A Guide To Ad Targeting
Ads are essential to promoting your business and your brand. You may have amazing optimized ads developed for your target audience, but it’s important to know how to reach users with them.
Ad Targeting is how advertisers using Google Ads decide where their ads will appear and which audiences they are directed at not the internet.
This is a very powerful tool and can make a difference between displaying ads to a focused target group or wasting ad dollars on users that will never become a conversion.
In Google Ads there are two types of targeting:
Contextual – Contextual Targeting allows advertisers to be specific about where their ads appear based on the topic, the category of content of a certain website, or through placements which are specific pages or websites where they choose them to appear.
Audience – This gives a business the ability to control which users their ads appear before online. Audience Targeting selects potential customers based on their activity or interests on the internet, interactions with a website, or approved first-party information.
Google is set to launch another tool called Privacy Sandbox that could be a possible alternative to ad targeting.
This initiative argues that Google’s decision to phase out third party cookies can be an opportunity for brands to consider an ad targeting alternative. Businesses can innovate other alternatives that would enable them to efficiently target the desired audiences without intruding on user privacy.
Recently Google has been actively testing its Privacy Sandbox proposal for interest-based cohorts, and the preliminary results are in.
The testing process for this tool is still in its infancy and Google is looking to expand with more experimentation.
The idea for the Privacy Sandbox is to move away from one-to-one identity and shift towards aggregation and cohorts. This will serve as the building blocks for APIs that will preserve privacy, prevent cross-site tracking, and allow for interest-based advertising.
Group Targeting vs. Individual Targeting
Google is experimenting with group targeting or cohorts as an alternative approach to previous methods of ad targeting.
Google seeks to move closer to ads that deliver privacy and personalization. Instead of individualized targeting, group targeting uses an algorithm that assigns users to a group that is internet-based.
A preliminary study was released by Google recently that tested the use of cohorts that group people with similar browsing histories, interests, and data and target them collectively.
They found that targeting interest-based cohorts performed much better than targeting random groups of users.
While this development showed a significant increase in ad performance it didn’t show that it was capable of replacing third-party cookie-based targeting.
With all the recent changes in Ad Targeting, it is important to understand these different nuances in order to decide which method works best for your specific business and website.