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3 Ways to improve your campaign targeting.

3 Ways to improve your campaign targeting

Do you think your display ads could do with some improvement? Here’s 3 ways you can improve the campaign targeting of your ads.

As many marketers know, click-through-rates for display ads aren’t very impressive. After all, this is no surprise as you can’t expect much more from the placements of these ads, can you? The main challenge is getting the right people to click through to your Ads.

Display Advertisements are a great way to market your business and get it out there, especially if you’re trying to build brand awareness. The best trick is knowing how to ensure that your ads are showing in the right place at the right time.

Now let’s consider some ways you can improve the performance of your display ads:

1. Picking your placements

When it comes to display advertising, Google loves you to get as many impressions as possible. In display advertising, Google don’t care about whether these impressions turn into clicks, as when you get an impression, they get paid, which makes them happy.

This also means Google will make it as easy as possible to set up a display ad, and get it online, popping up all over the internet. Even if you select a specific topic for your ad for example, marketing, this can still lead to your ads being shown on irrelevant websites, which Google classifies under the topic, “marketing”.

How can you improve these placements you ask?

As you can see from above, targeting a relevant topic doesn’t always mean that your ads will show up on the right sites or for the right people. The chances are, if you’ve been using interest or topic targeting, your ads have been showing up in all sorts of places.

To see where your ads are being displayed, you can go into the ‘display network’ tab and click on ‘placements’.

Adwords Example

This will show you exactly where your ads are being displayed, and how many impressions, clicks, conversions, etc. your ads received on that site. Furthermore, any websites you specifically told AdWords to display your ads on, will have a ‘Managed’ status. Any site that Google has picked for you, will have an ‘Automatic’ status.

This should give you an insight on which websites you should be targeting and which ones aren’t worth displaying on. An example would be if a particular website is receiving a lot of impressions, but not many clicks, it would be a good idea to exclude this, as this is creating higher spend and not converting to any click-through’s.

However, another website may be providing a high number of clicks, but also a high bounce rate. This could indicate an error within the process that needs to be addressed i.e. the wrong audience, wrong landing page or the wrong ad entirely.

Topic and Interest targeting will benefit your display ads dramatically; however, you must keep regularly refining them.


2. Refining your Keywords

It might sound a bit strange to be talking about a keyword strategy in a display advertising blog, but keywords can define the audience viewing your ads, and can help the impressions received, be of much higher quality.

To find what search phrases are used to trigger the most impressions, clicks and conversions, you can go into the keywords tab on a relevant campaign and then click the ‘search terms’ tab.

Adwords search terms example

This will show you exactly what search phrases are generating the most impressions, and will give you a more accurate example of what users are searching for, in order to view your ads, instead of just picking keywords that seem relevant to your business and putting them into your campaign.

3.Looking at demographics

Demographic targeting is a very simple approach compared to the two other points, yet many marketers fail to use their demographics to improve their display campaigns.

Think of it as this, if 80% of your revenue comes from young women, is it a smart decision to show your ads to middle-aged or old men? The chances are, even if you miss out on a very small number of conversions, changing your targeting to only young women will overall, give much better results.

If you’re not quite sure how to check or change what your target demographic is, simply open Google Analytics, and go to “Audience -> Demographics -> Overview” and pick the “converters” segment.

Google Analytics Audience 


When it comes down to it, the success of your display ads is down to how much time and attention you pay on the ads, optimising them and adjusting them frequently. If done correctly, you can gain the clicks and brand awareness that your business needs.

If you need any help with any Adwords campaigns, display or not, don't hesitate to get in contact with us here at Website Success.