Google’s Display Automatic Targeting

By crystalmarketing | May 26th, 2021

Online advertising revenue reached almost $140 billion in 2020 and with good reason.

Consumers are clearly influenced by the digital ads they see on a daily basis. In 2020 alone, consumers flocked online more than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past year, digital ad spending worldwide reached $333 billion.

Driving much of the spending is Display Automatic Targeting, one of the biggest trends in marketing.
Here’s a look at what Display Automatic Targeting is and why it’s beneficial for your business.

What is Display Automatic Targeting?

Display Automatic Targeting is a feature for advertisers recently introduced by on several platforms, including Google and Amazon.
It’s an automated option within settings of display campaigns that allows you to show ads to an audience that’s “similar” to the one you specified that you wanted to target.

Data is taken from your historical performance, looks at your conversion history, and uses your cost per acquisition as an estimated guideline for spending. The feature is automatically enabled for all display campaigns.

There are two options: conservative and aggressive. The “conservative” option allows your platform to conservatively find your potential customers based on past data and does not go over a current cost per customer.

The “aggressive” option targets a higher number of people with more liberal settings. It does so at a cost per customer that may exceed what you normally experience.

How can you tell that your campaigns are using Automatic Targeting?

If you select automatic targeting, a certain website platform is doing the work for you, as opposed to manual targeting.

With automatic targeting for your campaign, you select what you’re advertising, choose a budget and the timeframe for the campaign. Then the platform goes to work, choosing targeted keywords that match (or are similar to) your product or the product category.

If you’re using manual targeting for your campaign, you find the keywords that match your product and its description. Your advertisements are then presented only when your keywords exactly match the other users.

Why might Display Automatic Targeting be bad for Your Advertising

There are several pros and cons for marketers that come with Display Automatic Targeting.

  • Automatic targeting is easier to set up and handle.
  • You also don’t have to research keywords. All you need to do is make sure your product has an accurate description and is in the right category.

Automatic targeting is generally regarded as having the ability to optimize targeting as your campaign runs, with your ads increasingly showing up where they’re likely to get the most attention — and give you the most business.

On the flip side you will find that you are giving a lot (if not too much) control over your campaigns to Google.

What we and others have found is that Google attempts to stay within your allocated CPC, but the automated feature seems to have little regard for the daily budget.

Display Automatic targeting is also extremely beneficial if you have a lot on your plate. However, if you are concerned about going over your budget and your results being impacted you may want to think twice.

How to disable Display Automatic Targeting?

The feature has been turned on automatically, so keep a close eye on your display campaign performance and if you see poor results you can disable the targeting option by following the below:

  • Go to Audiences
  • Click the Blue Pencil Icon
  • Select the relevant Ad Group
  • Edit All Targeting
  • No Automated Targeting

If you have any further questions please reach out to the team at Crystal Marketing who have over 10 years’ experience in the field and run a SEM agency in Sydney, Australia.

It appears you're using an old version of Internet Explorer which is no longer supported, for safer and optimum browsing experience please upgrade your browser.