Is Your Company Advertising on Explicit Websites by Accident?

If your organization uses display advertising on the Google Display Network, chances are your ads are being shown on websites that aren’t relevant to your advertising goals. This happens because Google has a vast network of millions of sites in its advertising network, that it contextually matches your ads to. Even though Google has an extremely advanced algorithm that does its best to match your ads to complimentary sites, sometimes it gets it wrong, very wrong.

When setting up the advertising in the Google Display Network, you are given a set of options such as where you would like to target geographically, what your budget is, and what kind of topics or interests you would like to match your advertising to. In most cases, the person setting up the ads is an individual at your company on the marketing team, a media buyer, or a digital marketing agency. Often, the targeting that they choose is too broad, and the advertising runs with little monitoring or review to ensure the ads are not appearing on irrelevant or explicit websites.

Every month, reports should be run to identify which websites you are advertising on to make sure that your ads are appearing where you think they should be, without any surprises. Also, conversion rates on each of the sites that you are advertising on should be measured and sites should be eliminated that are not converting. These reports will indicate which sites that you should not be advertising on and will help lower your advertising costs and/or improve the performance of your advertising. If your ads are showing on websites that are irrelevant to your organization, the ad is not going to generate the number of leads and revenue you are hoping to achieve. This ultimately degrades the value of advertising online and does not take full advantage of the extremely targeted advertising capabilities of the Google Display Network.

[row][column size=8 centered=1]CBC News National [/column][/row] CBC News, The National, ran a story last night (May 14th, 2012) about large corporations such as the Bank of Montreal, Tim Hortons, and Home Depot having their ads show on a video chat themed website called Stickam. Stickam is a webcam community that is designed to allow people to live stream their content, but was discovered by CBC to have been used by under aged girls who broadcast themselves engaging in sexual acts via video chatting. The story posed the question as to why these large corporations have their ads appearing on such a controversial website.  I was interviewed and asked my opinion on who the responsibility falls upon to ensure large corporations are not monetizing off of this type of online activity.

Do you know where your display advertising is appearing? Here is a five step checklist you can run through:

1. Use the DoubleClick Ad Planner

This tool is extremely useful for determining where your ads will show on a display network. Plug in your target market’s demographic and geographic information and a list of sites your target audience visits will appear.

2. Create a Placement Report Weekly

Regardless of which display network you advertise on, it should provide a report to you that you can pull as frequently as necessarily to see where your ads are showing. Do this weekly to ensure you catch any sites you do not want your ad showing on early.

3. Use the Placement Tool

When adding new Google Display Network campaigns use the placement tool to determine the sites your ad can possibly appear upon.  Go through the list and visit each site suggested.

4. Exclude Placements

After letting your ads run on a display network for a few weeks check frequently to identify any sites that you do not want your ads showing on. Then, exclude it from the campaign using the “Exclusions” tool.

How to Exclude Ad Placements from Explicit Websites

How to Exclude Ad Placements from Explicit Websites

5. Contextual Targeting Tool

With this tool, you can build keyword lists for campaigns running on the Google Content Network. This helps you target your ads so they appear on websites that your customers visit, based on contextual targeting (keywords that match content on a site where there is advertising available).

Read the article on CBC news.

How are you managing your display network advertising? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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