Is the Content Network Cost-effective?
The key question is how cost-effective is the content network in comparison to standard pay per click advertising?
With 80% of online market reach, Google's content network is the world's largest advertising network, a fact they're justifiably happy with. The content network platform generates over six million impressions every single day on hundreds of thousands of websites targeting thousands of areas. Therefore, that's a huge number of potential customers within your grasp. Or is it?
Google's recent study on over 25,000 global accounts for a 12 month period during which they analysed the conversion metrics from these accounts across both the search and content networks.
Google focused their analysis on the cost-per-acquisition of the two advertising platforms because it is a vital e-commerce metric and is a good indicator of the return on investment that can be generated.
This is a summary of Google's findings:
- Half of advertiser's content network CPA was at least 2.6% lower than the CPA of the search network.
- 51.6% of the advertising accounts that were analysed had an average CPA on the content network that was equal or better than the CPA of the search network.
- One fifth of the conversion volume from advertiser's accounts were generated by the content network, which implies that there may be limitations on conversion volumes depending on target CPAs.
- The median percentage for conversions generated by the content network were 19.6% of the total globally in 2008.
- The overall average across all regions and levels of ad spend had a median percentage of 9.3% or higher.
- In the cases where advertiser's had used Google campaign management tools: the conversion optimiser and site exclusion tool, conversion rates were often higher.
In other words, the content network may not generate the same numbers of conversions as the search network but the cost-per-acquisition is close, making it at least as cost-effective.
This indicated that using the content network is worth using, particularly if managed well by a professional who has knowledge and experience of using the content network successfully.
As the content network generates significant income for Google, it may be worth taking this information with a pinch of salt but their findings do show that if run properly the content network can work for your business.