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How Long Should a Blog Post Be in 2023? 3 Rules to Live By



How Long Should a Blog Post Be in 2023? 3 Rules to Live By

So: you want to write a blog post. Allow me to be the first to congratulate you. Writing may be one of the biggest boondoggles on the planet. It’s fun, can be cathartic, and when done well/correctly, it can pay some serious dividends for you, and for your business.

How do I know? I’ve penned a few blog posts in my day. Some of them get tens of thousands of reads each month (humblebrag). I say this not to toot my own horn, but to tell you that I am uniquely situated to give advice on how long your blog post should be.

Want the quick answer? Like most things, it depends.

I know. I hate that answer too. But it’s true. Get a solid grasp on your use case, and combine it with the rules I’m about to talk about, and I promise that by the end of this post, you’ll have a pretty damn good idea how long your blog post should be.

And because we’re is all about helping business owners succeed through smart digital marketing, we are going to frame this discussion through precisely that lens: the marketer or business owner who is leveraging blogging as part of a broader content marketing strategy to drive traffic, scale leads, and grow revenue.

But hey, even if that’s not you: I have a feeling you’ll get some value out of this post anyway.

How long should a blog post be? What the data says

If you’ve spent some time combing through search results looking for the answer to this question, you’ve probably seen that the results are mixed. Here are some answers from the top results:

  • 1,500-2,000 words
  • 3,000+ words
  • 2,100-2,400 words
  • 300-600 words

Basically, the internet says a good blog post is anywhere from 300-3,000+ words long. That’s not exactly a helpful range.

To get a more data-supported range, we looked at our top 10 posts from the last year and from the last three years. We found our best-performing blog posts average 2,700-3,000 words.

That’s a little more direct of an answer, but it doesn’t take into account many factors that should influence your blog post length. That’s where these rules come in…

3 rules to determine how long your blog post should be

Here are my top three hard-and-fast rules to live by if you want to write a blog post that gives your business the shine and visibility it deserves.

Rule #1: When in doubt, make it long

You heard it here first: length is not everything. And we’re going to talk precisely about why length is not everything in the sections to come. But as a general rule to live by, deep, long-form content is the content that readers like.

Why? Because generally speaking, length equates to value. And–highlight this next point as furiously as you can–the thing search engines care about the absolute most is how much value, on average, readers are getting out of your blog post.

See also  The Current State of Google PageRank & How It Evolved

So if, like marketing guru Seth Godin, you already have millions of readers subscribed to your short-form newsletter, or if you’re writing a blog post with a goal of repurposing it on LinkedIn, by all means, keep it short and sweet.

example of short content from seth godin

But if you’re writing a blog post with the intent of rocketing to the top of Google’s search results, and driving thousands of free eyeballs to your website? Then you need to talk at length, and go deep, on your subject.

I’m not talking about being wordy for the sake of writing a long blog post. I’m talking about giving useful examples, giving a thorough explanation of concepts, and attacking your topic in a way that will leave readers thinking: Damn, that was comprehensive AF.

If you’ve already written a bunch of long-form content for your website, I know what you’re probably thinking: Man, I haven’t really written at length on enough of these topics. That’s okay. Because you already have the scaffolding of a great blog post. All you have to do is beef it up.

If the person I’m describing is you, here’s a quick pro tip: any SEO software worth its weight in gold (think: Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz) is going to have an audit tool that surfaces thin content for you. Thin content is just that: there are not enough words on the page to meet the requirements for true topical expertise.

report in ahrefs that shows thin content--may need to be longer for an effective blog post

You can use reports like these to discern where it’s necessary to write more. Or, you can simply audit your existing content manually and give yourself an honest assessment: how often am I truly going deep on the topics my readers or customers care about?

Rule #2: Above all, deliver value

This easily could have been our first rule, because it’s probably the most important. But I think it’s useful to talk about value through the lens of length, because length is really critical as a component of SEO-driven content marketing.

