8 Google Adwords Display Targeting Strategies in a NutShell for Ecommerce

Google Display Marketing DigitalDefynd

Google Display Network is still one of the top display networks that are being invested upon heavily in India, for all verticals. Even with the advent of various RTB networks like Appnexus coming into picture, businesses still are investing heavily into Google Display. As a PPC marketer it is a primer that you know some basic ways in which you can use Google Display to fulfill all your client goals. Be it brand lifts, or complimenting you tube video strategy or simply building remarketing strategies, you can use a combination of these strategies to supersede your client’s goals!

Google has several levels of targeting methods, reaching a Pan Indian audience of average 785,090,200 impressions. Google Display provides us several targeting methods for both push as well as indirect pull marketing strategies. Using Display, we have seen several long term benefits like increase in brand searches, increased frequency of repeat buys along with assisting Search strategies. Following are some of the top level Display Targeting/ Strategies that have worked for our E commerce Clients.


A) Pure Targeting Methods

 Affinity Targeting – Google Buckets Millions of Users, using cookies, based on the users search & website browsing behavior. Based on the same, we have several types of user buckets like Health Buffs & Fast Food Cravers. These buckets contain users who have shown a lot of interest in a particular bucket.

In Market Targeting – Google Buckets Users basis if they are in market for a particular bucket, like say hair care of beauty products. We can target people based on the relevancy of this bucketing.

Contextual Text Targeting – In this method, we can target all content websites, where GDN owns placements, which contain a particular keyword like “breakfast cereals” or “nutrition facts”. This targeting method ensures that we target our users when they are in a relevant frame of mind.

 Targeting Specific Placements – Google also provides us the facility of targeting specific websites & even specific placements within a website. So if we are targeting Times of India, we can actually target the placements present in the lifestyle pages.

Hybrid Targeting – Any of the Above targeting methods can be clubbed together to get more relevant audiences, example, you want to target a Fast Food Enthusiast, when the website keyword contains “Best Dining Places”

Google Display Network Matrix Overview


B) App Driven Targeting Methods

Target App Categories in Google Play Store – There are more than 50+ top categories where google categorizes apps based on their category, we can target our specific app text & images to appear inside these apps.

Interest App Categories – We can target users who have say downloaded a food app like Zomato, and show our ad messaging to them when they open say a music app.

New Smart Phone Users – We can also target users within apps who have recently bought a smart phone.



Google Display Network Interest_Remarketing DigitalDefyndC) Remarketing Targeting Methods
Target users based on their behavior on your website.

Webpages & Site Categories – These user cookie buckets can be made based on our strategy, to promote a particular product, or category, or offer pages.

Smart Lists based on Google Analytics – Using Google Analytics, we can create audience buckets based on user navigation behavior, device & browser behavior, source/medium or keyword entry point etc.


D) Search Companion Marketing Method
Indirect Pull Marketing – Assist to Remarketing

Buyer Life Cycle Keyword Themes – Target users who are typing Different Levels of User Life cycle keyword themes & show users ads on display networks, in all successive organic websites users travel to post the search of the keyword in the same Browsing session.

 Competition Keyword Themes – Target users who are searching for your competitor names, and follow them in the successive display placements in the same browsing session. (Eating on your competition.)


E) Top Level Targeting

 Demographics – Target Only Specific States, Cities, up to a 5KM radius of any coordinates given to Google.

 Age – Target Males & Females in 10 Year bucketed age groups.

 Gender – Contains a significant number of users who fall into the unknown category, but still a very relevant targeting bucket.

Google Display Network Demographics DigitalDefynd


F) Custom Affinity Targeting

Target Users based on where they have visited in the past. Example if a user visitsFlipKart.com/Electronics/Cameras , google will create a user bucket of all people who have visited similar websites and sub categories.


G) Dynamic Remarketing

Now follow your users with products they visited on your website. This cookie based remarketing allows you to create dynamic product ads & show them to your users on GDN. Many custom targeting techniques can be applied here, other than the default lists that are created when you make the campaign. You can also custom modify the feed to include variables that bucket products based on Average Selling Price (ASP).


H) Custom Audience Remarketing (Similar to Facebook) 

This is definitely music to PPC marketers, who have been waiting for a long time for custom audience feature in Google Adwords. You just upload email ids into Adwords & it automatically maps these to your remarketing cookies of your user base. We have seen a 60-65% match of custom audiences for Facebook remarketing, this is expected to be lower for Google & will vary from vertical to vertical. Also email lists need to be at least more than 10,000; for your campaigns to have some impact. It is still early days for us to comment on this remarketing segment. However, ppc guys are also creating “similar audiences” from these custom audiences & experimenting.


Hope You liked these 8 basic methods we can use for Google Display Targeting! Please share your thoughts below. In my Next Article, I will be talking about some cool Google Search Strategies that actually worked for our clients!


( Inbound at Heart )

Neil has more than 3yrs Intense Digital Marketing Experience, both in Inbound & Paid Ads. He is currently looking at Marketing Operations at Sokrati.


Nilotpal Roy

Neil has more than 3yrs Intense Digital Marketing Experience, both in Inbound & Paid Ads. He is currently looking at Marketing Operations at Sokrati.

One thought on “8 Google Adwords Display Targeting Strategies in a NutShell for Ecommerce

  • February 12, 2016 at 3:10 am

    i’ve recently imletmenepd Adwords Remarketing on a client website and conversion has increased by almost 1% this month, so certainly seems to be having a positive effect. I’m going to implement #3 on your list and have ads for every possible size advert and see if that improves conversion further. Thanks for the tips!

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