- 7 min. read
Macy StormSenior Content Creator
- Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
Google Ads are a great way for your business to reach valuable leads. It’s essential that you invest time in setting up your Google Ads targeting, so you can reach people looking for your products or services. On this page, we’ll dive into detail about ad targeting methods and provide you with five best practices for using Google Ads targeting.
Let’s get started!
What types of targeting methods are available for Google Ads?
When you look into Google Ads, you’ll find that there are numerous types of targeting methods for Google Ads that you can use to reach more valuable leads. There are two main categories of targeting:
- Audience targeting
- Content targeting
Let’s break down these categories of targeting:
Audience targeting for Google Ads focuses on different ways to target people that you think are interested in your business. You want to reach leads that want your products or services. By targeting your audience better, you’re more likely to obtain valuable leads.
Let’s look at a few targeting methods you can use for Google Ads.
- Demographic targeting
The most common form of Google Ads targeting is demographic targeting. This practice focuses on targeting people based on demographic information. Demographic information includes:
- Device type
This is all information specific to each member of your audience. Companies often target by demographics to reach specific groups of people because certain types of people are interested in their products or services. By using demographic targeting, you’ll target more efficiently and reach these leads that are interested in your business.
- Interest targeting
With interest targeting, Google places individual users into groups based on their web behavior. Many people interact differently on the web from one another. Certain people may take actions that are indicative of them being more likely to buy your products or use your services.
There are two types of interest targeting that you’ll come across.
- In-marketing targeting: This targeting shows ads to users who have been searching for products or services like yours. These users are closer to conversion, so you target them with the intent to get them to choose your business and convert.
- Affinity targeting: Data gets collected as each user engages with pages, apps, channels, videos, and content on YouTube. Google builds a profile of that person and allows you to target those people based on their affiliations.
Interest targeting is an easy way for your business to target people interested in your products or services, as well as take advantage of contextual targeting.
Remarketing is one of the most popular forms of advertising. These Google Ads target users that already interacted with your content previously. Remarketing ads are meant to get leads to think about your business again and consider purchasing from you.
You can retarget users in any stage of the digital marketing buying funnel, as long as they’ve visited your page or clicked on your ad. The goal is to get users to return to your business and complete a purchase.
Aside from audience targeting, you can also target by content. Content targeting allows you to reach people looking for specific types of content.
Here are a few examples of content targeting your business can use.
- Keyword targeting
Google serves ads alongside content that matches the keywords. You can target specific keywords to help your ads appear in front of relevant leads that are searching with those keywords. For example, you may be targeting the keyword “women’s fashion for winter.” By targeting this keyword, Google may service your ad on the same page as an article about fashionable pieces of clothing for winter.
- Targeting topics
As you figure out your targeting strategy for Google’s Display Network, you have the option to target multiple pages about a specific topic. This lets you reach a broad range of pages. Google analyzes web content to determine the central theme of each webpage.
They target ads based on your topic selections. This means you can reach people on websites that fall into the selected topic.
- Placement targeting
Placement targeting focuses on allowing your business to choose which sites you want your ads to appear. Your placement may be on an entire website or a subset of a site. You select the domains that fit best with your business.
This means you can focus on getting your ads on websites where your audience is most likely to browse. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, you may target domains of fashion bloggers to get your ads to appear on their site. This does not, however, guarantee that you will appear on those domains.
Your bid amount has to align with how much they charge for you to run your ad on their site.
3 best practices for doing Google Ads targeting
Now that you know the different types of targeting you can do with your targeting strategy for Google’s Display Network, check out these three best practices for running a successful campaign!
Know your target audience and segment them
If you want to have success with any advertising campaign, you must know your target audience. You want to reach the people that are the most interested in your business. By knowing your target audience, you’ll reach more relevant leads.
Knowing demographics such as socioeconomic status, interests, hobbies, and occupation will help you target individuals interested in your business. Once you know who’s interested in your business, you can segment your audience. You’re going to have subgroups of people that are interested in different products or services your business offers.
You can create a more personalized experience for them by segmenting your audience.
Utilize display targeting exclusions
When you’re running a Google display ad campaign, you may come across certain aspects that you want to exclude from your campaign. You can exclude keywords, placements, interests, audiences, topics, and demographics. Exclusions are added to prevent poor performance or to filter out irrelevant leads.
This is beneficial to your business because it prevents you from targeting keywords or people that drive high costs but earn your business few to no conversions.
Focus on location targeting
Location targeting is one of the easiest ways to create an audience. When you’re setting up your Google Display Network targeting strategy, you’ll want to double-up on location targeting. So, what does it mean to double-up on location targeting?
When you target local customers, you want to target location-based keywords, as well as a radius around your brick and mortar store. This means you’ll want to target keywords like “hair salons in Harrisburg, PA.” Focusing on local targeting will help you target more relevant leads. You’ll drive more people to your location and create new customers for your business.
When you look in your location targeting settings, you’ll see three different options:
- Target people in, or who show interest in your target locations
- Target only people in your locations
- Target only people searching for your locations
If you want to drive the most effective results with your campaign, focus on targeting only people in your locations or people searching for your locations. Doing this ensures that you only target local people searching for your business. The first option, targeting people who show interest in your target location, can cause wasted ad spend.
Someone who is 1000 miles away could be searching and find your business, but being so far away, they will rarely choose it. If you focus on the other two options, you’ll drive more valuable results.
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Start using Google Ads targeting today
Targeting with Google Ads is a great way for you to create more effective advertising campaigns on Google. You’ll reach more leads that are interested in your business, which will drive better results with your campaign.
If you need help using Google Ads targeting, contact us online to see how we can help you get started.
Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
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