Using Keywords in Search and Display Ads

Using Keywords in Search and Display AdsFrom the Market Motive Forums: Keywords and Search and Display Ads, Oh My!

I recently had an exchange with a student in the member’s only forum that I think you’ll be interested in. He had a set of keywords that described his client’s company, but he knew he couldn’t use those same keywords in more than one search campaign because they would compete against each other.

What he wanted to know, however, is if he could use this set of keywords in multiple display campaigns? His thinking was that he could use them this way since each display campaign had different topics. With different topics in each campaign, he thought that the keywords wouldn’t trigger competing ads because they are only used when those topics come up.

Lastly, our pupil wanted to know how all of this applies if he’s using the bid only option. Would using this option allow his keywords in the various display campaigns to compete against each other?

Let’s get down to business and solve this mini dilemma.

First off, its just fine to use search keywords in multiple campaigns if those words don’t compete against each other. For instance, you might have one campaign shown to Los Angeles and another one shown to Chicago; in that case – the words don’t compete so you can have them in both campaigns.

Now, Google lets you put the same words in multiple campaigns; it’s just a good idea not to so you know which ad is triggered.

For display, what you don’t want to do is have the keywords compete against each other.

So let’s say you’re using the same keywords in multiple ad groups, and the ad groups also have topic targeting in them (for ease of this discussion, lets say each ad group only has one topic assigned to it). These ad groups could be in the same or different campaigns – it makes no difference.

Now if you use “target & bid” for the topics (keywords are always used for display targeting), then the ads don’t compete since the user must be on a page that is about those keywords, and that page must be classified into that topic – so there’s no problem there.

If you were to use “bid only” for the topics, then the keywords would compete against each other as you are only using the topics to change the bids – not to serve the ads.

So if you are using multiple “bid only” topics with keywords, you can put all the topics into a single ad group, and then just set the bids by topic. If you are using keywords & topics (with target & bid), then you can put them in the same ad group if you want, or if you want to use different ads, then its best to just use the same keywords in each ad group but change the topic per ad group to change the ads.

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