How Google AdWords puts your adverts all over the web

Most people, understandably, associate Google AdWords with the little ads which appear down the right-hand side of a Google results page (and sometimes across the top in a yellow panel too). But AdWords can also put your message on thousands of relevant websites all over the web, including some popular ones where you may already be advertising separately.

As an advertising medium, AdWords gets more successful every year. In the industrial and scientific sectors, its understated nature seems to appeal beautifully to the target market, which is just “blind” to big, garish advertisements. Engineers and scientists seem much happier with three lines of text, presented in a consistent format with all the other ads on the page.

What many marketers don’t realise is that Google also offers to put your AdWords ads onto hundreds of thousands of “partner” websites who are in its “AdSense” programme. When someone clicks on your ad, you get charged, and if the ad was on one of these “Content Network” websites, the money you pay is split between the site owner and Google, rather than going to Google alone. This is all invisible to you, and there’s no extra charge to you. Indeed, AdWords ads on the Content Network can cost less per click than in Google search results.

What do these ads on the Content Network look like? Exactly the same as in the Google search results. So, visit a random page on a site like Laboratorytalk and there are those Google AdWords ads (top right in this example). You’ll see them on sites all over the web.

Now here’s a cool thing. As an advertiser, Google gives you individual control over your AdWords ads on these sites: you can choose to target specific sites strongly with higher cost-per-click bids, or choose not to appear on certain ones at all. Google tells you the number of times your ad is likely to be shown on different sites, giving you a very good idea of the amount of traffic those sites get. And you can monitor the visitors you get from the ads on the Content Network sites, and measure if the “quality” of the traffic is better or worse than from Google search results ads. If you’re wondering whether this means it’s not worth advertising on these sites directly, but just placing AdWords ads there instead, I can tell you now that many experienced advertisers think that’s exactly the case. In fact, some use the system to target specific websites, and don’t even use the Google search results ads!

All this takes a lot of management of course, and there are a lot of tricks to get it to work efficiently. That’s where external AdWords management services like the one we offer come in. If you’d like to investigate the possibilities of Google AdWords with no effort on your part (even if it’s only on a trial basis of, say, £500 a month), let us know. We’re now managing the AdWords campaigns for dozens of industrial and scientific companies, and it’s an arrangement which is working very well indeed.

Discussion

  1. Peter Mann

    Chris,

    “In the industrial and scientific sectors, its [AdWords] understated nature seems to appeal beautifully to the target market, which is just “blind” to big, garish advertisements. Engineers and scientists seem much happier with three lines of text, presented in a consistent format with all the other ads on the page.”

    That’s a very interesting statement – based, if you don’t mind me asking, on what facts?

    Peter Mann
    Buzz Associates Limited

  2. Chris Rand Post author

    …based on several years running scientific and engineering websites (receiving 1,000,000+ page views a month) which ran both banner ads and Google AdWords ads, and permanently seeing much higher click-through rates on the Google AdWords ads on the same page as the banner ads. I’m also managing the online advertising right now for a number of clients who are running both types of ads on various sites, and we’ve never yet managed to design a banner ad which can get the clickthrough rate of even the most mediocre Google AdWords ad copy!

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