Ad Targeting Boosts Google Paid Search Ads

Ad Targeting Boosts Google Paid Search Ads

Updated 8.13.2021

AdWords digital marketing encompasses fascinating ways to gain rich data for ad targeting options so businesses can laser-target the exact consumer you want to reach.

If you believe you should have higher conversion levels from your PPC advertising, your ads may be serving up to too broad an audience. If ad targeting is applied, your traffic will be a better fit for your product or offer. That alone can improve the number of desirable conversions when managing AdWords campaigns. If they aren’t converting, put effort into gaining custom audience data that will reveal what is hindering the conversion process. In order to maximize revenue from your paid advertising, position your ads directly to targeted audiences that are ready to buy and willing to pay

Strategies for AdWords Personalization and Ad Targeting

Remarketing and ad targeting is an effective aspect of utilizing Google AdWords for most businesses. Employ these strategies to recapture those individuals who didn’t quite convert on the first visit to your website.

• Build your own first-party data off your AdWords campaigns based on your business and site.

• Once accrued, businesses can leverage their own rich customer and audience data to segment and adjust AdWords campaign bids and budgets for maximum ROI.

• Digital PPC advertising dollars can be better used to find and reach new customers with clearer insights from existing customer data profiles.

• Marketers can incorporate strategies to be more effective through targeted ads with more competitive higher funnel traffic.

• The easier it is for the right buyer to make a purchase on your website, the more likely they will do so. People are quick to get frustrated if they land on a web page about something different than led to expect or they cannot figure out how to go through with the purchase.

Better Google Ads Attribution Reports

Attribution in Google Ads “Search Attribution” was updated March 5, 2020. Now called simply “Attribution”, it provides ads managers with more detailed information about the consumer paths behind how people convert for your brand. Each company is unique, making it more useful that reports cover a deeper range of insights. Now the data is richer concerning the sequences of ad interactions prior to a conversion, to how much credit is assigned to each interaction along the path to purchase.

Once your business has clearer insight on how customers opt to interact with your paid marketing throughout the purchase cycle duration, you’ll know the areas that are driving better results.

For better ad targeting, Google Ads reports now include:

  • Overview
  • Top paths
  • Path metrics
  • Assisted conversions
  • Model comparison

With organic results now better at interpreting consumers’ wants, SEM ads display in a more informative context. Since the BERT algorithm integration, Google can better interpreted all words and meanings together; this returns more targeted and better informed organic results. This empowers integrating organic search marketing and PPC better.

Google Display and Video 360 Features

Google is launching a new feature in Display and Video 360 that will rely on machine learning to manage ad frequency.

This will assist marketers by giving them more control ad frequency regardless of whether third-party cookies aren’t available. Google’ ads privacy product manager Rahul Srinivasan indicated in a 10.8.2019 post** how this new frequency-capping tool can assess traffic patterns of consumers using first-party cookies to model ad exposure patterns where third-party cookies aren’t in use.

First-price Auction for Ad Manager Announced May 2019

Google Ads is adopting a unified first-price auction to simplify the number of steps and increase transparency so that Ad Manager no longer needs to conduct two different auctions for an ad.

Google Ad Managers gain a one auction process that compares prices from a publisher’s guaranteed campaigns with all of a publisher’s non-guaranteed bidders, regardless if they are authorized or non-authorized DSPs. Formerly, a buyer might select a winning bid in the initial auction but lose out if it didn’t participate in the final auction. Now every bidder shared the competition concurrently. This change requires all Ad Manager Partners to share and obtain bid data that is useful for targeting your audiences.

How to Get Custom Audience Data for Ad Targeting

There are a lot of ways to build your audience. Custom audience data is key to allocate better your paid advertising dollars.

In AdWords, you can build your first-party data segments with a little know-how. Then you glean key insights into who are the people buying from you, what are they buying, and what is their purchasing journey.

You can overlay this information in Google. Segment data by age and gender. You have actually to go in and set a zero percent modifier in place, the first day you add that, you can begin to see data results. Look in the AdWords UI. Targeted ads are crafted with the intent of reaching certain customers based on demographics, psychographics, behavior. location, buying patterns, and other second-order activities that are gleaned most often through data trails produced by users themselves.

Be cautious with your modifiers. Once you start collecting data, it is important that you only focus on making the bid modifiers on one variable at a time. (age, gender, location, household income (Google uses the consensus data within in particular zip codes)). Test one thing at a time, or break out another campaign.

Your CPC results may look perfect for one age segment, but if the conversion rate is low and the cart size is low, the true overall picture tips you to focus on higher CPC’s. Understand your ceiling of impact. If you know that one age bracket converts better than the general market, you can roll in personalization and integrate your Ad Groups, Ad copy and landing pages to very specific market segments. Ultimately, some customers are better than others. Those who have a way better cart value (those who buy the most products from you), should have a unique value proposition and deserve more of your AdWords budget spend.