But guess what? As I said in the first section: length is not everything. And where length fails, you’ll almost always find that it’s because the piece did not deliver enough value.

Let me explain: Google and Microsoft have hundreds of factors they look at every day when determining the order in which they rank content. We call these things ranking signals (or factors).

search engine optimization - google ranking factors

See that big red slice of the pie? That’s page engagement. When Google is assessing how valuable or not valuable your blog is to a user, it’s primarily looking at how effective your blog is at getting the reader to engage.

The critical metric to look at here? Dwell time. You can think about how long a user spends on your page, on average, as one of the strongest indicators of whether your blog post has delivered value.

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Dwell time is not going to show up in your Google Analytics reports. However, Average Session Duration is, and it is a great metric for keeping tabs on how long your readers are spending on your blog posts. Or, if you’re using Google Analytics 4, which we all will be soon, you can use Average Engagement Time.

Other engagement metrics, like Engaged Sessions (the number of sessions that lasted longer than 10 seconds, or had a conversion event, or had 2 or more screen or page views), and Engagement Rate (number of Engaged Sessions divided by total sessions) are also really strong proxies for traffic quality and are readily available to you in GA4.

GA4 report that shows engaged sessions and engagement rate to help determine how long a blog post should be

How do you increase dwell time? Well, it stands to reason that the higher your word count, the longer the reader should stay on the page. But what if your lengthy blog post isn’t saying much of anything at all? Then you’re going to have a difficult time outranking your competitor. Even if they wrote 500 words and you wrote 1,500.

Consider how big of an impact images, videos, infographics, and other visual examples can make on how long you, personally, spend reading a blog post. Deep concepts will always increase dwell time, because they force readers to evaluate what you’re writing about, and how to apply it to themselves. It’s not all just window dressing.

But if you can combine deep concepts with compelling visuals that lend context to the text and enhance the value your reader is getting out of the post? Then you’re really cooking with gas.

Rule #3: Do your research

Man, it’s quite possible that not one of these rules is more important than another! Because you can’t really live by the first two rules without taking rule #3 into account.

Let’s go back to what I said in the introduction about context. About knowing your situation, your niche, your competition, and above all, what you’re trying to accomplish with your blog post.

78% of marketers identify keyword research as a high-impact practice for driving new traffic.

google ranking factors - impact of keyword research on driving new traffic

But the purpose behind keyword research goes beyond simply optimizing your H1s and H2s. If you want to know exactly how long to make your blog post, look no further than the keyword you’re trying to rank for.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you’re a roofing company. You’ve been running search ads targeting prospects who are looking for roofing services, but you want to start driving organic traffic from people who are more in the “consideration” phase of the buying process.

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You use your favorite keyword research tool, and find that the keyword “how to install metal roofing over shingles” has some nice search volume. The intent is exactly what you’re looking for: this person is probably considering the DIY route, but with some education, which your blog post will provide, you can convince them that metal roofing is a job best left to professionals (i.e. you).

How long should your blog post be? Well, you can simply enter the query into Google, copy and paste the text from the top three ranking blog posts into a word counter, average them out, and write a post that exceeds that number. Or you can use your favorite SEO tool (I’m a fan of Ahrefs) to get all this information at a glance.

report in ahrefs that shows word count for posts ranking in serps

As you can see, the top-ranking post for this query has a whopping 4,205 words. That’s a beast of a post. But even if you want to rank in the top 10, you’re probably looking at a minimum of 1,500 words based on the other posts in this SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

This birds-eye view of the SERP is incredibly useful when determining blog post length, and not just because you’re getting word count totals. You might be saying, Wait a minute, the post in the 7th position only has 1,357 words. How is it outranking the post in the 9th position, which has 3,555 words? 

Well, the post in the 7th position has a higher Domain Authority, and more backlinks, which, you guessed it, are two more really critical ranking factors.

