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Targeting on the Display Network - Best Practices | #AdWordsAnswers


 Hey there Community!

This is Yash from the Google AdWords Team, and I’ll be guiding you through the process of setting up various targeting features which are best suited for the Display campaigns in your AdWords accounts.


Let’s get started!

Keyword Contextual Targeting

This form of targeting allows you to reach out to the consumer directly based on the theme of the content which the user views, allowing you to display your ad while they are engaged with a relevant website on the Google Display Network.

1) Think more about the themes of the websites you’re willing to have your ads shown on, rather than focusing specifically on keywords. This will allow your ads to serve to a relatively wider range of potential audience members who might be interested in your product or service.

2) The keywords in an ad group are used as one unit to create an audience list. Ideally, you should aim to include between 5 and 10 keywords in every ad group, with an average length of 2 to 3 words each.

3) Determine in advance the kinds of websites you want to reach and use appropriate ad creatives to increase user relevance and attraction while users browse website content.


Manual Placements

This targeting method allows you to control the exact websites, videos, RSS feeds and mobile sites where you want to display your ads. This gives you immense control with regard to where your ads are shown to users on the Display Network.

1) If you use manual placement targeting in conjunction with a remarketing list, make sure your targeting option isn’t set to “target and bid” for placements. This would tell the system to only serve your ads to people on your remarketing list when they visit the specified websites, which would severely limit the impressions and subsequent clicks on the ad.

2) You can also exclude your ads from appearing on mobile applications via automatic placements by using the term “adsenseformobileapps.com” as an exclusion on your Display campaigns, or you can choose the category of the specific applications where you want your ads to serve.

Topics Targeting

Targeting users on the Google Display Network using their topics of interest can be a great approach when you wish to reach those users who have similar tastes or preferences.

The most common question advertisers have when selecting these categories is, “How do I know which topic categories my current users belong to?”

Well, wonder no more, because we have any easy solution for you to get some great insight into your customer's’ interests.

In order to do this, you need to have your website linked to your Google Analytics account.

In your account, you can access ‘Interests’ under the ‘Audience’ tab and then proceed to the ‘In-Market Segments.’ This will list out the various interest categories of the users who have shown interest in your website. You may use these various categories as a baseline for targeting users with similar interests on the Google Network, as they would be more likely to have an affinity for your business.

Remarketing Lists

Remarketing lists are an ideal way to reach out to specific users who have previously interacted with your website but have left a conversion action incomplete, or who you want to encourage to become repeat users.

Generating a “similar audiences” list while using remarketing can be a great way to reach customers who have similar interests or behaviors as those on the original seed audience list. This helps to expand your customer base as well and drive useful actions on your website. The minimum list size requirement for the system to auto-generate a similar audience list would be 100 for an audience list created through Analytics and 5,000 for Customer Match audience lists.

I hope these best practices help you in optimizing your Display Campaign. Please reach out via the comments below if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer them for you!




James K
January 2017

Yash, thank you for the information and your analyses! Great article!