Add interest categories to an ad group

You can show your ads to customers according to their interests, whether they're gamers, pet lovers, or are interested in Arts & Entertainment. Simply follow these step-by-step instructions to add interests like these (and more!) to your ad groups.

The ability to show your ads online to people with specific interests can help you reach the right customers. You can do this in AdWords by adding interest categories to your ad groups.

Adding interest categories

You'll first need to create a campaign that includes the Google Display Network. You might want to select "Display Network only" as the campaign type when you create your campaign. Next, follow these steps:

  1. Under the Campaigns tab, click the Display Network tab.
  2. Below, click the + Targeting button.
  3. Select the ad group to which you'd like to add the interest categories.
  4. Click the "Add targeting" drop-down menu and select "Interests & remarketing."
  5. In the "Interests and remarketing" area, click the Interest categories link. Here, you can add affinity categories or other categories to your ad group.
  6. Click the "+" sign next to each set of categories, and once you find the category you want to add, click the double arrow » next to it. Learn more about affinity categories and other categories.
  7. Your categories will appear in the "Selected audiences" column. Selected audience
  8. If you add a top-level category, such as the "Shoppers" affinity category, you'll reach people interested in all of its sub-categories, so there's no need to include each of them separately. However, if you want to see reports on how each sub-category performs, you can still add the individual sub-categories.
  9. Note: to see specific sub-categories, click the "+" sign next to the category labels. If you'd like to add a sub-category, click the >> button next to it. See sub-categories
  10. When you're finished, click Close and then Save.


The "List size" column next to each category shows the total number of people included in a given audience. You can use this information to make decisions about which interest categories to add to your ad groups.

Keep in mind, though, that this number doesn't necessarily represent the total number of people who will actually see your ad. If your campaign has a specific location or language setting, only a subset of the audience that matches this criteria will see your ad.

To create combinations of interest categories, or interest categories and remarketing lists, you can create a custom combination list.

Setting an audience bid

You can get a higher return on investment (ROI) or increase your chances to show your ads to people who are more likely to buy your products by setting a specific bid for these customers. Follow these steps to set a bid for an interest category that you've already added to your ad group:

  1. Click the Display Network tab.
  2. Click the Interests & Remarketing tab.
  3. Click the bid (in the Max. CPC column), and a pop-up dialog appears. Max. CPC column
  4. Type in your audience bid.

When you target multiple categories in an ad group, you can bid more for categories that are more valuable to you.

If you're running Conversion Optimizer, any audience bids you set won't apply because you've already set a target CPA for the entire ad group.

Google may charge you a service fee if your campaign targets interest categories. If you're charged a service fee, your maximum bid is reduced before the auction and the fee is added to the closing auction price.

Next steps