The Different Types of Google Adwords Display Campaigns

Pitching to your target audience across millions of websites can be a challenging task, but with the targeting tools available through the Google Adwords Display Network, you will be able to get the message across to potential customers with ease.

The three main types of Google Adwords Display Campaign targeting tools are:

1. Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting will enable you to match your ads up with relevant websites on the Google Display Network, which is comprised of websites and apps that have chosen to collaborate with Google.

When you use contextual targeting to place your ads, Google will match your ads to automatic placements (websites considered relevant to your keywords and topics).

Here is an example of a contextual ad within the Google Display Network – an AA insurance ad, showing on a website about personal health:

Example Contextual Google Display Ad

Contextually targeted ads will provide your target audience with useful information. If, for example, you have produced an ad group to advertise wedding cakes and you have included keywords such as “iced wedding cake” and “three-tier chocolate wedding cake”, Google will use contextual targeting to place your ad on sites that are associated with these keywords.Your ad may therefore appear on discussion forums for brides-to-be who are talking about wedding cakes or web pages containing iced wedding cake recipe ideas.

You will be granted the freedom to fine-tune your campaign by adding exclusions. You can therefore prevent your ad from appearing on sites that are associated with low conversion rates or are not appropriate for your target audience.

2. Placement Targeting

Placement targeting will enable you to choose the locations of your ads on the Display Network. You can choose specific locations through the managed placements feature, or you can grant Google the freedom to choose appropriate automatic placements on your behalf, based on the keywords you have provided.

Here is an example Google Display Ad – an Air NZ Grabaseat ad and an Island Hop to Tahiti ad on

Example Google Display Ad

3. Interest Category Targeting

Interest Category targeting will help you to reach out to your target audience by displaying relevant messages to your potential customer base while they are busying surfing the web. You can choose from over 1,600 predefined interest categories and Google will show ads to the people that have shown an interest in those specific categories.

For example, a mother may be interested in the baby toys your company has to offer or a dog owner may be interested in the dog kennel service you are trying to advertise. Category targeting can enhance the performance of your campaigns by increasing brand awareness, improving website traffic, extending the reach of your existing campaigns and creating ads that attract the attention of people with specific interests.

Here is an example of category targeting, where Amazon have an ad showing for pet gifts on a dog health / information website, so they have chosen the “Animal Products & Services” category for targeting:

Example Category Google Display Ad

In Summary

Targeting ads so they are displayed to the right website visitors at the right time is an essential part of an Adwords advertising campaign. Choose your campaign type wisely to successfully meet your goals!