Use targeting expansion in Display campaigns

Targeting expansion is now available as optimized targeting for any new Display campaigns that you create. Like targeting expansion, optimized targeting looks at any audience segments you’ve added to your targeting and uses that as a starting point to find new and relevant audiences for the campaign. As an additional benefit, optimized targeting may look for audience segments that fall outside your selected audience segments if there’s an opportunity for better performance.

Targeting expansion increases your reach to additional users to help you generate more conversions with Display campaigns. This article tells you how to change your targeting expansion setting and how to evaluate its performance in your campaign.

For an overview of targeting expansion in Display campaigns and how it works, read About targeting expansion in Display campaigns.

Before you begin

Targeting expansion 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, campaign, or account.

If you're a conversion-focused advertiser, consider using a bidding strategy such as Maximize conversions, Target cost-per-action (CPA), or Target return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) with targeting expansion. Using Target CPA or Target ROAS is recommended for targeting expansion because it allows our system to best use conversion data to get you the most value for your campaign.


Change targeting expansion settings

  1. In Google Ads, find your campaign and click on it.
  2. Click the ad group that you'd like to adjust targeting for.
  3. Click Settings in the navigation menu.
  4. Click Edit ad group targeting.
  5. Drag the slider to the left or right to change targeting expansion settings.
  6. Click Save.

The default setting offers limited expansion to additional audiences. To increase your reach at the same target ROI, you should choose the highest level of automation.

Review performance

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

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

To review how your ads are performing with targeting expansion, you can:

  1. In Google Ads, click Display campaigns in the navigation panel.
  2. Click the campaign for which you'd like to review performance.
  3. (Optional) Click an ad group in the campaign to see performance at a more granular level.
  4. In the page menu on the left, click Audiences or Keywords.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the statistics table and review the summary rows at the bottom. The row labeled "Total: Expansion" contains all traffic from targeting expansion.

Compare performance

If you have different ad groups using different kinds of targeting, you may want to see how they each perform. To do so:

  1. In Google Ads, click Display campaigns in the navigation panel.
  2. Select Ad groups in the page menu on the left.

You can see data on clicks, impressions, and conversions by ad group.

Targeting vs. observations: If you edited your ad group to use "Observations," you may see reports on how additional targeting may benefit your ad group. Learn more about targeting and observation settings.

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