Do you have a fairly new website or business, or are you still growing your topical authority? Don’t despair: check out the post in the 6th position. It has the lowest Domain Authority in the bunch, the lowest word count, and a pretty slender backlink profile, and yet it’s still doing pretty well here. How is that possible?

That’s the magic of rule #2 at work. If you can deliver a blog post that truly delights and informs your readers, you give yourself an amazing chance to rank and drive traffic, regardless of all the other factors in play.

Make it long, make it valuable, and do your research!

There you have it! As I mentioned, there are a number of factors that go into determining how long a blog post should be. But you can do a heck of a lot worse than honing in on these three:

  1. When in doubt, make it long
  2. Deliver value
  3. Do your research!

If you can outwrite your competition, deliver more value, and take a research-based approach, I guarantee people will read and love your blog post.

I hope you loved this one! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn. Happy writing!

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5 Strategies to Grow Your Digital Marketing Agency in 2020



people shaking hands

Whether you are an already established agency or you are just getting started, there is always room to try new strategies in an effort to grow your business, your team, and your client roster.

Read on to learn how to learn how to acquire new leads to fill your funnel and convert into clients, methods of sourcing and acquiring new talent to add to your team, and the reasons and ways you can focus on specialization.

Client acquisition tactics

Without leads, we don’t have clients, and without clients, we don’t have much of an agency. Straight forward—however, even if you are at capacity, it’s crucial to always feed your funnel with new leads and foster those relationships so they can evolve into clients now or down the road.

At AKvertise, we always take the call, the meeting, the conversation, to talk to a prospect. After all, you never know what can transpire from a conversation until you have it. Even if the timing isn’t on our side to work with someone right away due to availability, more often than not, this results in the lead wanting to work with us even more, even if they have to wait a month or two to do so until we have bandwidth open up. If it’s still not a match for us, we keep a small network of trusted agencies we refer to if it is not the right mutual fit in terms of timelines, goals, expertise, budgets, or availability.

While there are many ways to acquire new clients, most come from referrals. In fact, according to WordStream’s State of the Agency report, 51% of surveyed agencies consider referrals their main source of acquiring new clients, followed by 20% said upsells from other products or services.


If you’ve been in business for some time, the above sources may be familiar to you. But keep reading on as we have some additional ones to share and there may be some methods you and your team have not yet explored that could be effective in further growing your client roster. If you’re a freelancer or small agency owner looking for more clients to add to your roster, try these lead-generating, client-acquiring tactics.

1. Be your own publicist

Unless you are a large agency and already have a publicist on speed dial, that is. Otherwise, it’s worth doing some publicity work. Seek out opportunities to get your name, your team, and your services out there. Submit pitches to speak at events, attend events and share online that you plan to and want to connect with others, get in touch with podcast hosts (like Mikayla Wyman of Goal Talk, for instance), and ask if you can join as a guest for an episode that would be interesting for their listeners and relevant to your expertise, contribute to external industry blogs and publications, and be active on social media to build your own personal brand.

Larry Kim Twitter

Does that truly work? It certainly does. For example, Akvertize has been in business for over five years now, and we still have yet to do any advertising for our own agency. The above tactics have brought in leads to our funnel and helped us convert many into clients. Being front facing, active, helpful, and having your name displayed across various mediums while sharing tactics, tools, ideas, and content can have a rewarding effect. Regardless of whether you’re the CEO, a paid media manager, or a junior level staff member, it can help your agency tremendously, as well as boost morale and further education, if everyone can act as a publicist on behalf of your agency.

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2. Share your availability

If you’ve tried the above and you still have room for more work, simply share that you are accepting new clients along with the details of your areas of expertise. These types of posts tend to get shared on social media.

