MacAdam Lea
By MacAdam Lea | SEM | March 6, 2015

Display Network: Site Category Options

In my last blog we covered the different types of targeting tools available to us on the Google Display Network. Advertising on the display network usually results in a broader range or traffic than what we see on the search network. So, we want to familiarize ourselves with the different ways to weed out unwanted traffic before it can waste our budget. That is why today we’re going to learn about Google’s “Site Category Options”. Take a look at the image below if you want to know where to make adjustments to your site category options.

Site Catagory Options

Site category options are types of Google Display Network sites that you can target or exclude entirely. Google provides options like live streaming, social networking sites, and ad placements shownbelow-the-fold” that give us much more control over what types of websites will display our ads. We don’t want to limit our traffic so much that we start blocking potential conversions, so I’ll cover some of the site category options that I adjust most often and explain some of my reasoning behind the adjustments.

Site Catagory Options 2

Juvenile, Gross, and Bizarre – These are sites that host content like weird pictures, jokes, videos of stunts and accidents and other strange material. I’ll usually turn this option off for any of my clients looking to target a more mature audience. These sites generally draw a much younger audience with less money to spend online – they’re just looking to have a laugh and be entertained. Leave it switched on if you’re advertising to kids though; I have a client who runs a go-kart track and this is a great option for his audience.

Sexually Suggestive – This is any sort of pornographic site, or sites that shows provocative pictures or text. This is an option I have turned off for all of my clients running ads on the display network. Most companies don’t want to have their product associated with this kind of material. It has the potential to harm their brand image, and these sites aren’t relevant to their product. I have client who runs a funeral home and a law firm that specializes in DUIs; neither examples are likely to find any interested traffic on sexually suggestive sites. The Sexually Suggestive category does have a place in the right kind of campaign, it would just have to be a product that is relevant to the content.

Error Pages – Turning this option off ensures that your ads won’t show when a website encounters an error and redirects the user to a different page. This is one where I have yet to find a campaign where I would want to have this option turned on. The chance that someone is going to stay on an error page long enough to read and click on an ad is very unlikely. Error pages have extremely high bounce rates, and they’re not something most companies want their ads or products to be associated with.

Below-the-fold – If this option is turned off then your ads won’t show on any part of a webpage that a user would have to scroll down in order to see. Not only do most websites put most of their advertisement space above-the-fold, but most users aren’t going to bother scrolling down to find what they’re looking for. If they don’t see what they’re looking for in that first window then they’re much more likely to try another page on the same site, or simply redo their Google search. If you’re having trouble seeing enough traffic then leave this on, otherwise it’s a good way to stop running ads in places that aren’t likely to convert.

Those are the site category options that I find myself adjust the most, but as you can imagine that they are most effectively used when considering the specifics of the product and campaign. No AdWords rules are written in stone; every campaign is unique and should to be treated as such. The market is always changing, and Google is always working to improve the AdWords platform. So use the tips I’ve provided, but don’t hesitate to use your personal industry expertise to find ways to market to the right people.

As always thank you for reading, and I’ll PP-See you all next time!

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