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Audience Segments - Tips and Tricks on Google Ads That You’re Not Using

Updated: Jun 24

To be successful on Google Ads, you need to know how to create the best ad groups with their own set of keywords and ads, as well as how to use bidding strategies such as manual CPC bidding and how to optimize for the right conversion. But even after you’ve mastered those techniques, there are still many tips and tricks you can use to get more out of your campaigns. Here are some of our favorite audience segments that you may want to use for targeting.

1) Target Audiences Based on Data from Google Analytics

Did you know you can segment your audience based on your data in Google Analytics? If a lot of your customers or prospective customers come from Dallas, add a location-based segment to show these people ads while they’re browsing in Dallas, Texas. You can also create remarketing lists for people who have visited specific pages of your website. For example, if someone visits Try Now, put them into an audience list to show them ads after they leave your site. This is a great solution for capturing warm leads! What’s even better?

Start with What Google Audience Segments Are:

According to Google, "You can add audience segment targeting to ad groups and reach people based on who they are, their interests and habits, what they’re actively researching, or how they've interacted with your business." Read more about Audience Segments here.

Then, watch this video by Ray Sawvell:

As mentioned in the video above, there is a way for you to import audience templates other users have made! You can access that Google Analytics Solutions Gallery here and it looks like this:

2) Build Audiences Based on Competitor Data

One of our favorite things about Google's Audiences tool is how powerful it is when used in conjunction with competitor data. The more data points you use in your audience targeting, the better. So, if you're looking to build an audience around visitors to a specific site, there's no better place to start than by pulling intel from your competition. Pulling data from a direct competitor should give you insights into what sort of visitors they attract—ideas for which types of people are visiting their site (e.g., geographic location or interests). Plus, knowing who your competitors are in general can be hugely beneficial when it comes to audience building—specifically in terms of identifying shared traits (e.g., similar keywords used in search) between their sites and yours.

Under the “Expand audiences by also including” choose “People who browse websites similar to.” Enter your competitors’ websites or create a separate audience for each competitor’s website.

3) How To Take Advantage of Audience Data

In general, building segments based on user data is pretty simple: input certain characteristics into the ad interface, select or create a new segment, apply it to an ad group or campaign. However, setting up custom audience segments can be a tricky task.

Here are three tips for creating effective custom audience segments in Google Ads:

  1. Don't Focus Too Much On Audience Size: The number of people included in your segment is important to keep in mind when creating audience data segments; however, the quality of those visitors matters more than quantity. To build meaningful and responsive audiences, start with a small pool of highly-engaged users who have proven themselves valuable to your business (i.e., are likely to convert).

  2. Use Multiple Data Points to Make More Accurate Audiences: By adding other relevant audience criteria like browser type, time spent on site, or device targeting, you’ll give yourself more options for useful audiences as well as prevent overlap between segments. For example, if your company sells both men’s and women’s shoes online, add browsing history to determine gender.

  3. Test Your Audience Setup Before Going Live: Once you've finished creating audiences from multiple data points, test them out prior to activating them for real-world use. This will help minimize any issues that could arise due to overlap, unclear definitions of interests, or performance variances between different ads. If necessary, make adjustments at every step along the way and re-test each time. Doing so allows you to improve the effectiveness before going live with your audience segments. Allocate some time and even budget to test several options over a short period before deciding on what works best for you—you may find ways to make easy adjustments or optimizations before spending your budget. Keep these tips in mind while planning out how to implement custom audience segments into your strategy.

In a search-driven economy, knowing how to use audience segments (and optimize them properly) is essential. To help businesses everywhere better leverage Google’s AdWords audience segmentation feature, Axer will review your current campaign and make recommendations for optimizing these segments. Contact us today to help optimize your Google Ads account. Send this article to your ads manager, we’d love to connect and solve your marketing problem.

(To hear more about Axer's approach, you can read about us here.)

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