The Google Display Network (GDN) is an extremely powerful tool for advertisers and businesses wanting to promote their services to the general population of the Internet. However, not everyone is going to be interested in your advert or services, which is why here at Search Factory, we ensure our display campaigns use data specifically reflecting your target market and database. While there are quite a few targeting options across the GDN to choose from, we find one targeting method in particular quite effective for our clients, as well as easy to set up quickly across accounts. This targeting method is Affinity targeting.

What is Affinity Targeting?

Affinity targeting allows you to connect with users who care about your brand. The Affinity Categories in Google Analytics has over 80 unique personas and categories based on lifestyle and user interests that are created via continual and past online behaviours of potential customers of your brand.

Identifying Affinity Segments within Google Analytics

The first step to identify the Affinity Categories that we can target is by getting Google Universal Analytics installed and by adding an additional piece of code to the analytics to allow for Display Features to function and start tracking the necessary information. More information on this can be found in the link below:

Next, navigate to the Audiences > Interests > Affinity Categories report within your Analytics account. This reports shows the highest performing Affinity categories for your website, allowing you to quickly identify which categories are likely to generate you the most profit. As shown in the example below, the highest converting segment for this client is electronic and dance music, followed by beach-bound travellers. As such, there is a key opportunity to target these categories through your AdWords display campaign.

affiinity targeting google analytics

However, while each of these categories generate revenue for the brand, it is clear that each category generates a different ROI based on the average order value and conversion rate. As such, when importing these segments over to your display campaigns, be sure to break each category out into a unique AdGroup to allow for controlled bidding. This will ensure that you are not paying more per click than you can afford for each targeting category.


Affinity targeting is a great way to reach your target audience at scale. In addition, the Affinity Categories report in Analytics provide some great data to get started, allowing you to quickly identify potential target categories and calculate the bids required for each. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Affinity targeting blog, where we will run through some additional targeting tips and tricks to get the most out of your campaign, as well as compare how this targeting method compares to other display targeting available.


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