New in Google Adwords: Behavioral Targeting

Picking a winner can be hard.
Picking a winner can be hard.

No doubt, an internet marketer’s toughest job is finding the right mix of advertising cost, overall brand value for ad placements, and conveying value proposition to drive conversion.  We can collect all kinds of valuable information through web analytics including visitor pathways, conversion funnels, top content driving revenue, and even cool stuff like demographics and socio-economic indicators.  But finding sites that can supply us with our most valuable prospects can be tough.  Enter Behavioral Targeting from Google Adwords.

I’ll be truthful, I’ve always held a dark damp and foreboding place in my basement for the Google Content Network (even typing it gives me shivers).  But the truth is, although conversion and revenue was highly erratic, it has never been a total waste of my monthly advertising budget.  The content network (…ick) has always surpassed the 100% return on ad spend metric, and usually by a huge margin.  The problem is the quality of targeting on even the most reputable sites.

Sure you can strike deals with ad agencies and sales departments to get a pretty decent CPM, but it doesn’t leave much along the lines of discovering new online ad real estate gems, now does it?

From an advertiser’s perspective, the Google Content Network and Google Adsense program has been getting better and better recently, probably as a result of all the criticism it’s gotten in the past year or so.  From a user’s perspective, I doubt many savvy web surfers really care all that much.  Sure, Google uses cookies to track your every move and bit of personal information, but doesn’t every company?  Savvy users will either disable cookies or not opt to share any personal information.

Really, it’s too soon to tell the value behind behavioral targeting on the content network, but initial tests are pretty encouraging.  I encourage anyone who’s abandoned content network or placement targeted campaigns to give it a go again and play with Google’s new tools.  If it doesn’t work out, by all means, tell them!  The engineering folks at Adwords thrive on advertiser feedback, with these tough economic times you might even get an advertising credit for it.

Keep on testing!

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