The Fastest Way To Make Display Campaigns Profitable

You setup a new AdWords display network. The campaign starts to generate traffic.

You pull up the placement report and notice dozens of junk placements.

Sounds familiar?

The good news is that there’s a fix for that. It’s actually the easiest and fastest yet overlooked setting to improve the performance of any AdWords display campaign.

The Little-Known Display Setting That’s Stealing Your Profits

There’s a litten hidden setting called ‘Targeting Optimization’ in your display network settings. Targeting optimization lets AdWords find new customers automatically.

You can think off Display Targeting Optimization a bit like the broad match keyword option on the Search Network.

When activated, AdWords will automatically expand upon your targeting to try and find additional customers. The problem on the display network is that this will often result in lots of cheap junk traffic instead of high quality conversions.


There are three different settings you can choose from:

  • Conservative targeting (default setting)
  • Aggressive targeting
  • Disable the feature

If you activate the feature you can choose between ‘Conservative targeting’ and ‘Aggressive targeting’.

You can disable the feature by unticking the box “Let AdWords automatically find new customers”.

Two Ways To Change The Targeting Optimization Setting

There are two ways to change the targeting optimization setting: using the AdWords interface or AdWords Editor.

Targeting optimization can only be changed at the ad group level, not the campaign level. If you need to change the setting for multiple ad groups, AdWords Editor is a much faster way.

Change the Targeting Optimization setting from the AdWords interface

  1. Navigate to the display campaign you’d like to make changes to
  2. Click on the Display Network tab
  3. Click on the red button +Targeting
  4. From the dropdown menu, select the ad group you’d like to make change to
  5. In the section Targeting Optimization, untick “Let AdWords automatically find new customers” to disable the feature.

Change the Targeting Optimization setting from the AdWords Editor

  1. Select your display campaign from the Campaigns menu (top left-hand side menu)
  2. Select ‘Ad groups’ from the Manage menu (bottom left-hand side menu)
  3. Now highlight one or multiple ad groups from the top right-hand side overview
  4. After selecting your ad groups, you can change the Targeting Optimization setting in the bottom right-hand side menu

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