4 Steps to Gain Data for Ad Targeting

1. Set the base lines

2. Start in the data

3. Use the data to do the determinations

4. Test your own hypothesis

After the data has baked in, you can test your determinations quite easily and jump into ad targeting. Now let’s cover more answers on how Ad Targeting boosts Google Paid Search Ads in more detail.

Re-engage Your Ideal Audiences that are Most Likely to Convert

You can add additional audiences for your Ad target and bid. This is how it works: Google sees the user come through the site, establishes a cookie, and then audience groups can be formed off of what they do after landing on a page. You can learn if they leave the page, what they gravitate to, click on, etc. In terms of RSLA’s you can overlay someone who has added an item to their shopping cart within a specified number of day. The total is 550 days for a re-marketing cookie.

One good reason to get started today, if you aren’t already into collecting data for ad targeting, is that in Google AdWords, you cannot retroactively add data. By starting sooner versus later, you can glean a bigger list, then you can target more people. Anything that you can add an audience to may be useful. Use the AdWords Editor to layer lists on top of your campaigns to add data.

Make use of your email addresses for a certain set of campaign types.

Data Collection for Ad Targeting

You won’t leave money on the table if you set up ad targeting and remarketing in AdWords correctly.

People who have already been to your site are more likely to convert. Once you have let the data collect, then you have insights to create separate search specific campaigns to make use of it. The ceiling is only as high as the list. If you have our own first-party data, you can create ad segments off of that. Customer match will have levels of success depending on how many people you have addresses for.

Add engagement drivers to customer match for higher profits in mobile paid advertising. Because Google owns Gmail, this gives you an opportunity to see some of the best match rates; some are seeing as much as 50 percent match rate. Segment out by what email domains, such as versus, are used and test to see how match rates segment out.

Match rates will be better if you clean up your lists. Get rid of vanity emails, and old emails. Using an RSLA customer match makes it easier to go after non-branded terms with confidence. With a strong value proposition, individuals who have already been to your website typically come back after signups. Your retainment of viewers that have left is improved.

To reinstate, Google has stated multiple times that organic search engine optimization is not pay-to-play: advertising with Google AdWords is not going to advance your organic search rankings. Or at least, not directly. However, Google Ads can support and improve your SEO strategy in multiple ways. Every time your tracking pixels reveal user activity, you now have a better working knowledge of user activity.

Mine your business’s PPC data to quickly gain key insights that can inform your organic search marketing team, saving yourself a significant amount of time, money, and frustration in the process. Each AdWords campaign can be set up, activated, and run in a single afternoon, while in contrast, SEO can take up to 6- 12 months to really start showing strong results.

Consider using AI Chatbots to respond to shoppers questions. They can empower conversations all the sales funnel by engaging in immediate conversations. This is a way to convert more visitors on mobile devices. Your marketing efforts can be prepared to respond better to voice-activated searches.

Ad Targeting and Zero Percent Modifiers

KEY: build campaign and audience data with zero percent modifiers. You have to do it or you cannot see the data you need to better optimize your AdWords copy and strategies.

It is very easy and minimalistic. After you see the data, make adjustments to campaign type, match types, keyword bids, ad group segmentation, and ad copy as you see best. If you have the budget for segmentation, you will end up with the best ROI. If you have a ton of keyword data, go ahead and make changes to optimize your AdWords campaign accordingly. Otherwise, give it a week or two to have better data and learn more about how users interact across devices and with your evergreen web content. We highly recommend adding supporting facts and FactClaim schema to build trust for your landing pages. If you run your ad targeting for a few days, you will not get a sufficient read on user interactions.

Why Ad Targeting is important in your marketing stack:

According to Jennifer Cannon on Marketing Land, “Digital marketers ranked audience targeting (86%) as the top component informing their paid search marketing strategies in the next year, with keywords (83%) and remarketing (76%) also ranking high on the list of priorities.” The August 26, 2019 Video marketing tops the list of marketers’ priorities, which is a key aid in PPC targeting.

Search marketers continuously seek how to make informed decisions for all things involving their creative marketing strategy. Marketing investments paid search best practices, and innovative marketing decision-makers need data-informed decisions for ongoing planning. Surprisingly, when it comes to search engine marketing, The Mondo Creative and Digital Trends Report that she references indicated that visual and voice search is lower down on search marketers’ priority list. Prospective buyers prefer to learn about a product and its brand from video content.

User transparency and GDPR compliance ranked near the 50% mark.

