Google Display Network Targeting Options

Managed Placements

Management Placements can be uploaded from a list of website that you provided to Google. You provide the specific websites that you want to target your display advertising. You are telling Google that you believe your audience visits these websites and that you only want to display your ads there. This strategy is good and safe because you know exactly where your ad is being displayed. However, this is the most common method and may not get you the best or cost-effective results.

You can use the display planner or other tools. Start by looking at what's working and get inspired. Chances are that if the ad has been around for a long time, it is probably working.


Contextual keywords tell Google to find things related to your keyword. More work is involved with this method because you should monitor where your ads are placed and how they are performing.  You can also target your competitors brand, products, services, and URLs. Topic targeting is broader and easier to use. Digital Shift recommends adding one topic per ad group to measure the performance.

Google Gmail targeting is also an effective way. With HTML ads, you can actually build a landing page within Gmail. Using competitor domains allows you to target people using Gmail you can show your ads to customers of our competitors. Targeting by using your keyword and topic.


This method you are specifying that you want to target based on recent (1-2 week) behaviour. This person is looking to buy right now. This is based on what they searched for, what site they visited, and how they behaved on those pages. Google knows a lot about you. Selecting in marketing audiences allows you to specify to find people who are in the market for your product or service. Google tries to target people based on behaviour very similar to pixel tracking closer to the bottom of the funnel.


  • Reporting is helpful especially when you filter based on e-commerce conversion rates. This allows you to better review the audience and their behaviour.
  • Affinity audiences are predefined interest that is focused on long-term interest. Digital Shift recommends using in-market audiences over affinity audiences when you are getting started.
  • Remarketing: The aim is to target interested people, not just people that visited your website. The aim is the target an audience that shows interest and to focus on the next step they need to take.
  • RLSA: is combining your remarketing with your existing search campaigns.
  • Use the AdWords editor.


Google can also target by geographics, but Facebook does this much better at this currently. The appropriate use of the demographics feature is to layer over other campaign settings or to adjust the bids based on the demographics. Similar audiences are also available for Youtube and Gmail.

It is important to note that these settings,  in addition to other targeting options, can be layers and mixed. This allows you to target audiences that fall under more than one of the aforementioned settings. When you do this you need to be aware of how the bidding is to work in Google Ads.

  • Bid Only: Look out for recent visitors and bid more for them. You add your remarketing list to a particular ad group. Then you can add a bid adjustment to this list.
  • Targetted bid: Only target the people searching for the keyword and bid this amount. Will end up similar to your remarketing list. Targeted bids are great for the top of the funnel. Generally, these are shorter keywords. Target means that the user is already on my remarketing list and bid means that we want to increase the bid because the audience is more valuable.

Remember the key to successful advertising is testing!

Not sure what to do to optimize your ad spend to maximize conversions. Claim your FREE 30-minute strategy session.

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