Targeting your ads
Targeting ads is an essential part of a successful advertising campaign. You may have designed the perfect ad, but you'll need to show it to the right people at the right time to better reach your goal. AdWords offers different ways of targeting your ads.
Before you begin
Targeting your ads on Google search and search partner sites
Here's how you can target your text ads on Google search and the Google Search Network:
- Keyword targeting: Choose words or phrases relevant to your product or service so that your ads appear when customers search those terms. By creating a highly relevant keyword list, you increase your chances to show your ads to the most interested customers.
- Location and language targeting: Choose the language and geographic locations – such as a country, region or city – where your customers are located. After you set these targeting options, AdWords determines who to show your ads to based on several factors: the Google domain people use (such as www.google.com.au or www.google.co.uk), their search terms, their computer's IP address (which can estimate its geographical location), their language preference set for Google, and the languages of sites that they visit.
- Device targeting: Show your ads to the right people across all devices, based on their specific location, time of day and device type.
- Audience targeting: Show your ads to people who have previously visited your site by using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA).
If you run a dog kennel in Sydney, you could add the keyword 'doggie day care' and 'Sydney and suburbs' as the target location for your AdWords campaign. Then, when people in Sydney type 'doggie day care' in to Google, they could see your ad next to the search results.
Targeting your ads on websites that partner with Google to show ads
Here's how you can target your text and display ads on the Google Display Network:
- Keyword targeting: Choose words or phrases related to your product or service to target relevant websites, apps and videos on the Display Network by using 'Content' keywords. You can also target relevant audiences who browse content about those keywords by using the 'Audience' keyword setting. Soon Audience keywords and keyword suggestions will move to 'Custom intent audiences'. In addition to keywords, Custom intent audiences lets you add URLs for websites, apps or YouTube content related to your audience's interests.
- Topic targeting: Target one ad to multiple pages about certain topics at the same time. Topic targeting lets you reach a broad range of pages on the Display Network. AdWords analyses web content and considers factors such as text, language, link structure and page structure. It then determines the central themes of each web page and targets ads based on your topic selections.
- Placement targeting: Target websites on the Display Network that your customers visit. If you select this type of targeting, we'll only look at your chosen sites (managed placements) when searching for relevant sites. Unlike contextual targeting (automatic placements), placement targeting doesn't require keywords. A placement might be an entire website, or a subset of a site.
- Audience targeting: Show your ads to specific groups of people as they visit Display Network websites and apps. You can reach people who've visited your site by identifying the affinity and in-market audiences, as well as setting up a remarketing campaign. For example, you can select affinity audiences to drive awareness of your business and reach more potential customers. If you want to drive sales or conversions, you can select an in-market audience to reach customers who are searching for and considering buying products like yours. You can also make Custom intent audiences, created by using keywords and URLs, or choose one created automatically by Google. Another option is to use Custom affinity audiences to reach customers who have other interests but are still likely to visit your site.
- Location and language targeting: Choose the language and geographic locations – such as a country, region or city – where your customers are located.
- Device targeting: Choose to show ads to your customer when they visit Display Network sites on specific devices, or on any of them.
If your business sells costumes, you could add the keyword 'buy costumes' and the topic 'Hobbies & Leisure > Special Occasions > Holidays & Seasonal Events' and target your image ad to iPhones or Android devices. Then, people could see your image ad when they use their Android phones to visit sites on the Display Network that have information about buying costumes, Halloween or Mardi Gras.
Bear in mind
When you select multiple targeting methods on the Display Network, your success depends on your network settings. Learn more at Targeting settings on the Display Network.
Display ads only appear on the Google Display Network. They don't appear on search results pages. Like other such ads, display ads can be created for cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) campaigns. They can be targeted to the entire Display Network for all relevant pages or targeted to specific placements within the Display Network. They have the full range of targeting options, including targeting by location, demographics and topics.