The Google Display Network is a great way to reach new customers who are not actively searching for your specific product or service. Contextual targeting on the Google Display Network places your ads on websites that have content and themes similar to your ads and keywords. One step above the basic contextual targeting is display targeting; display targeting allows you to narrow down the websites your ads will show on, allowing you to better reach your target market. Combining contextual targeting and display targeting will truly help you reach and convert your Great White Buffalo (more or less your ideal customer or target market to readers who are unfamiliar with the movie Hot Tub Time Machine) on the expansive open range that is the Google Display Network.
Display targeting offers you several features for targeting that include: Keywords, Managing Placements (choosing specific sites for your ads to show on or excluding sites for your ad not to show on), Topics, Interest & Remarketing, Gender, and Age. Combining and customizing the display targeting features will allow you to better reach your target market, increasing the likelihood that you will target users who are more likely to convert.
Specifically, the Interests & Remarketing feature allows you to target users based on their interests (which is based on the user’s browsing history and cookies) and show ads on websites across the entire Google Display Network. On the other hand, the Topics feature targets your ads to show on websites with the same theme as your chosen topic. For example, if you chose the topic “80’s Movies” your ads could appear on a website dedicated to the movie Red Dawn (1984)…Wolverines! The main difference between targeting by interest and targeting by topic is that targeting by interest allows your ads to be shown on the entire Google Display Network; not only on websites with related content (as in topic targeting). The key benefit of interest targeting is that your ads will only be displayed to users who have shown a distinct browsing history/behavior related to your chosen interest category.
With interest targeting you can target multiple interests in the same Adgroup, allowing you to reach a larger target audience. You are also able to bid on specific interests, so you can bid higher on interest categories that convert more often; but beware: the more targeted your scope is, the more you will limit your impressions and potential for conversions from users outside your target market.
Overall, using the Google Display Network in combination with customized display targeting is a great way to advertise to very niche markets in order to help you find your Great White Buffalo (make sure you always say it in a whispering voice).
Finally, I will leave you with a question: What is the best way to reach your online target market? (and if you don’t know the answer you can always just Lougle it and see what pops up!)