AdWords Display Targeting

When you use AdWords to create and run ads on the Google Display Network (GDN), you have a number of targeting options. You can use those options singly or in combination, and you can vary the bid based on each option. These targeting options include:

  • Display Keywords
  • Placements
  • Topics
  • Interests and Remarketing
  • Age
  • Gender

The Display Targeting report uses each targeting option as a primary dimension. For all but the Placements dimension, the report also includes the Campaign and Ad Group dimensions.

For each primary dimension, you can examine the Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversion metrics.

This report lets you understand the follow-on effect of your display ads: the extent to which users engage with your site after they click your ads, and how they convert.

Primary dimensions

Display Keywords: Which of your Keyword-Campaign-Ad Group combinations are most effective on the GDN.

Placements: If you’re using automatic placements, you can see whether that option as a whole is providing the response you expect, and then drill in to see which of those automatic placements (sites, apps, videos) are most effective. If you’re using managed placements, you can see which of the sites, apps, and videos you’ve chosen are most effective.

Topics: Which of your Topic-Campaign-Ad Group combinations are most effective.

Interests and Remarketing: Which interest groups and which of your remarketing lists are most effective in combination with your campaigns and ad groups.

Age: Which of your Age Group-Campaign-Ad Group combinations are most effective.

Gender: Which of your Gender-Campaign-Ad Group combinations are most effective.


For the dimensions (targeting options) that are displayed in the Campaign-Ad Group context, you can use the following methods of evaluation:

Compare all: To compare all of the combinations for a targeting option, do not filter the table, and then sort by the relevant metric. For example, to see which combination of Keyword-Campaign-Ad Group generates the most transactions or revenue, simply sort that column from highest to lowest; or make the inverse sort to see which ones generate the lowest numbers.

Filter by Campaign and/or Ad Group: To compare all of the targeting options within a single Campaign and/or Ad Group context, filter the table to include just that campaign and/or ad group. Given that filtered data, you can then evaluate things like the performance of all of the keywords, topics, or remarketing lists used in a single campaign. You can then sort on the individual metrics to see your highest and lowest performers.

Filter by dimension value: To compare things like the same keyword or interest group used in the context of different campaigns and ad groups, filter the table by that dimension value (e.g., by specific keyword, interest group, or remarketing list). You can then see things like whether a keyword performs equally well in all contexts, or whether it excels or fails given a particular campaign.

Add a secondary dimension: In conjunction with any of the three methods above, you can also add a secondary dimension. For example, you can add Users > Device Category to see not only your targeting options, but also how each of those options performed per device category (desktop, tablet, and mobile).

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