Akvile's tweet about new service offering

If there’s room, mention the type of clients and industries you prefer to work with and have experience with. If you’re possibly concerned about optics of doing this, as I once was, worry not. The first time I put this out on Twitter, I thought it would come off that we were failing and short on work, however, others told me the contrary, that it looked like we were growing. From time to time, we still do this, and it always brings in leads whether it’s a light month or we’re looking to scale further. Don’t be shy—let people know that you’re available to help.

Expand your team

Looking to take on more clients but limited on bandwidth? You need to expand your time, either by collaborating with other agencies or hiring new talent to join your team as employees. If the latter makes more sense for your agency in the long run, that may be easier said than done. Talent acquisition can be challenging, and it may take several hires to find the right fit, but good, diligent working marketers are out there.

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3. Hire more employees

Posting to job boards can be effective, but there’s nothing quite like getting a personal recommendation. When we look to add to our team, we’ve found success by reaching out to industry contacts to see if they or someone they know is looking for work. In addition, we post to our personal and business social channels as it’s an easy way to share that you’re hiring. If you’re looking to scale your paid search and/or paid social team this year, one very effective way to reach marketers and advertisers is via Twitter and using the #ppcchat and #fbadschat hashtags.

Posting publicly to LinkedIn can be fruitful as that platform has significantly grown and increased in activity over the last few years. Have your current team members share details about a position opening and link to a job description on your website so potential candidates can learn more before applying. As an advertising agency, you could also take that a step further and use that audience for remarketing ads.

There are also a number of job boards out there, such as Indeed. If you’re strapped for time, delegate this process by hiring a recruiter in an effort to help find you the right fit for your digital marketing agency.

Indeed SERP

If you’re comfortable in doing so, expand your search by offering remote opportunities, especially if you’re located in a smaller city where the talent pool may be smaller. According to LinkedIn, 40% of millennials say that having flexibility and working remotely is a priority.

LinkedIn's survey findings

4. Join forces with other agencies

Not in a spot to hire employees at this time? Connect with another competitive or complementary marketing agency. If you offer paid advertising services, reach out to other ones that may be short on bandwidth and you can offer your expertise to their clients. Some agencies tend to be transparent about this and others may want to white label you, so it’s up to your preference on how you want to work.

Connecting with complementary marketing agencies can also bring you exciting and new client work. For example, reach out to some SEO agencies to see if they have any clients that are interested in paid search or paid social advertising. This can be beneficial to you, to them, and their clients. In a sense, you would collectively be creating a more holistic marketing strategy to the client while being close to a full-service agency and driving more revenue to your business. We’ve found great success in taking this approach over the years and becoming an extension of other agency teams. You can, too, with these types of strategic partners.

people shaking hands

Refine your offerings

Combining forces with an agency that offers complementary services is a great way to expand your team and your offering while staying competitive with other digital marketing agencies.


But sometimes it’s worth rethinking your agency’s own offerings to find the best strategy for growth.

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5. Scale back to grow more

It doesn’t hurt to scale back services in order to grow. If you’re able to be a full-service agency and be successful in doing so, keep at it. If you’re smaller, specializing could be a great alternative. When we first launched AKvertise, we offered paid search and paid social, but around the time of our third anniversary, we decided to scale back on our advertising service offerings and focus on the thing we enjoyed most and thrived in, in an effort to further excel and to distinguish ourselves fully as a social media advertising firm.

There was some hesitation in that we could lose business and have fewer leads coming in; however, we decided that it was worth the test. If it didn’t succeed, we could always revert and offer more services. It’s been more than two years since this refinement and specializing was the best thing we could have done for our business. It’s brought in more clients and helped us grow and could help you as well. Become the expert in your specialized field and in turn, you may evolve into a go-to agency for your particular service.

Set your agency up for growth in 2020

This year, treat your agency like a client campaign. Look at your business objectively, take your own recommendations, test some of the above tactics that you haven’t yet and see if they work for your agency. Market yourself in order to build awareness for your agency by seeking out opportunities in an effort to bring in new leads, clients, team members, and partnerships as you scale. Don’t be afraid to test something new as you can almost always revert. Happy testing and may this year bring you success.

