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AdWords Interest Categories Display Targeting

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Google are constantly changing the way they allow you to target your display marketing. The most recent change is Interest Categories in Display Targeting. This article goes some way to explain what they are and how they work.

Targeting Display Using Interest Categories

Interest Categories have recently been introduced by Google on the display network. In simple terms they are there to make your display ads target audience as specific as possible. So, for example, if you were a car dealer you are now able to show ads directly to people interested in cars.

There are two types of Categories to choose from.

  • Affinity Categories: These are a broader type of targeting for advertisers who are more interested in increasing their brand presence. You would expect to use this type of targeting for looser areas of product interest. This type of targeting is often used by companies who are already running TV/Radio ad campaigns in a similar way. For example if you sold music CDs, you would target “music lovers” but not necessarily the exact genre you sell.
  • Other Categories: These are used to drive traffic to your site to get potential new customers to do an action on the site, i.e. fill out a form, make a purchase etc. but they are much more specifically targeted compared to the Affinity targeting. Using the music CDs example again, if you only sold jazz music, you would only target people interested in jazz music or even the certain artist in some cases.

affinity targeting

How it Works

When a user clicks on a Google Partner’s website, Google pull in their data from the pages which they have viewed to show them relevant display ads for the product area you are interested in.  If you view lots of pages to do with Jazz music, you will be shown a Jazz music display ad, for example.

My View

I think that these changes are very useful for an advertiser because showing relevant ads to the people who are interested in certain areas will maximise the chances of the advertiser making a sale.

However, until the category changes have been implemented for a significant amount of time it will be interesting to see how expensive these ads become, especially the Affinity ads as I can see budget being spent very quickly as the targeting is so general.

Google AdWords can be tricky to get to grips with – we’re always happy to help.

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