What is Frequency Capping?

In display advertising, frequency is the average number of times an ad will show to a single user in a given time frame. Frequency capping, therefore, is a limit on the number times an ad will show to a particular user in a given time frame.

For display advertising, frequency caps are useful to prevent wasting ad spend on a small number of users. They’re also useful to prevent users from feeling that they’re being “stalked” by your ads, particularly with retargeting campaigns.

How to Set Frequency Capping in AdWords:

  1. Open a display campaign
  2. Select the Settings tab
  3. Scroll to Advanced Settings
  4. Under Ad delivery, find Frequency Capping and click on Edit
  5. Enter a frequency cap; select per day, per week, or per month; and select for this campaign, per ad group, or per ad.Frequency Capping Screenshot of AdWords Interface

What Frequency Cap Should You Set?

While setting a frequency cap is almost always recommended, there is no best practice for all campaigns. The frequency cap you set depends on the goals of the campaign and the details of the products or services that you are advertising. Things like price, urgency, and scarcity might impact the frequency cap you set. For example, you might set a higher frequency cap for a $200 seminar scheduled for next week whereas you might set a lower frequency cap for a remarketing ad for a $10 product. As with most AdWords settings, it’s a wise idea to test various settings to see what frequency cap is most effective for your advertising campaigns.

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