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The 11 Biggest Updates from Google Marketing Live 2023



Google Marketing Live 2023: The 11 Biggest Updates You Can’t Miss

AI was the name of the game at Google Marketing Live 2023, with the majority of Google’s updates and announcements centering on how AI-powered tools can help businesses drive better results, connect with their customers, and deliver the right message at the right time.

Google broke its presentation into three C’s: Customer connection, creative, and confidence, with examples of how its new tools and features (backed by AI) can help businesses in each of those critical junctures.

It almost feels like we were there…

So, want to know what’s coming (or what’s already arrived) as you market your business on Google? You’re in luck because we’re sharing a brief overview of the most important updates and announcements shared at Google Marketing Live 2023.

1. Conversational experience in Google Ads

This update will allow advertisers to essentially have Google guide them through the campaign setup process. You provide some information or prompts, and Google will create assets based on what you provide, including headlines, descriptions, and more. The more information you provide, the more refined your ads will be, said Google.

screenshot from google marketing live 2023 presentation - showing conversational experience

This feature will begin testing in July.

2. Automatically created assets using generative AI

With this feature, Google will use AI to generate headlines and ad assets that more closely align with the specific query without compromising what you’re offering.

3. Product Studio

Google shared that product listings with multiple images result in a 76% increase in impressions than listings with a single image. So they’re making it easier to manage, create, and upload product content directly from the Shopping Feed.

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Product Studio will allow ecommerce businesses to edit and enhance their images using AI. You can remove the background, enlarge the image, and describe what you want the image to look like. From there, Google will return four options that align with your description for you to choose from. You can then add your image to Merchant Center, add or place the image in an online store, and it will be auto-saved across all your Google properties.

Google said this will make it easy to update assets for holidays or seasons. It will be available later this year.

4. Google Search Generative Experience

Google covered this more extensively at Google I/O but did provide an overview and walkthrough of its new Search Generative Experience, as well as where ads will show in this search experience and some of the future capabilities. We dove into SGE here.

screenshot from google marketing live 2023 presentation - ads in search generative experience that are coming soon

5. Video view campaigns

Video view campaigns are meant to maximize results on YouTube on a cost-per-view basis. Video view campaigns combine ad formats including in-stream skippable ads, in-feed ads, and YouTube Shorts. Google shared that early testing of this campaign format resulted in 40% more views than single-format video ads. The beta for Video view campaigns begins next month.

6. Demand Gen campaigns

Demand Gen campaigns was announced as a campaign type designed for social marketers to reach customers on their most visually-focused channels, like YouTube, Discover, and Gmail. This new AI-powered campaign type is built to “engage and drive action among consumers with immersive and visual features.”

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Within Demand Gen campaigns, you can create AI-powered lookalike audiences, tailor specific audience segments, and measure conversions as well as receive insights on brand lift.

7. Broad match Brand controls

This update enables you to get additional reach for broad match while ensuring that it matches all the relevant brand traffic for your business. This feature is currently available in beta.

screenshot from google marketing live 2023 presentation - broad match brand controls

8. Performance Max high-value new customer acquisition

This update is focused on getting new customers who have a high lifetime value or customers who haven’t been engaging with your brand recently. Using AI, you can have Google bid more for customers who match these segments.

9. Google Merchant Center Next

Google will replace Merchant Center with Google Merchant Center Next in 2024. Google Merchant Center Next was touted as a simpler experience than Merchant Center, with features that will allow retailers to easily connect product information from their websites and have control over how their products appear on Google without manually updating a feed.

Retailers will also be able to see insights on top-selling products on Google, pricing benchmarks, and find competitive insights and information.

screenshot from google marketing live 2023 presentation - google merchant center next

Merchant Center Next is currently available for some retailers and will be more widely available soon.

