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Google Ads Targeting Broken Down

You may be aware of this small change already, but Google AdWords is now called Google Ads! This is the same piece of software as before just with a different name to reflect the variety of ads you can run through the platform – not just text ads!

Most people are familiar with Google Ads, and many of you may have tried this advertising platform before. Although this is a great form of marketing your services, many businesses don’t know about the full capabilities of the software.

Google owns 71% of the search market share, so it is no surprise that a lot of businesses choose Google to run their ads.


The main aim of using demographic targeting is to narrow your audience is that anyone who doesn’t fit your demographics will not see your ads.

The demographics available for your ad targeting depend on the kind of ad you will be running, e.g. display or search network, and where you are in the world.

For all ads, you can target location, age and gender. The age demographics are grouped in roughly 9-year periods, for example, 35-44-year olds. This allows you to pick groups of ages from the age of 18.

Location targeting allows you to target towns, counties or even whole countries as well as a specified radius around your specified location.

Remarketing and Similar Audiences

Remarketing allows you to target people who have visited your website recently but maybe not converted into a customer. This targeting feature can be used on the search network, display network and video ads.

This will mean that Google will show your ads only to the list of people they have gathered from the code installed on your website. It allows you to market to these users when browsing other websites to remind them about you and raise interest again.

Similar Audiences is not too different from the remarketing feature; it allows you to target your ads to people who are similar to your website visitors. It will work alongside your remarketing list to find users with a similar search behaviour to the users of your remarketing list.

It cuts out the need to set individual targeting features in place and can be extremely effective for some businesses. This list will also get automatically updated as your original list adjust their search behaviour.

Topics and Placements

Topic targeting allows your ads to appear anywhere on the display network or on YouTube where the content of the page or website is similar to your selected topic. As web page content changes so will the placement of your ads.

All you have to do for this form of targeting is select one or more topics which you think are related to your ads; Google will then use these topics to place your ads on websites and pages where the content is similar to your topics.

This is a great way of targeting people who may not be looking for your service yet, but who would potentially be interested in your ads.

Similarly, you can select where you want your ads to appear across the Adsense network. This is placement targeting; you can select entire websites, pages or sub-sets of a website for your ads to be placed on.

Again, this is a method of targeting people who may be interested in your ads because of the websites they’re visiting but who have not actually started looking for your service yet.


This is what most of you will think of when you think Google Ads – we have to admit it’s our preferred method of targeting on Google Ads (depending on the customer of course).

Your ads will show to the people who are using these keywords in their Google searches and is an extremely effective form of marketing as the users are actively looking for your service or product. You can make your keywords extremely specific by using an exact or phrase match – this means that your ads will only show your ads to people who use that exact search term.

Alternatively, you can target people who mention your keywords or something similar by using broad match.

Each keyword has a different bid price which will alter the amount that you’re spending on your results – this usually depends on the competition for that keyword.

All of these targeting methods are very effective and definitely well worth your time and money. Marketing with Google Ads is a sure fire way to get your ads in front of people who are interested, and you’re sure to get the ROI you want in return.

If you’re interested in learning a little more about Google Ads or you want to know what the competition would be like for your ads, get in touch, and we can talk through some options with you!

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Tierney Crocker
Tierney Crocker is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, involved in all aspects of digital marketing and social media. You can email her at

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