AdWords Fundamentals: Exam study guide
2.3 Targeting your audience
Showing your ads to the correct prospective customers is a key part of a successful advertising campaign that helps you reach your goals. Below, we'll review the different ways that you can use AdWords to show your ads.
As you learned in a previous module, on the Search Network, AdWords will use your keywords — words or phrases that are relevant to your product or service — to show your ads to people searching for similar terms. On the Display Network, when your keyword matches a webpage's concepts or central theme, your ad is eligible to show on that webpage (we call this an automatic placement).
You'll want to choose high quality, relevant keywords that can help you reach the customers you want, when you want. We'll go over more tips on how to build a great keyword list later, but let's start with a few important details about keywords.
Keyword match types
You can use keyword match types to control which searches trigger your ad. Each match type, which is specified by a special symbol, will trigger your ad to show for a customer's search in different ways.
This chart serves as an introduction to the different match types, ordered from broad to narrow.
|Match type||Special symbol||Example keyword||Ads may show on searches that:||Example searches|
|Broad match||none||women's hats||include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations||buy ladies hats|
|Broad match modifier||+keyword||+women's +hats||contain the modified term (or close variation, but not synonyms), in any order||hats for women|
|Phrase match||"keyword"||"women's hats"||are a phrase (or close variation)||buy women's hats|
|Exact match||[keyword]||[women's hats]||are an exact term (or close variation)||women's hats|
|Negative match||-keyword||-women||are searches without the term||baseball hats|
You can use broad match, for example, to show your ad to a wide audience, and you can use exact match to show your ad to specific groups of people. In general, we recommend using a "broad-to-narrow" strategy — start with broad match keywords and then monitor your keywords' performance over time. You can make your keyword match types more specific if you find that your ad is showing for too many irrelevant variations of your keywords.
Keep in mind that you can use match types with campaigns that show ads on the Search Network. On the Display Network, keywords are treated as broad match.
Negative keywords and keyword exclusions
You can also add negative keywords for campaigns that shows ads on the Search Network, and keyword exclusions for campaigns that show ads on the Display Network. Negative keywords prevent your ads from showing to people searching for those terms or visiting sites that contain those terms. When you choose negative keywords, you'll want to choose terms that are similar to your keywords but signal that people are looking for a different product or service.
In addition to keywords, you can use different targeting methods to match your ad to places or audiences on the Display Network.
Let’s take a look at three categories of targeting methods:
Contextual targeting: Match relevant site content
You can target based on relevant website content in two ways:
With keywords and topics, Google selects relevant placements on the Display Network, based on website content and other factors, where it can show your ads.
Audiences: Reach specific groups of people
You can target your ads based on audiences in these ways:
With audiences, you don't manually select places to show your ads.
Managed placement targeting: Select specific websites and apps
Managed placement targeting allows you to pick individual sites and mobile apps where you want to show your ads. For example, if your typical customer spends a lot of time on a specific website and you want your ads to appear there, you can add it as a managed placement.
With location settings, you can target the geographic areas where your ads can appear. You can select entire countries (like the United States or France), individual regions or cities within a country (like the state of California or city of Paris), or a certain distance around your business location (like a 20 mile radius around San Francisco).
Why use location targeting? It can help focus your advertising on the areas where you'll find the right prospective customers, and restrict it in areas where you won't. It's a good idea to choose the region where potential customers live and where your business can serve them.
For example, if you run an e-Commerce business in the United States that ships to certain states, you can target only those states. Or, if you own an Italian restaurant in San Francisco, you can show your ads only to customers within a few miles of your restaurant.
If you're trying to communicate with customers who don't speak the same language, you can use language targeting to show your ads to customers who speak a particular language. Your ads can appear for customers who use Google products (such as Search or Gmail) and on third-party websites that are part of the Display Network.
Language targeting helps make sure your ads will appear on sites that are written in the language of the customers you'd like to reach. Keep in mind that your ads and keywords should be written in the language that you target — AdWords doesn't translate ads or keywords.
Let's say you're an international women's apparel retailer, and you want to show your ads to Spanish-speaking customers. You can create a campaign that's targeted to the Spanish language, and show your Spanish language ads to potential customers who have their Google interface language set to Spanish when they search for dresses.
You can also reach prospective customers while they're on the go by showing your ads when people are searching or visiting Display Network sites on their mobile phones that have full browsers, like iPhones and Android devices. Depending on your goals, you might want to target one or multiple devices.
Mobile devices with full Internet browsers, such as smartphones, can display websites similar to the ones you'd see on a desktop computer and mobile-optimized sites. High-end mobile devices can also host apps, which people can download from the app store on their device or from a website. This wide variety of media available on mobile devices means that you can show your ads in many different ways, and tailor your message to be compelling to potential customers on mobile devices.
Antoine targets Fiona's Search campaign to people in the United States, since her company doesn't offer shipping outside of the U.S. Using language targeting, Antoine sets up the campaign so that only English-speaking people will see Fiona's ads.
Additional study materials
- Find out more about targeting your ads.