10. Google Analytics 4 audience builder

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) audience builder will allow advertisers to build new audiences from Google Analytics right in their Google Ads account. This will include predictive audiences, which Google says uses AI to help you reach people who are more likely to purchase.

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This feature is coming soon but is only available using GA4 (which you have until July 1 to switch over!).

11. Performance Max improved search term insights

Advertisers have requested more transparency around how Performance Max is driving results. The improved search term insights report is Google’s solution. These insights will allow you to see how Performance Max is responding to changes so you can refine your campaigns further. This insights report will also include information about what’s driving changes in performance and how specific creative assets are performing.

screenshot from google marketing live 2023 presentation - search term insights in performance max

This feature is coming soon.

Stay tuned for more from Google Marketing Live…

Don’t worry, we’re not done covering Google Marketing Live (GML)! Check back for a more extensive breakdown of what went down at GML 2023.

For now, here were the updates we (briefly) covered:

  1. Conversational experience in Google Ads
  2. Automatically created assets using generative AI
  3. Product Studio
  4. Google Search Generative Experience
  5. Video view campaigns
  6. Demand Gen campaigns
  7. Broad match brand controls
  8. Performance Max high-value new customer acquisition
  9. Google Merchant Center Next
  10. Google Analytics 4 audience builder
  11. Performance Max improved search term insights

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6 Proven Strategies to Reach Your Audience



6 Proven Strategies to Reach Your Audience

Looking to launch TikTok ads that generate high-value conversions and crush your marketing objectives?

It all starts with effective audience targeting.

If your ads are reaching irrelevant or uninterested TikTok users, it doesn’t matter how engaging your creative assets are–they’ll struggle to deliver results.

However, if you can leverage advanced data-fuelled tactics to refine your targeting, the sky’s the limit for your TikTok marketing campaigns.

In this guide, we’ll explore six expert techniques that will help you to identify, reach, and convert profitable audiences with your TikTok advertising.

The importance of effective TikTok audience targeting

Before we deep dive into TikTok targeting strategies, let’s take a step back and examine why it’s so important to reach the right TikTok audiences.

Here’s what it all comes down to: Perfecting your audience targeting is crucial for efficiency.

Every wasted ad impression on TikTok is a missed opportunity for a new click or conversion, which is why accurate targeting is so important.

@babybrezza You say lazy, we say easy 🙌🏻 bottles with the push of a button! #babybrezza #babyboy #babylove #babyproducts #luxury #babytiktok ♬ you got me there – 𝐼 𝐹 𝒜 🤍

This ad doesn’t have the same impact if it’s not reaching new parents.

Effective audience targeting will also enable you to reduce acquisition costs and generate new sales, which will help to enhance your ROI. If you’re reaching (and converting) hot prospects at scale, you’ll be maximizing the impact of your marketing budget.

The success of every aspect of your TikTok advertising campaigns, from your creative direction to your bidding strategy, hinges on audience targeting. When you’re able to put your TikTok ads in front of the right customers, the results will speak for themselves.

6 proven techniques for ultra-effective TikTok ads targeting

Use these data-backed tactics for your TikTok ad targeting.

1. Leverage your existing customer data

Before you start planning your next TikTok campaign, think carefully about the data you currently have on your audience.

If you’re running an ecommerce business, you may already be sitting on a goldmine of audience insights and data signals.

For example, you might be able to delve into your internal data to understand the demographic profiles of your existing customers. If you can identify the age, gender, and locations of your most valuable shoppers, then you already have plenty of fuel to power your TikTok ads targeting.

Buyer personas can also help inform your TikTok ads targeting.

You may even spot patterns around products that are appealing to specific types of shoppers, which can also help to shape your creative messaging.

Now, this isn’t to say that your future customers will necessarily be identical to your current audience.

