Early this month, Google introduced a new way to contextually target your ads using the Google Display Network. Until now, we’ve only been able to specify keywords that will potentially trigger your ads to show on relevant pages within the network. Now, we’re able to choose from a list of 1,750 topics and subtopics that will automatically place your ads on sites that make sense for your audience.
In order to set up “Topics” targeting, I recommend you create a new ad group within an existing Display Network campaign in Adwords so that you’re able to test the results of this type of targeting. When you create the ad group you can create Display Ads, Image Ads, Text Ads, or a combination of the three. Once you have your ad group set up, access the “All online Campaigns” section.
Click on the drop down arrow to show additional tabs at the right of the tab menu. You’ll see a new option in this box for “Topics (Display Network Only).” Select this and you’ll then have the option to access the topics tab from your tab menu.
Once you’ve enabled Topics, go into your newly created Display Network Ad Group and select the Topics tab, then select “Add New Topic.” A nicely organized list of topics will display. You can then choose topic areas that make sense for your placements. In this example, we’re working with a retailer who sells Women’s Health and Beauty products. In the list I’ve chosen the “Beauty & Fitness” top level category, and within that Category I have also targeted “Face & Body Care -> (subsection) Make Up & Cosmetics.
With these placements, you are able to make sure that your ads are getting out to relevant audiences across the display network without having to go through the long and tedious process of choosing every managed placement, while also refining targeting and so that your ad is not being shown across the entire network at all times. So far it seems to be a very good area of middle ground in order to target the Display Network in a smart way.
Once your Topics are set up, you’re able to see the stats for them by returning to the Topics Tab. We’re setting this type of contextual targeting up for several of our retailers and we’d love to hear feedback from your about your experiences using Topics.