Never Thought About Using Google Audiences? Think Again.

Often overlooked by Google Ads beginners, Google Audiences is an important feature of Google Ads. Not only can it provide insight into who you should target, but you can target specific audiences for regular and remarketing ad campaigns, delivering a high conversion rate.

1. Leverage All Your Google Audience Sources

Most people know that Google owns YouTube, but most Google Ad beginners don’t realize that you can also connect your Google Ad account to your YouTube channel, targeting people who engage with your videos and your channel. The same is true for Google Play, or any of your other apps (you can connect to a third-party app analytics provider). And of course, let’s not forget your website. Besides adding the Google Global site tag, you should also connect your Google Analytics account. You can learn how to link all these items. Not only does all of this data give Google insight on who your ideal customer is, and therefore who should see your ads, but all of this information is first-party data and can be leveraged for remarketing.

2. Get Observational All the Time

When just starting out, most Google Ad beginners begin with targeting based on keywords and it’s certainly a great way to target their audience. But you also have the option to “observe” audience segments. Take this opportunity. By observing, you’re running your ads as you normally do, but Google will show you how many impressions and interactions you receive in each audience segment. This can provide you with valuable insight about your target audience. At first, Google will auto-create audiences based on known data, and create standard segments such as All Converters and AdWords Optimized List (more on this in Tip #4). But, you can also create your own segments to observe (more on this in Tip #6).

3. Check Out Audience Insights

Although it takes time for Google to develop Audience Insights, once they appear, it can be valuable information for you to use in understanding the characteristics, interests and behaviours of people who click on your ads and convert. The insight gleaned can also help you decide upon audience segments for observing and targeting, and/or create custom audiences. Read more about Google Audience Insights.

4. Target Using Google Audience Segments

Once you’ve had some ads running for a while and you’ve been able to observe which audiences deliver a high conversion rate, we suggest that it’s time to try targeting based on audience segments. There are several different types of audience segments, including Affinity (based on habits and interests), Demographics, Life Events, In-Market (based on recent purchase intent), Web and App Visitors and Customer Match (unfortunately the Similar Audience Segment left us in 2023). Targeting based on audience segments is a great way to discover new audiences (Learn more here about which audience segment types you can use for each Google ad campaign type). However, just like targeting based on keywords, it’s just as important to exclude audiences when necessary to ensure you’re really reaching your target audience efficiently.

5. Remarket, Remarket and Remarket Again

Remarketing increases website traffic, brand awareness, conversions and sales. And since it’s one of the most efficient ways to market to potential customers, it’s generally one of the most profitable tactics. Once you’ve linked Google Analytics, and your audience is large enough (at least 100 active users) you can begin to remarket (Google also refers to remarketing as “your data” ). You can remarket broadly—everyone who lands on your website or homepage—or you can get more granular: everyone who lands on a certain page. You can show certain ads to people who have bought something from your website and show other ads to people who have just browsed. Unlike other remarketing vendors, Google remarketing relies on your first-party data so you don’t need to worry about the great phase out of third-party cookies (although you still have to be mindful of privacy and have to follow Google’s privacy policy requirements).

6. Create Custom Google Audiences

Taking advantage of custom audiences separates the beginners from the Google Ads experts. Although Google automatically creates an AdWords Optimized customized audience segment (created through machine learning based on data from all your available audience sources), which usually delivers for us some of the highest click-through rates, you’re not limited to only what Google auto creates. The sky really is the limit when it comes to custom audiences. You can combine remarketing lists with in-market segments. You can create custom lists based on keywords, apps and URLs (note, this doesn’t mean that your ads will appear on these websites, but rather, that your ads will reach people who browse websites similar to the URLs that you’ve entered). You can combine in-market segments with affinity segments and so on. Custom Google Audiences can often mean high conversion rate heaven. Learn more about Google custom audiences.

7. Bid Higher on Successful Audiences

Once you have a pretty good idea about which audience segments are delivering the most conversions, we suggest that you increase your bids for those audience segments who are more likely to convert. Google makes it quite simple to do. In fact, that’s one suggestion Google makes every time you talk to them!

8. Target Ads to Tailored Audiences

One of the great benefits of segmenting audiences is to be able to tailor your advertising to them. This allows you to get very granular in your advertising messages, depending on your business needs. Did you know that ads that are relevant to a user will get 3x the attention of a regular ad? You have less than a second to make an impression, so if you change your creative and messaging to be more relevant based on your segments, you can increase your chance of success. And don’t just think about new prospects to your website. Think about all the messages to move people through your marketing funnel as well. You could have one message for prospects, others based on different pages they visited on your website, another message for buyers of your product and so on. Although this is our last tip for the day, we think it might be one of the most important. Tailor your messages to your audience segment.


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