Google has released a new feature in AdWords Display Network, which allows advertisers to better target audiences based on interests. Interest categories were in beta since March 2009, and have finally be made available for all AdWords Advertisers. Currently, there are over 1,000 interest categories an advertiser can select, meaning that as an advertiser you can ensure that your ads are showing to the most relevant audience for your products and services. Refining a campaign like this can significantly increase your ads’ Click Through Rate (CTR) and lead to higher conversions.
How Do Interest Categories Work?
Google assesses a user’s browser for pages viewed and aligns certain interests based on what that user has seen. For example, Bill is a yoga fanatic always reading the latest blogs, sites and forums about yoga. He would be categorised into the Beauty and Fitness interest category (which can also be further refined into more specific sub-categories).
If your business runs under this category, you have now targeted someone who has a specific relationship to your products and services. Where previously having your ads on the Display Network relied upon the content on the page to trigger ads.
How to Use Interest Categories
You can add specific interest categories in your AdWords account, specifically located under the Audiences tab. As you can see in the above picture, there are a range of top level interest categories, which then can be further refined for you to ‘add’. A great little feature is the ‘Global Users’ next to each interest category, providing you a general overview of the potential reach you can target.
I’m left wondering whether this development is a positive one for advertisers and users of the Display Network, or if it should be interpreted as another breach of privacy etiquette by Google, who don’t have the greatest track record in the world in that area. What are your thoughts?