Monday, June 30, 2008

Google Ad Planner

A lot of you might already know that Google announced the release of Google Ad Planner. This free media research and planner tool allows advertisers/agencies to find the Web sites that match their desired target audiences so that they can decide where to spend their advertising dollars.

This tool along with other tools such as Google Analytics Benchmarking, Google Trends for Websites positions Google well in competition with Nielsen , Quantcast, Hitwise and Compete.

I got my account to Google Ad Planner last week and I can tell you that I was impressed. Yes, there are a lot of features that are not there yet but nonetheless this tool is pretty powerful. Using this tool you can find smaller sites to advertise that you would normally not look at.

How does Google Ad Planner Work

  1. When you first enter the tool it show you how many total Unique Visitors and Pageviews that you can reach (that is total internet usage) if you advertised on the whole internet.

  2. Then you can choose specific country and/or language to narrow down your target audience.

  3. Next you can enter any demographic information to further narrow down your target audience. The demographics that are available are gender, age range, education and household income.

  4. Finally you can narrow or expand your target audience by particular sites. You have two options in this filter to choose from
    1. any site below
    2. all sites below

    Below is the description of this filter from Google Ad Planner Help.
    Choosing any site below means any internet user in the sample set who meets at least one of the criteria will be included in your audience.
    Choosing all sites below means internet users in the sample set must meet all of the criteria in order to be included in your audience.
    For example, if you specify 'Site A,' 'Site B,' and 'Site C' as sites your audience is likely to visit, then select the all sites below filter, only internet users in the sample set who visit all three sites will be included in your audience.
    If, however, you select the any site below filter, an internet user in the sample set who only visits Site A and Site C will still be included in your search results.

  5. Another filter option is to limit your audience to only those sites that are in Google Content Network and the ad sizes these publishers support. This option is very useful if you are limited to using Google Adwords for your media buys.

Apart from Media planning, this tool can be used to do competitive analysis. For example, it can show you what percentage of your users also go to your competitor’s site. It can show you what other sites your competitor’s visitors visit – Good for analysis and then planning your media buy. It can show you the demographic mix of your competitors visitors.

Like Google trends, Google Ad Planner needs to be integrated into Google Analytics. Microsoft Gatineau overlaid some of the demographic data into the web analytics reporting, Google just showed you that they have that data too, plus some more. So it is matter of time when this data will be available in Google Analytics.

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