Monitor your Campaigns with the Google Ads Mobile App

Having invested more in building up the mobile app, Google helps Ad managers monitor re-targeting campaigns in real-time. While on the go, it is now quick to assess high-impact marketing recommendations and take fast action to advance advertising efforts. Google Ads introduced additional optimization score features and Dark mode in the app on March 3, 2020.

With so much that is possible to try; identifying priority recommendations for your mobile campaigns faster is huge. We love how easily we can view account and campaign-level optimization scores on the updated overview screen. Campaigns with recommendations that have the highest potential impact are right at the top. This means actions that will drive ad performance can be taken from anywhere and anytime.

By reading your AdWords data, you can gain insights as to whether or not orders from new buyers diverge notably by device.

Clicks are a Must for Higher Profits in Paid Advertising

In the end, your Ad’s copy and the offer must result in viewers clicking on it to be effective. 2016 has been predicted as the year of behavior-targeted advertising to gain more clicks.Competitor analysis and predictive analytics is critical as a first step in gaining clicks that lead to new customers. Successful AdWords campaigns include knowing what you’re up against with your competition. If your business is targeting local consumers, you will need to do as much offline research as possible in advance. If you’re remote (agency), or competing nationally, use Google’s ad preview tool, as well as other tools like SpyFu, to Know competitors’ offers that prospective buyers are comparing you to! Most likely, you can double your AdWords conversion rates with these tips.

Know when to Expand your Ad Targeting

To figure out what ad targeting method will work best for you, restrict your targeting but be prepared for the strong possibility that it will lead to higher competition. This will likely be reflected in higher cost-per-view (CPVs). The difference may be if you are running near your maximum bid, in which case you will likely stop winning in AdWords auctions and find out that you have an unspent budget. Expanding targeting will allow the ad-serving system to determine which auctions that your targeted ads and bids are most competitive, and can reduce the campaign’s overall average CPV. Important audiences at a lower CPV may be identified by exploring broader targets.

Google says, “Remember, the TrueView format itself acts as a targeting filter where you pay only for engaged viewers who choose to watch your ad.”

You can target your remarketing around a number of different factors. Any particular list of users can help you bid more competitively where it counts. To meet your CPV goals, expand targeting selectively. It is important to set frequency caps then using video to target certain audiences and languages.

Engage how your viewers are interacting with your website after an Ad leads them there, but avoid keyword targeting which may limit ad frequency unless combined with other methods. Be clear what you are offering and how you are leading them to the next steps. Defining success and your buyer funnel upfront is central.

6 Steps to Learn what your Customers Want – Then Target Ads

1. Find what channels they are using to make purchases in your vertical.

2. Write down the questions that are frequently asked by your prospective buyer pool.

3. Conduct relevant keyword research to check for keyword usage and volumes that offer you more insights.

4. Convert the keywords into solutions to the questions asked.

5. Choose the top 3 to 5 questions and then create landing pages that offer the best solutions to those questions.

6. Then create an AdWords Campaign that is optimized to be specific to each question within an individual Ad group

Take data you have gained about your lead gen funnel to your next target and bid strategies in AdWords. This way you can find audiences that you are targeting so an Ad will display if there is AdSense on that page. A really small audience is okay when super targeted to your best consumers that have demonstrated a high propensity to buy. There are 556 days long that a remarketing cookie lasts. Customer match lasts 180 days, according to Marc Weisinger, Director of Elite SEM Canada


1. Audience Targeting

2. Location and Language Targeting

3. Mobile Device Targeting

4. Keyword Targeting

1. ADWORDS AD TARGETING METHOD: Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) for Audience Targeting

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) allow you to target paid Google search ads to individuals who visited your website lately, letting you customize your ad copy, keyword bids, and budget allocation appropriately. With an astounding average of trimming CPC’s in half, using RLSAs typically doubles click-through-rate, which raises your Quality Score as well. The reason you can enjoy the benefits of a 2x higher rate is that that searcher is already familiar with your brand from a previous visit. Your GoogleAds can be created to answer specific buyer questions at each stage of the consumer journey to purchase. For local ad targeting, integrate with your optimized local pages.

The biggest difference between RLSAs (ad copy should be more general) and Customer Match (ad copy can be more specific), is that with customer match, the user may never have been on your site. RSLAs are those who have been on your site. CRM data offers you more information for ad targeting. Google continues to innovate opportunities that your display Ads can benefit from.

2. ADWORDS AD TARGETING METHOD: Location and Language Targeting

You can target your ads to individuals living in certain countries, regions, or cities – or within a set distance from your storefront.

Google location Ad targeting is an important element of AdWords to consider when wanting the most from paid search. Marketers can set up your next campaign because it will assist in eliminating users who are outside of your target location that you would rather not put a bid on. This ensures that your business dollars will increase the value of the clicks you pay for and the analytics collected from user behavior.

