Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Facebook is a social media site that’s been proven a gold mine for marketers and professional search engine optimization experts. Not only are millions, perhaps even billions, of users are registered through Facebook, but Facebook also has a way of segmenting audiences based on information in their profile. You can do the same sort of demographic and psychographic segmenting using Google Display Network. Although Google Display Network isn’t designed to so precisely segment audiences like Facebook can, it can still be done with just as much effectiveness.
Let’s say you’re targeting a specific audience like, say, girl ages 13 to 15. You can adjust setting on Google Display Network to find and target content that would attract such an audience.
One of the GDN options available to you is topic segmenting. With this option, Google scans pages of content and places each under a specific category, or topic. Select or exclude topics depending on your audience. For instance, you can choose to exclude the topic of “real estate” if it ever appears, since that likely won’t appeal to young teenage girls. The topics you end up choosing for your teenage girls might seem like clichés at first, but they’re nonetheless relevant. It’s definitely a good start for a professional search engine optimization expert.
GDN also offers interest targeting. It can be difficult for a newcomer to differentiate between the two and they are indeed often confused. While topics targeting pertains to the content of a specific page, interest targeting pertains to the attributes of an individual in your audience. Interests of an individual can be mined based on personal information they give on various sites, third party companies, social networking sites, and cookie IDs generated when visiting a site.
On GDN, it’s recommended to use an “interest cluster” for your campaigns. In your Adwords account, go to Shared Library, then Audiences. You can select the option of creating a new cluster, giving it a name, and selecting audiences. You can also choose who to exclude from this cluster.
There’s also placement targeting. This category can be wholly overwhelming, as it entails targeting specific websites, and the selection can be expansive. Using DoubleClick Ad Planner can make this scouring for websites a little easier. With Ad Planner, you can enter specific parameters about your desired audience and create an extensive list of website relevant to that target audience. You can also create your own search and media plan with Ad Planner if you want to opt out of search a huge list of websites.
Adwords once offered a demographic bidding option, through which you can multiply the bids based on demographics of your audience. This feature, however, has expired.
Targeting an audience with Google Display Network is not close to being as simple as it is on Facebook. The plus side of the coin when it comes to Google Display Network is that it also includes every audience that uses the Internet, instead of strictly those who have a Facebook account. With some organizational effort, you can begin targeting and marketing to your desired audience.