AdWords Targeting Options Strengthen Your Online Ad Campaign


AdWords is Google’s main advertising product designed to deliver your ads to an audience that is already interested in your business and generate traffic to your site. When you advertise through AdWords, you choose keywords that are relevant to your business or product. Your ad will then appear next to or above the search results when someone uses those keywords in a Google search. Your ad links to your website, where visitors can discover your company and buy your product.

There are several benefits to advertising through AdWords. For starters, you’re advertising on the most used search engine worldwide (reaching an estimated 70% of global internet users). The product provides you with plenty of tools and reports to show you how your ads are performing and to help you increase effectiveness of your ad campaign, and you aren’t charged for every time your ad is displayed. Instead, you’re only charged when someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website. Moreover, AdWords offers a wide range of targeting methods, including keyword, location, language and placement targeting, all of which help you get your ad to your desired audience.

keyword targeting

When creating ad groups, you choose keywords that pertain to your business or product. AdWords uses these keywords to deliver your ads to web users who use your keywords in their search queries. This assists users in finding what they set out to look for, and helps your ad reach the people who are looking for what you have to offer. For each keyword you select, you’ll choose a match type to broaden or narrow your keyword matches. Match types include:

Broad match- using Broad match, your ad might appear in the results for search queries that use your keywords in any order or combination.
Phrase match- here, you narrow your match a bit, as your ad will only appear for search queries that use your keywords in their exact order.
Exact match- narrows your reach even further by limiting the appearance of your ad to searches that use your exact keyword phrase without any additions or alterations to the phrase.
Negative match- your ad won’t appear for words or phrases for which you specifically do not want it to appear. For instance, if you’re selling a high-end product, you could eliminate the appearance of your ad from queries that use the word “cheap”.
Embedded match- prevents your ad from appearing in the results of a particular phrase or exact match of your choosing.

AdWords offers these varieties to help you better target your audience, and prices vary for each type of match, as a broader match type will obviously be displayed more often. AdWords also offers the Keyword Tool which helps you identify relevant keywords, provides keyword ideas, synonyms and spelling variations, etc.

language targeting

When creating an ad campaign using Adwords, you must select languages for which you want to target. You can target up to 40 languages, and your ad will only appear to users whose Google interface language matches the language or languages you’ve chosen to target in your campaign. You’ll want to target the language spoken by the audience you want to reach. You’ll also want the language you’re targeting to match the language used in your ad, its related keywords and your webpage.

location targeting

Along with a language, when creating an ad campaign you’ll choose a location, or locations, to target your ad. As with keyword targeting, you have options to choose to broaden or narrow your campaign to a location. When creating a campaign, determine who your intended audience is, and where your business sells its products or services. Then, choose from the following location targeting options:

Country/territory targeting- this allows your ad to reach a wide audience across multiple countries/territories. You’ll want to use this option if your company is global and you want your ad exposed across the world.
Region/city targeting- this option is best for a business looking to reach an audience in a defined area. If you’re a local business, like a hair salon or movie theatre, you’ll want to use region/city targeting in order to reach those that are likely to seek your services.
Zip code targeting- this is a feature recently added to AdWords that improves targeting by location. With this option, you can specify which geographical areas to target down to the neighborhood, and you can target more than 30,000 zip codes. You can also view campaign performance stats for each individual zip code.

placement targeting

Placement targeted ads only appear on pages on the Display Network, which is a collection of millions of websites that partner with Google and Google specific websites, like YouTube, Gmail, and Blogger, all of which display Adwords ads. You choose a specific audience and site, or even a portion of a site, for your ad to be displayed. For Display Network Placements, you can choose from the following options to better target your audience:

Automatic placements- AdWords uses contextual targeting to place your ads based on keywords in your ad group.
Managed placements- Allows you to choose which sites you’d like your ad to appear on. You can also increase your control of where your ads will be placed by setting unique bids on your placements (bid more or less depending on the relevance and results of each placement), and even restrict the sites where your ads will appear on the Display Network.
Excluded placements- This allows you to select specific sites where your ad will not appear.

topic targeting

Topic targeting allows you to put your ads on sites about a specific topic. You can use topic targeting in combination with individual placements and keyword targeting to narrow where your ad will appear. For instance, if you’re selling beauty products, you can target the “Health and Beauty” topic, and even select more precise subtopics like “Hair,” “Makeup,” or “Skin”.

As an advertiser, you don’t want to waste your good time and money on an ad that won’t reach potential customers. AdWords is a beneficial tool designed to better target your ads and reach online users who are interested in what you have to offer. Though there’s a lot more to the service, and a lot more that goes into making a successful AdWords campaign, these targeting methods are the basics to give you a better understanding of what AdWords can offer your business. Matched with a partner or agency well-versed in AdWords, you will be more than ready to reap the benefits of a positive AdWords ROI.