Use automatic targeting in Display

Automatic targeting is designed to help you achieve additional conversions at around the same cost per customer. This article tells you how to turn on and off automatic targeting, and how to evaluate its performance in your campaign.

For an overview of the different types of automatic targeting and when to use them, go to About automatic targeting in Display.

Before you begin

Important bidding information: If you’re a conversion-focused advertiser, consider using a target CPA (or target ROAS) bidding strategy with automatic targeting. Using Target CPA is recommended for automatic targeting because it allows our system to best use conversion data to get you the most value for your campaign.

Automatic targeting results in new placements, so it's suitable for advertisers who don't have strict brand guidelines about where their ads appear. Keep in mind that you can still exclude placements from your ad group or campaign.

Turn on targeting optimization

Follow these steps to choose your automatic targeting under the "Targeting optimization" option in your ad groups:

  1. Click the Display Network tab.
  2. Select your ad group, and click the + Targeting button.
  3. In the "Targeting optimization" section below the different targeting methods, select the checkbox with your preferred level of automatic targeting.
  4. Click Save.

You can change your selection to another available option, or opt out of targeting optimization, at any time.

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Review Performance

When reviewing your performance, keep in mind that automatic targeting extends your reach to people who otherwise wouldn’t have seen your ads. The conversions you get through automatic targeting are additional conversions that you wouldn't otherwise have gotten.

“Aggressive” targeting may vary from your target CPA initially, as it explores the Display Network to find additional customers for you. As your ads run, automatic targeting learns which targeting works best for you, and optimizes to boost your results. As a result—at the ad group level, and over time—your actual CPA typically gets closer and closer to your target CPA.


To review the performance of automatic targeting, you'll need to segment your report by "Targeting mode." Here's how:

  1. Click the Display Network tab from within the campaign for which you'd like to see statistics.
  2. Click the Placements tab.
  3. Click the "Segment" drop-down menu and select "Targeting mode."
  4. In the reporting table, look for placements categorized as "Auto-targeted."

To see statistics generated through your automatic targeting offline, you can download your automatic placements and sort by "Targeting mode."

Turn off Targeting optimization

You can turn off Targeting optimization at any time. Just follow these steps:

  1. Select your ad group.
  2. Click the Display Network tab.
  3. Click the + Targeting button.
  4. Scroll down to the "Targeting optimization" section.
  5. Deselect the checkbox.
  6. Click Save.
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