Ad targeting, blocking and what’s actually important

Ad targeting, blocking and what's actually important

You’ve probably noticed how the ads you see on Facebook mirror the other sites you’ve visited online. Search vacation spots and you’ll be buried in vacation ads for the next 30 days.

People volunteer a lot of the information Facebook uses to determine which ad they see. If you’ve put your hometown, your high school, or your favourite television show into your profile, Facebook takes that into account when they show you display ads.

When you’re using display ads to market on Facebook, you’ve got the ability to upload your mailing list and set the search for people like them. This targets your marketing with precision.

Google has announced that next week they’re rolling out the same ability for Adwords. You’ll be able to narrow down your target audience with pinpoint accuracy if you’ve got a large enough sample list. On the other side of the coin, Apple announced that in their latest iOS, they‘d make ad blockers available. People are tired of seeing irrelevant ads, and they’re blocking them from their feeds.

Ads only work when the right people see them. If you’ve got an ad running, you have to follow it to see how it converts.

The number of clicks you get makes no difference in the long run; it’s the number of conversions that’s important. Conversions are the best measure of value you have for display advertising. The key to turning clicks into conversions is to entertain them, not annoy them. I’m convinced that display advertising is going to change and evolve in the next few years.

Targeting will get better, the ads you see will be more relevant, and you may get fewer clicks while gaining more conversions.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

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