell me which sites accept AdWords ads. From there it was easy to weed out the irrelevant sites. Furthermore, the Placement Tool suggested dozens of additional sites that were similar to the sites I picked.
Ten minutes after starting the exercise, I had a nice, tight list of targeted sites: criticalbench.com
Observant readers might recall a recent column where I described a problem with the Placement Tool – the Tool frequently fails to identify sites that accept AdWords ads. So an alternative to the steps above would be to manually weed out obviously irrelevant sites, and then paste the pared-down list into the placement-targeted ad group via the Edit Placements option. Even if you do it this way, you might want to return to the Placement Tool and paste the list into the '"List URLs" box and get available placements – to see whether the tool suggests additional sites that are similar to the list you pasted in.
Make sense? Send me comments and questions via the feedback form below or in the SEW Forum Content Advertising thread.