Making sure ads are shown in the right place at the right time is key for any advertiser. Within the Display Network, we all know there are many ways to accomplish this, from managed placements to remarketing to topic and interest targeting. One tactic that might not be as commonly known is Display Targeting Optimization (DTO). Ever heard of Display Campaign Optimizer (DCO)? DTO is a variation of DCO, with a few more advanced targeting features. This is done strictly in “Display Network Only” campaigns and is done at the ad group level. It works with your existing targeting options and helps reach additional qualified customers at your current cost per customer. With just the check of a box (or two, depending on your selection), you can implement DTO and Google will work its magic to find additional conversion opportunities for you. So, let us take a stroll through Google Adwords to make the magic happen. Setting up DTO First, you’ll need to go into one of your display campaigns and select one of your ad groups where you want to implement the targeting strategy in. Then select the “Display Network” tab and click on the “+ Targeting” button. Here, you will see the “Targeting optimization” option. Once you check the box, you may or may not have the option to select your type of targeting optimization, either conservative targeting or aggressive targeting. What are the differences between the two, you ask? First off, one of the main differences is that with the aggressive targeting (which was formerly DCO), your campaign must have at least 15 conversions per month. Google optimizes based on your campaign’s historic data, so without sufficient conversion data, the algorithm would not be able to perform properly. One advantage aggressive targeting has is that it reaches more potential customers than conservative; however, aggressive targeting may have more variation from your current cost per customer or target CPA compared to conservative targeting, which will stay closer to that number. Google doesn’t specifically say how much “some variation” is, so make sure to closely monitor the campaign and costs. How Do I Measure Performance? In order to look at performance specifically for this targeting option, first click on the “Display Network” tab, then click the “Placements” tab, then in the “Segment” drop down menu select “Targeting mode”. In the reporting table, look for conversions categorized as “Auto-targeted”. Here you’ll be able to monitor your targeting so you don’t start paying for more clicks and conversions than you anticipated (or budgeted for).
Of course, if the results are not what you were looking for, you can always uncheck the targeting optimization box. But make sure to give it enough time to perform, as over time your CPA will get closer to your target CPA as it explores the Display Network and finds the conversions you need. After all, don’t we all want more conversions at a lower cost?