Understanding Ad Reach And Frequency In AdWords

Understanding Ad Reach And Frequency In AdWords

Ad reach is an estimate of the number of people within a location target, based on signed-in users. Simple right? Well, there’s more to Ad Reach and Frequency than meets the eye.

You may have thought that you learned just about everything you could in AdWords. Well, there is always something to learn. Even for words that you think you have known but when it comes time to define it, well, it is a challenge.

One of those words is Reach. We have all heard it before, something sounds pretty simple but explaining how it works or relates to you is a bit fuzzy. You may start visualizing arms grabbing around on your computer screen. We don’t want things to get that creepy so were are here to make sure you understand even the simplest of terms, especially how it relates to AdWords.  

How To Define Ad Reach in AdWords

To get things out in the open and very clear, let’s go ahead and define what Ad Reach means. In the AdWords world, Ad Reach merely is the number of people your ad “reaches” within a particular geographic target area. This is so you can more confidently know how many potential customers will see your ads in specific location compared to another location. Especially for Display campaigns. If the reach is too small, you’ll need to adjust your targeting.

Ad Reach does is not based on census data. Instead, Reach is based on signed-in Google users. So if people do not have a Google account or are not logged in on the browser, then they will not be included. Also important to note that Ad Reach does not include how many impressions your ad could receive.

If in your AdWords account you ever see the words “Limited Reach” that means Google was not able to connect to those in your targeted location with their IP address. Usually due to a low number of Google users or lousy IP to location structure.

Cookies vs. Unique Reach

While it seems pretty straightforward to understand how many people were shown your ad, and how you can benefit from that knowledge, it is not done so explicitly in AdWords. There are two ways to look at reach: cookies and unique reach.

Unique Reach

This form of Ad Reach is the number of people who were shown your ad. What makes it unique is that this can explain your reach, organized by devices, formats, and networks. So Unique Reach accounts for someone seeing the same ad on different devices or if many people are using a specific device. Hence the word “unique” for a unique user. How this is calculated is by AdWords using statistical models that note anonymous user behavior through multiple browsers and devices.

Cookies In Calculating Reach

Unfortunately, this type of reach is not based on how tasty cookies are. Maybe this site will help explain. This reach uses browser cookies to estimate how many people are looking at your ad based on an individual browser. AdWords will note the number of cookies a specific Ad has shown to or been clicked by. People may be counted more than once as a result. So this methodology is more so for unique cookies, not users. How Ad Reach is calculated this way cookies are first duplicated then the number of individual cookies is calculated.

What is Frequency?

If we are going to be discussing Reach, then we have to talk about Frequency too. What makes Ad Reach get its fine-tuning is the frequency of the ad being shown over a certain amount of time. This is also known as the minimum number of time as unique visitor saw your ad, usually when in the top positions.

Frequency becomes extremely important when it comes to something called Frequency Capping. You wouldn’t want your ad to show to the same person over, and over, and over again. If they haven’t clicked or converted after a few times, it’s probably time to stop your ad appearing to them. You can also set this for impressions as well, limiting the number impressions a user could have per day, week or month. These are limits you can also place per ad, ad group as well as campaign. 

The goal here is to be respectful of your audience which, ultimately, avoids the negative perception of your business.

How to Set Up Frequency Capping

    1. Open AdWords
    2. Campaigns
      • Select Campaign you want to cap
    3. Settings
      • Advanced Settings
    4. Expand: Ad Delivery, Ad Rotation, Frequency Capping
    5. Edit Frequency Capping
    6. Set number of impressions you want to cap
    7. Set time period
    8. Save!

Experimenting with your targeting and frequency cap is encouraged here to make the most of your campaigns.

How to View The Reach & Frequency Report

    1. Open Adwords
    2. Go-to Campaigns
    3. Then Dimensions
    4. Select View
      • Reach and Frequency
      • Daily, Weekly, or Monthly
    5. Yay!

Tips To Improve Your Ad Reach Understanding

Here are a few tips to get most out of your ad reach:

Expand Your Targeting

If you feel that you should be getting more unique users, then you may consider expanding. By expanding your targeting by interest or keywords, you should be able to drive more traffic within in your targeted area.

Be Patient

Feeling eager to see that reach data? Well, you may have to be patient. It usually takes about three days for those metrics to be available for viewing in your AdWords account. Keep in mind how you select the date range because all the data may not be in yet.

Remember Google’s Reach

No other search network has the same amount of reach that Google does. The stats keep growing! Google can run Display Ads on Youtube, AOL, and Ask.com. Google’s Display Network can reach over 90% of internet user globally.

Country Level

The statistical models from observing user behavior that unique reach is based on are calculated by the country level. So if you have small targeted areas like a city or zip code, the data may not match up right.

Include Search Partners

At the campaign level, you can choose to target search partners, to help with your reach and impressions. This will also help tests the waters outside of Google. When it comes to search marketing, we usually recommend avoiding the search partners, but with Display Ads, it’s worth testing. 

Ad Rank

While you should always be trying to improve your Ad Rank, getting a better rank will give your reach a boost. This is usually done by increasing bids, keeping ad quality high and utilizing your ad extensions.

How far will you reach in AdWords?

In AdWords, AdReach can be a tricky idea to grasp and use for your benefit. If you are looking to reach more unique eyes, make sure you look at frequency capping, have good Ad Rank, and experiment with your targeting. Keeping tabs on a metric like Reach can get lost with all of the other metrics of AdWords, so consider us at Teacup to start reaching out on your behalf.

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