What Is Frequency Capping in Google Ads?

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Digital Advertising, eCommerce Marketing, Local Advertising

What Is Frequency Capping in Google Ads

Online platforms play a big role in our daily lives. These platforms, among many others, help us communicate and interact with one another. For these reasons, these platforms have continuously grown in their number of users. This growth in number makes online channels a good avenue to target consumers no matter what industry you are in.

If you are scrolling through an online platform, you might notice that ads pop up in the corners of the pages. These are paid ads that brands or organizations can buy to expand their reach.

Google, hosting about 94% of all the internet search queries, makes a good platform to put up your ads. This platform also proves to be an effective avenue for online ads as it is reported that 63% of people have clicked on ads run on Google.

However, as there are thousands of ads being run on this platform, how do you make sure that a user doesn’t get bombarded with the same ads? This is where frequency capping in Google Ads comes in. 

In this article, let us discuss what frequency capping is, its significance in running your Google Ads, and how to set it up.

Frequency Capping

The use of frequency capping boils down to making sure your ads won’t be deemed spammy. This feature aims to limit the number of times your ad will be shown to the same user.

Managing the frequency of ad display is important because it ensures a better customer experience. As mentioned, it will prevent your ad from looking spammy. It also allows you to use your ad budget more effectively. Most paid ads are charged based on the number of individuals they have reached. So, making sure that your ads are not shown to the same person increases the reach of your campaign. 

This feature helps you get the right number of impressions to attract engagement and generate positive results from your ads. It regulates the ad in a way that is not annoying but effective enough to create successful leads.

How Frequency Capping Works

Managing the frequency of ad display works for Display and Video campaigns. It is best to note that this feature works differently for each type of campaign. So, let us discuss how it works.

Display Campaigns

With this type of campaign, you can allow Google Ads to optimize the number of times your ads are shown to users. You can also manually set the frequency cap. This will allow you to manage the number of impressions on your campaign, ad, or ad group.

Frequency capping Display campaigns automatically used third-party cookies. However, if these cookies are not available, then first-party ones are used to estimate impressions. This can be managed through the “Frequency management” option in the campaign settings and cannot be adjusted when you create a new campaign.

Video Campaigns

Frequency capping only works for video ads when it is on the campaign level. You are able to set a limit for a selected time period based on:

  • Impressions
  • Views

If the media you are setting a frequency cap on is used in other campaigns, the impressions and views on all of these campaigns count towards the cap set. Once a user has reached the cap, Google stops showing the ad to this user. This is only applicable to in-stream and bumper ads in the auction.

How to Set Up Frequency Capping

Display Campaigns

As mentioned, you can set the frequency capping of your Display ad through the “Frequency Management” settings after creating the campaign.

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Go to Settings, then click Campaign settings. Select a Display campaign you want to set the frequency capping for.
  3. Click Additional settings. 
  4. Choose Frequency Management, then adjust based on your campaign goals. Google Ads can also optimize how frequently your ads are shown or recommended. 
  5. Click Save to apply your settings.

Video Campaigns

  • New Video Campaigns

Frequency capping on new and existing video campaigns follows a different flow. So, below are the steps for setting the frequency cap on new ones:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns, then click the plus button and select New campaign.
  3. Select a campaign objective then click Continue. Next, you will be asked to select a campaign type, then you can click Continue.
  4. Choose Additional settings, then Frequency capping
    1. Cap impression frequency: This option will limit the number of times ads in this campaign can appear to the same user.
    2. Cap view frequency: This will limit the number of times ads in the campaign can get a view or interaction from the same user.
  5. Input your campaign’s desired number of impressions or views cap. Note: This figure should be a whole number (6 and not 6.5).
  6. Select the appropriate time interval (per day, week, or month).
  7. Click Create campaign to finalize. 
  • Existing Video Campaigns

Unlike Display ads, Video campaigns allow you to perform frequency capping on existing campaigns. So, here’s how:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the menu, click Campaign settings, then select the video campaign you want to add the cap to.
  3. Click Additional settings, then select frequency capping.
  4.  Enter the number of impressions or views you want to cap the campaign to. Then decide on the interval.
  5. Click Save to apply the changes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What happens when a user reaches an ad frequency cap?

Frequency capping is used to restrict the total number of times a user sees a video or display advertisement. If a user reaches a frequency cap, the same ad won’t be shown to them again. 

What is a good frequency cap for display ads?

3/24 is the general frequency cap for display ads. This means a person is likely to click your ad if they see the ad 3 times in a day. But, it greatly depends on the channel and type of advertisement. 

Can we add frequency caps on Facebook ads?

Yes, you can add frequency caps on Facebook ads by setting the frequency cap in the customize column in the ad report. 

Take Away

Well-planned and optimized online ads open new horizons for different businesses and causes. A well-planned campaign also ensures that your resources are spent on things that will drive results. That is why it is important to do your campaigns carefully.

With frequency capping on Google Ads, your campaigns will reach the optimum number of impressions and views without coming off as spammy. When done correctly these campaigns can help reach a new pool of interested audiences and improve sales. 

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Michael J Fox


Michael J Fox, CEO

Michael Fox is CEO of Corberry Digital, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. He has successfully helped home service contractors with their websites and marketing. Before creating Corberry, Fox was a co-founder & CEO of eFaucets.com and Hausera.com, an eCommerce retailer promoting top CPG brands such as Kohler, Delta and Moen. At eFaucets, they drove SEO with over 115,000 SEO keywords ranking high in Google. The company generated over $500 million in revenue using digital marketing. Fox is a 20 year retail eCommerce veteran and a Forbes Contributor. He is a digital marketing strategy adviser to businesses in the home services industry.

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