How to squeeze more from your Google Ads Audience Strategy

If you’re new to Google Ads (or a veteran), you may be aware that search campaigns can reach a point where some innovation is required to grow the account searches further. This could be due to the hours, days, weeks of continuous keyword optimisations, bidding tweaks, and audience strategy. 

First of all, it's a difficult position to be in, where a boss, client, or maybe your own business requires growth. There won’t be a magic advertising answer, unfortunately, but incremental changes may see your conversion rates go from 5% to 6%, or a small reduction in average Cost-per-click will increase account efficiency to make your budget go a little further.

So how do we get more from these campaigns? Let’s talk about how to grow your Google Adwords account through audience targeting strategy.

Audience Strategies

Audience Observation

When setting audiences within your search advertising, you have two options. You could ‘Target’ audiences (if you know your target market down to minute detail). This ensures that your ad copy will only be shown to the audience bracket that you specify in the audience manager, but this won’t help you to grow your Google Ads account as it can become quite restrictive for potential customers. 

Some PPC management account managers may want this, however, as it helps to keep the budget under check; let’s look at the alternative marketing strategy below.

Google Ads audience targeting for range of industries and potential customers

There are situations where you will need to only ‘target’ audiences in Google Ads, where you have found ideal targeting options that continue to generate leads, conversions, etc. regardless of budget spend. This would be the most efficient plan of action.

The alternative when planning your audience strategy is to use the ‘Observation’ setting in Google Ads. This will open up the search results to everybody searching for your particular keywords without restriction. The benefit is that you will also generate more data on the people searching for your search campaign. 

A great example of this would be Nike customers. There is an 'in-market' audience for ‘Running Clothes’ (contains people who have been searching for ‘Running Clothes’ in the past 24 hours). If Nike was to target keywords based around running clothes, and set the ‘Running Clothes’ in-market audience to observation, you can be certain that a large portion of the traffic will show up in the data for this audience. 

However, if we go a little further and overlay another in-market audience, such as Swimwear, you will also get data on the searchers looking for these items too. You can then decide on the significance of the data to suit your business goals, and product or service; but if I was the Nike account manager in this situation, you will start placing a positive bid adjustment on ‘Swimwear’. This has the potential to help squeeze more from your google ads audience strategy. 

For search, there is no downside to placing additional ‘Observation’ audiences within campaigns, the only thing to consider is that users can only be placed within one in-market audience bracket over a 24 hour period. While I would certainly encourage you to start using the Observation facility on Google Ads audiences, it might be best to start with audiences that have a percentage of relevance to your brand/product. 

This should help you to find additional users to target and hopefully grow your Google Ads account.

Google Ads audience targeting options

Target Social Traffic in Google Ads

Do you run targeted social media campaigns for your business? Let’s talk about how you can leverage data from your social media campaigns in Google Ads. 

Disclaimer: You will need some basic knowledge of Google Analytics to make this work, but if that’s you this tactic should be straight forward. 

We all know that remarketing is very important to an advertising strategy, especially when done correctly, and not pestering users with irrelevant ads. However, if you can use advanced segmentation within Google Analytics, there are options to set up audiences that have been captured through individual channels and engagement metrics. 

For instance, the image below shows an audience built as ‘Facebook’ traffic (Source=Facebook) and people who have not scheduled a call that has already been set up as a Google Analytics goal (Acuity Scheduling (Goal 2 Completions) <1 ). Realistically, I would advise taking this further to add in Session Duration, Pages Viewed, etc. so that you know that you are targeting interested audiences.

Build custom remarketing audiences to target in Google Ads audience strategy

You might be asking, how do I do this? Follow the high-level instructions below: 

  1. Access your Google Analytics account.
  2. Click on Admin (usually in the bottom left corner of the page). 
  3. In the middle column, you will see ‘Audience Definitions’, click this, and then click on ‘Audiences’. 
  4. Click the red ‘+ New Audience’ button.
  5. Under Audience Definition, click on ‘Create New’

From here, it’s totally down to your account KPI’s and the segmented targeting you would like to achieve, but some regulars that you might like to try are; users’ sessions that are longer than 90 seconds, demographic targeting, or viewing a particular page on your website.

Google Analytics Engagment Segmentation
Google Analytics Audience Segmentation of User Engagement
Google Analytics Demographic Segmentation
Google Analytics Demographic Sementation
Google Analytics Page View Segmentation
Google Analytics Screenshot of user page view segmentation

After setting up these audiences, you need to ensure that Google Analytics data is linked and being imported into Google Ads. If you do this, you will find your newly created audiences in the ‘Remarketing’ tab, but maybe best to give them some time as each new audience required 1,000 users to target on the Search Network or 100+ for Display Network campaigns. 

Google Ads audience retargeting web users


You may or may not have already been using the tactics explained above in your Google Ads account, but after managing a lot of client accounts, rarely have I seen them being used. 

The more relevant we can get with our PPC campaigns, the higher chances that the conversions and revenue grow for your business, and businesses alike. Give it a try and let me know how it has benefitted your business (if at all) on Social Media, you can find Volume Digital on: 

We'd love to hear from you if you need any help with managing your Google Ads campaigns, or if you have any questions. Please don't hesitate to send us a message today. Contact Volume Digital

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