I would like to use today’s blog to highlight what I have witnessed to be the most hazardous mistake made by new PPC advertisers, and that is disregard for Content Match. Content Matching is a PPC advertising option that places paid listings on web pages containing “relevant” content, rather than within search engine results. When properly managed, I have seen Content Match prove tremendously successful, but when ignored, this feature can destroy an account’s results, and tragically lead an advertiser to falsely conclude that PPC advertising did not work for their business.

One critical thing for PPC advertisers to know is that Content Match is launched automatically in new accounts established at Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter. If this feature is not manually turned off, the advertiser’s ads will run on the Content Network with the same bids set for search. This can result in the majority of an advertiser’s budget unintentionally getting spent onPPC Advertising Content Match.

For those seeking to test Content Match, there are several critical measures I would strongly suggest:

1. Create an Isolated Content Campaign
2. Run the Placement Report periodically to make sure there are not any
under-performing or inappropriate sites & make necessary adjustments.
3. Test strategies separate from search – the keywords and ad copy appropriate for a content campaign can be very different than that of a search campaign.
4. Do not use the KeyWord Insertion Tool in Content Campaign Ads.

Based on the hundreds of campaigns that I have reviewed at JumpFly, I have determined that Content Matching requires isolation and special attention for maximized results. Reduced conversion rates and lower CTRs should be expected. Therefore, decreased bids are generally required to maintain a cost per conversion similar to that achieved from search results. Finally, when used properly, Content Matching can be a powerful tool for branding, as it often provides a large number of impressions and significant exposure.