Paid Search

AdWords Display Network Targeting Options to Try This New Year

The Google Display Network has seen a lot of change over the past year with new features added and new ways to make the most of your advertisement. Lisa Raehsler, founder of Big Click Co., explained in her article that there are actually quite a few advanced targeting tips out there that advertisers still don’t know exist. A few of the best strategies to consider using to bring your display strategy to new heights include In-Market Segments, Mobile Targeting Criteria, the Viewable CPM Bidding Option, and Layering Demographics. Below touches on the information Raehsler provided, offers a few other features to try, and digs a little bit deeper into how to put the features into practice.

If you have not yet started creating campaigns with the Google Display Network, visit this page from Google to learn why it matters and how it works. Once you are familiar with the network, you can begin using some of the more advanced targeting options:

Viewable CPM Bidding Option

This new advanced feature, also called Active View metrics, will help give advertisers insight into the performance of an ad when consumers see it. You are charged for the ad impressions that users actually saw, so it’s a good option to try if you’re looking to save money this New Year. The way it works is easy: If your ad is at least 50 percent visible on a user’s screen for at least one second, you get charged a fee.

Stephen Kapusta, senior paid search analyst for Luna Metrics, added this screenshot in his article to show a test he setup illustrating how the performance of ads vary between regular metrics and Active View metrics. As you can see from Kapusta’s test, knowing how your ads perform when consumers actually see them can help you optimize and then test again.


Clearly the viewable CPM is much improved and has a much higher CTR for the money. After all, it makes sense to only pay for an ad when it is actually seen by consumers as opposed to just when the ad was loaded onto a webpage (sometimes it was below the fold!).

Mobile Targeting Criteria

This is an interesting feature that has a little bit of controversy behind it. The idea is that you can actually advertise through a mobile app. For example, if someone was near your restaurant and they are looking at an app to find restaurants, this option will allow you to have a coupon pop up on that app. In other words, it’s a great way to reach a specific target market at exactly the time when someone is trying to make a decision.

You can find this option by choosing to create a new campaign and then selecting the campaign type Ads in mobile apps. Name the campaign and you’re set to go. Below is a screenshot from The SEM Post of what you’ll see:


Note: If you want to opt our and never appear as an ad in an app, you can visit Campaign Exclusions and then paste in the Placement section.

In-Market Segments

This feature allows you to target consumers who are researching products across the Google Display Network. In other words, Google tracks their behavior to see what websites and ads that users is clicking on, what conversions they have made, what content they are reading, and how often they’re researching. If you offer something similar, it makes sense that you would want your ad to show up in front of these specific consumers.

You can find in-market segments by going to your Display targeting under Interests and then of course selecting In-market audiences. Below is a screenshot from Wordstream showing how it works:


Layering Demographics

You can now target by demographics with the Google Display Network. You can either include this target on top of other targets (such as a retargeting campaign) or you can simply narrow down by demographics to create an entirely new target audience.

The new option is called Use a different targeting method and can be seen as a target option to choose when you’re creating an engagement ad. Select Demographics from the dropdown menu and then you can sort by gender, age, parental status, and more. Below is another sample screenshot from The SEM Post:


You can also target by geographic location, topic, and interest in the same way that you can target by demographics. Visit Crazy Egg to read more about the specifics and how to get started as well as a few tips for successful targeting.

Of course there are many more features you can use when it comes to the Display Network, which you can learn more about here or check out an article we wrote last year discussing ad customizers here. In the meantime, let us know your favorites and what has worked for you in the comment section below.

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