It is of particular help to local consumers if you have at least 10 reviews to incorporate on your landing pages. For healthcare sites, be careful if you’re managing patient reviews on third-party platforms.

To determine who your target audience is, make use of internal data collected from existing customers, previous AdWords campaigns, or research keywords using Google Analytics, Google Trends, and SEMrush to identify the territories from which consumers commonly search for that information. Add positive and articulate consumer reviews that assure and inform the prospective buyer.

6 Steps for setting up AdWords Location Targeting

1. Select the campaign you wish add geo-targeting to.

2. Select the “Settings” tab.

Select the “Locations” section and click on edit.

3. Click on the search tab and begin typing your preferred location>

4. Select it when it appears on the drop-down menu.

5. For more granular results, change the default setting from “People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location,” to “People in my target location.”

6. Additionally, Enable location extensions along with your local ads so that a prospective client can find and contact your business with ease.

3. ADWORDS AD TARGETING METHOD: Mobile Device Targeting

Digital Advertisers Prioritize Mobile Ads for Higher Profits in Paid Advertising

By targeting your ads to mobile viewers, you can take advantage of the huge impact mobile searches have on PPC advertising. It is one way for small business’s to compete and win new customers. When you’re running a Google AdWords campaign, you may be most familiar with how to run your PCC on desktops, but since mobile already has the higher usage, adjusting may offer you better search results. Current trends prove that is it is easier for most businesses to convert mobile users who click on Google ads. That is true on both the Google search network and display networks due to the increased sense of intimacy that mobile devices offer. By implementing e-Commerce markup, you can improve visibility in search results.

I concur with Neil Patel’s assessment that, “the click-to-call feature available in mobile browsers is a game-changer.”

Marketers should be considering how to better serve audiences on mobile for higher profits to align with an AdWords profit-driven marketing model. Also, technical SEO issues with your mobile landing pages can really hurt.

Google Analytics has just integrated new features for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Meaning that now more than ever, a business can obtain deeper information from a mobile device than from a laptop – the most important aspect being the location of the viewer. Targeting an ad to the right person is one thing; serving an ad with the specific intent to reach that person at the right time while in the right place is considerably more valuable. Consumer reach can also be improved with adding products to your Google Posts. This is a separate task from adding products to your Google My Business profile.

Mobile devices are considered by many as the most important personal item they own. That is a good reason for digital advertisers to prioritize them for better targeting. Likewise, users want to protect their personal information as much as possible from advertisers and others looking to target them with unwanted messages. This is why digital marketers see the increase of individuals who block ads on their mobile phones. Try show in more visually rich search results, like the product carousels. Businesses need to be increasingly savvy about their process of gaining data; it must be conducted wisely, respectfully, and ethically.

Following these best practices and tips for ad targeting for higher profits in paid search; it should help your marketing team in their journey to run a successful AdWords campaign. Benefits include showing up in the Google local pack.

While there are many AdWords features that serve a unique purpose, all of the above suggestions are beneficial for ad targeting. Test, measure, and tweak to improve your AdWords campaign performance and target your customers more efficiently in the future.


Marketers often spend a great deal of time researching which keywords to bid on those searchers typically use to reach a business like yours. Established a structured approach to your Ad content creation. The words or keyword phrases that are most relevant to your product or service will make it so that your ads appear when customers use those terms to search on Google or search partner sites. This gives you a chance to improve your mobile user click and conversion rates. Since your AdWords campaign can only be as good as your keyword lists, once you have created a highly relevant keyword list, you elevate your chances to show your ads to the customers that are already interested.

“Typical of internet marketing, expect more changes. Google is always updating – you want to feel confident that you are bidding for spots above the page. The idea for messaging is really interesting. You can change up your ad copy to actually more specifically message the target audience you want. ” ~ Marc Weisinger*

“Whether it is a trial price of $X or Free delivery, or 50% off, or a bonus with purchase, you want to OFFER SOMETHING IN YOUR AD targeting.” – Julia Muller

“It’s all about targeting. Advertisers invest significant resources in both identifying their target market and creating the right ads to resonate within that group. So it’s understandable that they want the right AdWords targeting mechanism to reach their intended audience when buying placement for those ads.” –***

Know how to use consumer’s search history to know what they want and how too better communicate with them.

Jeannie Hill is a professional digital marketing consultant who delivers on paid search Ad Targeting services. Need help to determine if your ad targeted advertising is effective enough? For optimal advertising intensities with respect to Ad targets, we can help you tailor your AdWords advertising to target best uses in consumer space. I work and live in Minneapolis Minnesota, providing both on-site and digital marketing services.

Learn more about our Digital AdWords Services for Lead Generation

Request guidance to gain higher profits in paid search. 651-206-2410





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