Use optimized targeting

Optimized targeting grants your campaign flexibility to explore which customers have the highest likelihood to convert within your campaign goals. When you use optimized targeting, you can optionally provide targeting signals like keywords or audience segments. These signals are used as a starting point by our system to find the best-performing criteria to serve your ads on.

Optimized targeting may reduce or stop serving traffic on your signals if it finds better performing traffic elsewhere.

In this article, you'll learn how to use and review performance for optimized targeting in Display and Video campaigns.


Before you begin

Brand safety

Optimized targeting respects your existing brand safety settings (such as content exclusions). You don’t need to make additional changes to your brand safety settings when using optimized targeting.

Bidding strategies

  • If you're focused on generating site traffic, consider using optimized targeting with Maximize conversions and using site visits as your conversion type.
  • If you're focused on conversions, consider using Maximize conversions or Target CPA with optimized targeting. Using these bidding strategies is recommended for optimized targeting because they use your conversion data to get you the most value for your campaign.

Campaign performance

Optimized targeting needs time to learn and find audience segments that are more likely to convert.

  • For new campaigns, wait until the campaign has at least 50 conversions or has been active at least 2 weeks before evaluating performance.
  • For existing campaigns, wait a minimum of 2 weeks before evaluating performance.
Use Audience insights on the Insights page to better understand the unique characteristics of users that optimized targeting has found to drive performance. Audience insights increase transparency for optimized targeting by highlighting the top Google audience segments that are performing well. This helps you understand who your customers are by surfacing the unique characteristics, interests, and behaviors of user groups who view your ads and convert. Learn more about audience insights



Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

Change optimized targeting settings

Note: Optimized targeting is only available for Demand Gen, Video action campaigns (VAC), and Display campaigns. Optimized targeting is always turned on for Performance Max campaigns, and brand campaigns use audience expansion.

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Ad groups.
  4. In the filter bar, select the campaign where the ad group belongs to.
  5. Then, select the ad group that you'd like to adjust targeting for.
  6. Click the Settings tab.
    • You can also click the gear icon Google Ads | gear [Icon] beside the selected ad group in the table to open the Settings panel.
  7. Expand the "Optimized targeting" section.
  8. Select the checkbox to turn optimized targeting on or off.
  9. Click Save.

Review performance for campaigns that use optimized targeting

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Audiences, keywords, and content drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Audiences.
  4. From the “Audience segments” or “Demographics” statistics table, click Show table to expand, then scroll down until you find a row labeled "Total: Expansion and optimized targeting".

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

Your initial average cost-per-action (CPA) may fluctuate. Over time, optimized targeting will learn which targeting works best for you and optimize your reach at a more consistent average CPA to drive the most possible conversions.

If your ad groups have different kinds of targeting, viewing the ad group performance will allow you to compare clicks, impressions, and conversions for each ad group.


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