You might discover entirely new audience segments on TikTok that are generating huge amounts of revenue, which is the beauty of social media marketing. Plus, experimenting with different targeting tactics is a surefire way to improve results over time.

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However, if you can hit the ground running by utilizing your existing customer data to inform your TikTok audiences, you’ll be in a good position to drive strong performance.

2. Utilize interest and behavior targeting

TikTok attracts over 830 million monthly active users, which is a jaw-dropping statistic.

On the one hand, this is great news for marketers. You can reach a colossal audience of potential customers, and there’s plenty of opportunity for you to scale up your campaigns.

However, this also means that you need to tighten up your TikTok ads targeting as much as possible to avoid high volumes of wasted impressions.

Leveraging interest and behavior targeting is a great way to ensure that you’re reaching relevant and receptive TikTok audiences.

Interest targeting allows advertisers to target users based on their long-term interests and passions. You can target audiences based on broad interest categories (e.g. gaming, food, finance) but the TikTok algorithm will also suggest associated interests to broaden reach.

With behavior targeting, you can reach users based on recent actions, such as commenting on a specific profile or sharing a particular type of video content.

tiktok ads targeting - interesting and behavior targeting in tiktok


Combining these two strategies will enable you to target relevant (and valuable) audiences.

For instance, if you’re a brand selling gym attire, then you could target interest categories such as ‘Apparel & Accessories’ and ‘Sports & Outdoors’ to find users that are likely to be interested in your products. You might also target users that have liked videos from well-known gym brands, as there’s a good chance that they’ll be open to your messaging.

Although these are relatively broad targeting tactics, the TikTok algorithm will be able to identify the best-performing segments within these groups, meaning you can effectively optimize your ads over time to maximize conversions.

Think about it this way–interest and behavior targeting allow you to cast a wide net and reach users that are more likely to be interested in your brand.

Once you’ve gathered some performance data based on these larger audiences, you can refine your targeting, allow the TikTok algorithm to work its magic, and increase your ROI.

3. Harness the power of Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences are one of the most powerful tools available to advertisers on TikTok.

In basic terms, Custom Audiences allow you to target users that have already interacted with your brand in some way. These audiences are aware of your business, so you can focus on more action-led messaging to drive performance.

That means you can instantly engage hot prospects that are infinitely more likely to purchase your products, which is a game-changer for cost efficiency.

There are several different types of Custom Audiences available on TikTok, and selecting the right strategy is key to success. Marketers can choose to build the following segments:

  • Customer File: Upload your customer data to match and target TikTok accounts.
  • Engagement: Retarget users that have previously engaged with your video ads.
  • App Activity: Retarget users that have completed a specific action within your app.
  • Lead Generation: Retarget users that have engaged with your Lead Generation ads on TikTok.
  • Website Traffic: Retarget users that have visited (or taken a specific action on) your website.
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tiktok ads targeting - custom audiences for website traffic custom audience in tiktok ads


All of these retargeting strategies can be extremely effective at generating clicks and conversions since you’re reaching users that have already engaged with your business.

When it comes to targeting high-value prospects on TikTok, it doesn’t get much better than Custom Audiences.

You can also utilize different Custom Audiences depending on your main objective, but always make sure that you’re taking full advantage of these data-driven targeting segments.

4. Capitalize on Lookalike segments

Custom Audiences can deliver outstanding results for TikTok advertisers–but what if we told you that you could make them even more effective?

Lookalike Audiences allow you to effectively extend the reach of your Custom Audiences by identifying and targeting similar users.

The TikTok algorithm will analyze a few common attributes across your Custom Audiences (e.g. operating device, demographics, interests) and locate user groups with the same profiles.

If you’ve already discovered profitable TikTok audiences, why not make the most of them?

By building Lookalike segments, you can rapidly increase reach while still maintaining a clear focus on quality.

tiktok ads targeting - lookalike audiences

This is a fantastic way to leverage data about your high-value prospects and expand the scale of your TikTok campaigns.

