Blog Post

Google Display Network targeting settings

On the Display Network, you can target audiences, topics, keywords, and placements.

And you can control where your ads show by using targeting settings like ‘Targeting’ (previously Target & bids) and ‘Observation’ (previously Bid only).

These settings determine the reach of your ads.

Targeting
‘Targeting’ restricts the reach of your campaign or ad groups.

With ‘Targeting’, you select specific audiences based on who you like to reach with your ads, and where you like these to appear on.

Observation
‘Observation’ doesn’t restrict the reach of your campaigns or ad groups.

You can add audiences to observe how your ads are performing for your selected targets.

Audiences types

Affinity and custom affinity.
What their interests and habits are.

In-market and custom intent
What they’re actively researching or planning.

Remarketing and similar audiences
How they’ve interacted with your business.

To find your audiences search and filter by term, phrase or URL, browse through audiences or look at ideas (based on advertisers like you).

Audiences Targeting
Display campaigns > Audiences > Edit audiences > Select an ad group > Set Targeting to ‘Targeting (recommended)’.
Set your bids for each of your audience targeting.

Audience Observation
Display campaigns > Audiences > Edit audiences > Select an ad group > Set Targeting to ‘Observation’.
Set your bids for each of your audience targeting.



Test your ‘Observation’ audiences and move successfully converting audiences to ‘Targeting’.

Bids
Increase or decrease your audience bids according to results.

For example, in these campaigns, I’ve raised bids (Bid adjustment) for all converting audiences.



Topics
Display campaigns > Topics > Add topics > Select an ad group > Set Targeting to ‘Targeting (recommended).
Add all your relevant topics.

Keywords
Display campaigns > keywords > Add display keywords > Select an ad group > Set Targeting to ‘Targeting’.
Enter your keywords.

Note: Google Ads is soon discontinuing Audience keyword targeting. Consider moving your keywords to custom intent audiences. Refer to Display Network Audiences campaign

CUSTOM INTENT AUDIENCES
Display campaigns > keywords > Add display keywords > Select an ad group > Set Targeting to ‘Targeting’.
+ NEW CUSTOM INTENT AUDIENCE.
Enter your keywords or URLs to create audiences. URLs create interest categories based on the content of the website.

The section below is a detailed explanation on the Display Targeting settings from the official Google support page:
https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/1209882

Multiple targeting
When you add multiple targeting to the same ad group and set these to ‘Targeting’, you’re telling Google Ads to restrict or narrow the reach of your ads.

When you add additional targeting methods and set them to ‘Observation’, you’re telling Google Ads not to restrict where your ads show, but to increase or decrease the chances of showing depending on the bid that you have chosen.

To the side, you may notice that each time you add a targeting method to your ad group and set it to “Targeting,” the number of available impressions shrinks.

This is typical when you add multiple targeting methods set to “Targeting” in a single ad group.

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/1209882

Direct sales campaigns
Set the targeting method to ‘Targeting’.
Add a few targeting methods to your ad group.
Your ads show only to your specific targeting methods.

Combinations to add to ad groups

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/1209882

Brand campaigns
Set the targeting method to ‘Targeting’.
Do not add too many targeting methods to your ad group, or add multiple targeting methods to your ad group and set their bids.

Combinations to add to ad groups

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/1209882


Extract from my Book ‘Making Google Ads Work’.

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