Modcloth and Inflection Drive Performance with Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advertisers use contextual targeting on the Google Display Network to reach new customers as they browse content related to their products and services. In March we launched Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting, which enabled our display advertisers to manage their contextual campaigns with the same level of precision and granularity as search. In a few short months we’ve been delighted to see how it’s translated into real results for our customers, and today we’d like to shine a light on two specific examples.

Modcloth, an online retailer selling vintage inspired clothing, had been using contextual targeting on the Google Display Network as a way to scale their message across a wide variety of sites. Their challenge was figuring out which keywords were triggering which conversions across their multiple product lines. With keyword level reporting and optimization levers, Theresa Rockovich, Modcloth’s SEM Manager, was excited to finally put her SEM skills to work. “Before the ability to target and bid on keywords, we were barely making these campaigns profitable. Now that we’ve been able to adjust our bids and see which keywords are driving performance, margins are the healthiest they’ve ever been.” In nine weeks, their keyword-level optimizations helped turn three unprofitable contextual campaigns into some of their highest performers. Their jewelry lines saw a 460% increase in click-through-rates and their dresses campaign saw a 700% increase in ROI.

Andrew Wong, Marketing Director at Inflection, similarly took a search-focused approach to managing their contextual campaigns. “We took the shell of our search campaigns and copied them onto the Google Display Network” and created specific page URLs for each product line. After a few weeks of generating traffic, they turned on the Display Campaign Optimizer – the Google Display Network’s auto-optimization tool that automatically manages targeting and bidding – and the results were phenomenal. With the help of DCO, they increased conversions by 480% at a cost-per-action 10% lower than the rest of their display campaigns.

Keyword level targeting is one of the many reasons why our Display Campaign Optimizer  has improved in both accuracy and efficiency the past year. We've seen advertisers are usually able to reach their target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) in about two weeks, versus the two months it often took before these changes. Coupled with new bidding capabilities, such as real-time bidding, MaxCPC and Enhanced CPC, DCO is now available to use on ‘hybrid’ search and display campaigns.

And it gets even better
In addition to keyword targeting, bidding and reporting, today we’re announcing  new keyword status messages to assist advertisers troubleshoot for more effective and consistent keyword matching and delivery. Now you’ll know if a keyword is pointing to a suspended site, has been disapproved, or if it matches too few pages (Few Page Matches). We’ve also added a notification that alerts users with display-only campaigns when a Display Network bid - which overrides keyword bids when ads are shown on the Google Display Network - is in place. We recommend removing the Display Network Bid in display-only campaigns to take advantage of keyword level bidding. Click here to learn how.

Learn More
We look forward to seeing even more success stories as we continue to roll out these new features! To learn more about how to implement these strategies into your display campaigns, download the Google Display Network Guide here!

Posted by Katie Hamilton, Product Marketing Manager Google Display Network

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