Using targeting to display your ads to the right people

How to use targeting to focus ad delivery to reach a specific audience.

Getting your ad in front of the right people; that's what targeting is all about. With targeting, Bing Ads can help you focus a campaign or ad group on potential customers who meet specific criteria, so you can increase the chance that they see your ads. To learn how, see How to target customers.

There are four ways to target your ads. You can use these individually or in combination:

Locations and Advanced location options

When you target by location, Bing Ads provides you three options. You can choose to show ads to potential customers in:

  • All locations worldwide
  • Selected cities, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions
  • Near a particular business, landmark, zip code or coordinates

Although location targeting is most often used to designate the specific locations where you want to show your ads, Bing Ads also lets you target locations you specifically want to exclude from seeing your ads.

Not only does Bing Ads let you target customers in a specific location, you can also show ads to customers searching about a specific location. Take a look at the following examples:

EXAMPLE 1
  • Advanced location option: Show ads to people in, searching for, or viewing pages about your targeted location
  • Target location defined in your campaign: London
  • Keyword: Hotels
Searcher’s physical location Search term Ad eligible for display? Explanation
Florida London hotels Searching about target location
London Hotels Located in target location
London New York hotels Located in target location
EXAMPLE 2
  • Advanced location option: Show ads to people in your targeted location
  • Target location defined in your campaign: London
  • Keyword: Hotels
Searcher’s physical location Search term Ad eligible for display? Explanation
Florida London hotels Not located in target location
London Hotels Located in target location
London New York hotels Located in target location
Day of the week or time of day

As your campaign progresses, you may find that your click-through rate and conversion rate are highest during certain times, for example, weeknights. This might be a perfect opportunity to use bid adjustments to improve your chances of displaying your ad Monday through Friday from 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.. When targeting by time, you are targeting the searcher's local time zone. For example, if you increase your bid by 10% for 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M., that bid adjustment will be effective from 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Eastern Time for searchers in New York, then be effective 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Pacific Time for searchers in Seattle. Now you are showing your ads when your potential customers are online!

Age and gender

You can also target customers by age and gender so that your ads are displayed more frequently to people who will be interested in them.

Device

When you target by device, you choose to show ads to potential customers when they're using computers, tablets, smartphones or other mobile devices that have full web browsers. For smartphones and tablets, you can also choose specific operating systems.

To designate that an ad should show only on mobile devices, you can use device targeting along with the Device preference setting.

Device targeting applies only to text ads. It cannot be applied to WAP mobile ads, which are intended for mobile devices that do not have full web browsers. For more information about WAP mobile ads, take a look at Tell me about WAP mobile ads.

Note

When determining a search user’s location on a smartphone for targeting purposes, Bing Ads uses the following methods:

  • Device settings: The search user’s browser and other location-related settings are taken into account.
  • Device location: If the user consents to their location data being shared, the latitude and longitude information from their device’s GPS is used as well as Wi-Fi and cell tower data.
  • IP address: If the user does not consent to location data sharing, but is connected to a Wi-Fi network, Bing Ads uses the device's IP address to determine the location.

When you select any of these targets (other than device), you can place an optional extra bid, known as an bid adjustment. Placing a bid adjustment increases the likelihood that your ad is displayed in a better position for customers who meet your targeting criteria. For more information about incremental bids, including a couple of examples, take a look at Target customers with bid adjustments.

If you use targeting, you should set your basic targets at the campaign level and then refine your targets at the ad group level. If there is no conflict between the targeting settings at both the campaign and ad group levels, Bing Ads uses both. If there's a conflict, ad group targets take precedence. Campaign targets apply to all ad groups in that campaign. Ad group targets override campaign targets within that ad group.

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