Set targeting

Targeting can be set at various levels in Display & Video 360. Read on for more information.

Set targeting for an advertiser

Advertiser targeting applies to all current and future campaigns, insertion orders and line items that fall under a given advertiser. Advertiser targeting is good for setting a base level of brand safety, or for excluding channels, that should apply throughout an advertiser.

  1. Navigate to Advertiser and then  Settings and then Targeting.
  2. Click Edit Edit  to expand targeting criteria and make changes.
  3. Click Save. 
Targeting set for an advertiser cannot be edited in campaigns, insertion orders, or line items. You must return to the advertiser to edit these targeting settings. This targeting will not affect default line items for programmatic guaranteed deals.

Set targeting for a line item

  1. Start in an existing line item or create a new one.
  2. Scroll to the Targeting section.
  3. Click Add targeting and then the particular targeting category to set criteria within it.
  4. Once you've finished adding or updating a targeting category, click Done
  5. Save your line item. 

Targeting recommendations for line items 

When available, Display & Video 360 can recommend the following types of targeting for your line items:

  • Apps & URLs
  • Audience lists (1st party, 3rd party, affinity, and in-market audiences)
  • Categories
  • Keywords

These recommendations will be shown on the right side of the screen when you edit any of the above types of targeting. 


Where do targeting recommendations come from?

Line item targeting recommendations are generated based on the goal, KPI, landing page, and keywords in your campaign's settings.

Set default targeting for an insertion order

To save time, you can set default targeting settings for an insertion order, and all new line items created in the insertion order will automatically inherit these settings. Once a line item exists, its individual targeting can be adjusted as needed.

Default targeting will not be applied to any YouTube & partners line items in your insertion order. 

  1. Start in an existing insertion order or create a new one.
  2. Scroll to the Targeting section of a new insertion order or the Insertion order details tab of an existing one.
  3. Click a particular targeting category to set criteria within it.
  4. Click Save.
Default targeting only affects new line items and can't be used to change the targeting of any existing line items. To change the targeting of multiple line items at once, see Edit multiple line items.

Targeting and line item performance

Line item targeting settings have a huge impact on performance and spend. Here are some targeting best practices to help you meet your campaign’s goals:

Always set targeting

If a line item doesn't have any targeting set, it will try to purchase every impression that's available through Display & Video 360. With such wide reach, line items can spend their budgets very quickly, so watch out!


If you don't set a particular type of targeting, your reach may be too wide. For instance, if you don't set any geography targeting, your line item will bid on impressions from all geographic locations. Similarly, if you don't target specific inventory sources, your line item will bid on impressions from all inventory sources.

Watch out for restrictive targeting

Line items frequently can’t purchase impressions because there isn’t enough inventory that matches your targeting. As you set up your line item, use line item reach forecasting to explore how each targeting option can impact reach.

Troubleshoot performance issues due to targeting settings

If you’re not seeing the performance you’re expecting, first check if your line item:

  • Is active
  • Has a budget
  • Has an active, assigned creative

If those settings are correct, check for these common targeting issues that impact performance:

  • Incompatible targeting may cause no spend: Your line item may not spend if it uses incompatible targeting options. For example, targeting desktop devices in mobile app environments for a display line item is incompatible. Logically, this combination doesn’t exist, so there won’t be available inventory.
  • There may be low inventory for a targeting combination: Display & Video 360 may be bidding on every available impression, but there may not be many available based on your targeting settings. A common example is different out-stream video environments and connected TV devices. In this case, the available inventory is limited for Display & Video 360 to bid on.
  • Some targeting options are more limiting than others: If you’re seeing underpacing issues, try to expand these targeting options:
    • Active View targeting: Lower the viewability threshold for the line item.
    • Keyword targeting: Target more keywords.
    • Audience lists: Check that it’s the correct list or increase audience list recency to include more users.
    • Geography: Use additional locations, especially for smaller regions like zip codes.
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