You can use TikTok Lookalike Audiences in a few different ways to drive performance:

  • At the beginning of a new campaign, launching Lookalikes helps the TikTok algorithm collect audience insights and optimize ads faster.
  • If you feel like you’re peaking in terms of conversion volumes, you can utilize Lookalike Audiences to expand reach and generate incremental sales.
  • Finally, if campaign performance is beginning to slow down, you can use Lookalikes to stretch out ad delivery and deliver additional impressions.

A combination of data-driven Custom Audiences and tactical Lookalike Audiences is guaranteed to identify cost-effective prospects on TikTok.

5. Analyze performance data and then optimize

Implementing the above targeting strategies will help you to reach and convert valuable TikTok audiences–but if you want to maximize performance, you’ll need to stay close to your reporting data.

By constantly analyzing your campaign data and implementing optimizations, you’ll be able to focus on your most profitable audiences and significantly improve ROI.

Keep an eye on the delivery of different audience segments to understand your best-performing tactics. Trust what the data is telling you and be decisive with your optimizations.

example of tiktok ads reporting in tiktok ads manager


Don’t hesitate to adjust your TikTok ad budgets. Bolster profitable audiences with incremental spend and pause underperforming segments.

Your ideal TikTok audiences are out there–you just need to work diligently and optimize your campaigns until you find them.

To further enhance your TikTok targeting, you should also put TikTok pixel data to good use whenever possible. The pixel will provide you with incredibly useful insights about audience performance, helping you to establish the users that are completing purchases, generating revenue, and driving the best ROI.

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Try to avoid making assumptions about your preferred audiences based on clicks alone.

If you dig deeper into your pixel data and calculate the return on ad spend (ROAS) you’re seeing from different targeting segments, you’ll discover the best-performing audiences in no time.

6. Use A/B testing to fuel superior targeting

One of the fastest ways to enhance your TikTok audience targeting is to utilize A/B testing.

The Split Testing tool (available in the TikTok Ads Manager) allows marketers to quickly set up A/B tests and monitor the results in real time.

tiktok ads targeting - split testing tool in tiktok

By A/B testing different audience segments, you can rapidly compare performance and establish your best-performing strategies. The TikTok platform will ensure that your test audiences run with sufficient (and fair) budgets, and a ‘winning’ ad group will only be confirmed if the results are statistically significant.

If you’re keen to experiment with a new audience targeting strategy, A/B testing is a brilliant way to gather results quickly and efficiently.

However, there are a few best practices to keep in mind when you’re planning to launch A/B tests on TikTok.

  • Don’t launch too many tests at the same time, or you may find yourself drowning in data and struggling to make the right adjustments.
  • Stay diligent with campaign analysis. A/B tests are only effective if you track performance and optimize accordingly, so keep an eye on your reports.
  • Give the TikTok algorithm space to work. Be patient with your tests, and don’t interfere with your audiences until you’ve gathered reliable data.
  • Ensure that all of your test audiences have a healthy budget. You’ll only be able to gather targeting insights if you have enough campaign data to review!

If you can stick to a consistent TikTok A/B testing strategy, you’ll find it much easier to refine your audience targeting and scale up your conversions.

Start targeting the right TikTok audiences with your ads

TikTok can be a highly effective platform for social media marketers, as long as you’re equipped with a smart, reactive, and data-driven targeting strategy.

By following all of the best practices in this guide, you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of TikTok advertising and discover hugely profitable audiences.

Here are the best strategies for effective TikTok ads targeting:

  1. Leverage your existing customer data   
  2. Utilize interest and behavior targeting  
  3. Harness the power of Custom Audiences 
  4. Capitalize on Lookalike segments  
  5. Analyze performance data and then optimize   
  6. Use A/B testing to fuel superior targeting

Tick all of these boxes, and you’ll be driving conversions from high-value audiences before you know it.

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