Relying on search keywords to bring in all your paid traffic just doesn’t cut it anymore. Luckily, Google is making advancements in audience targeting in light of the future changes to third-party cookie data.
The latest advancement as of July 2021 is optimized targeting. This is a branched-off targeting option automatically applied to advertisers leveraging audience or demographic targeting on Display, Discovery, and some video campaigns.
In today’s post, we’re going to unlock the answers to the following questions regarding this new feature:
By the end of this read, you’ll have a better understanding of whether optimized targeting is something you’ll want to leave on or turn off for your Display, Discovery, or video strategy.
Optimized targeting is a newly announced feature gradually rolling out on accounts that allows advertisers to reach people beyond who’s in their targeted audience. According to the announcement, here are the benefits:
Optimized targeting looks at indicators like keywords on your rich media assets or on your landing pages, then finds additional folks you can show to that would help to meet your campaign goals.
You can also manually add additional signals for optimized targeting to build off of like demographics you’d like to target or content keywords.
With an end goal of helping to increase conversions, this automatically applied branch of targeting could sound like music to advertisers’ ears.
Once it rolls out on your account, you’ll see performance metrics show under your Totals in the bottom of your Audiences or Keywords view on your Display, Discovery or video campaigns. What this means is that aside from your audience alone, you’ll be pulling in impressions, clicks and even conversions from people outside of your targeting parameters.
Optimized targeting works by looking for additional conversions through targeting people its algorithm deems most likely to convert based on the signals your setup indicates. This is based on real-time conversion data. For example, it looks at what people who recently converted are now searching for.
Optimized targeting does sound very similar to audience expansion rolled out in 2019. Yes, both look for additional conversion opportunities, but in different ways:
So, optimized targeting will be more precise but may not have the same reach controls that audience expansion would have (see the dial below) .
Optimized targeting can be a great tool if you feel like your current targeting methods have been sluggish with results. Here are a few scenarios where leaving on optimized targeting is the right choice for you:
If none of those sound like you, then don’t worry! You also have the option of toggling off optimized targeting.
These steps are not only easy, but a great way to become acquainted with the lesser-known ad group settings section of Google Ads. Check out these simple seven steps to turn off your optimized targeting:
The beauty of Google Ads optimized targeting feature is you can turn it on or off, and it’s not exclusive to just the campaign or account level. So, if you’re looking for a new way to scale, don’t be afraid to let this apply to one or multiple ad groups. You can always A/B test with this new targeting option and turn it off later if needed.
So, let us know in the comments, are you going to let this new targeting option run on your media campaigns?
Susie is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream, where she uses her experience as a PPC consultant to share tips, tactics, and best practices in the ever-evolving marketing and advertising space. Outside of work, Susie loves to get outside for some snowboarding or (once the cold weather melts away) hiking!
See other posts by Susie Marino
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