How To Effectively Utilise Google Ads Audiences

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Google gives you access to a number of audiences which can be used to help optimise your campaigns. However, it is important to effectively utilise Google Ads audiences, specific to your goals.

Do you want to reach new people based on their interests? Or do you want to target based on how people have previously interacted with your website. You can do these things by the use of Google Ads Audiences.

Audiences can be separated into two main categories; Dynamic Remarketing and Remarketing Audiences, and Prospecting Audiences. This blog will identify these two types, the subcategories and when you should use them.

How To Effectively Utilise Google Ads Audiences To Remarket

Remarketing audiences allow you to target people who have previously interacted with your website. These can be split into how people have interacted with your website. Generally, remarketing lists are created through Google Analytics and pulled into Google Ads. Below are some popular examples of remarketing audiences:

All Website Visitors

The Google Ads “all website visitors audience” includes people who have visited your website within a certain period of time. This remarketing audience is broad, but useful. People contained in the list have already visited your website, and therefore have shown some level of interest.

All Website Visitors can be used as a remarketing audience if other audiences are too small for Google to optimise. An example of this can be shown below:

Cart Abandoners

Cart Abandoners

People who add items to their shopping carts and then ‘abandon’ still show a strong intent to purchase. They may be adding similar items to their cart on different sites to compare costs. Or they may have been called away from their device mid-purchase.

As these people are far along the conversion process, they are a great target for remarketing campaigns.


  • When remarketing to these customers you may want to include an incentive. This could include reduced or free shipping to try bring them back onto your website to purchase.
  • You could also tailor ad copy and creatives to people who have ‘abandoned’ their cart. Messaging such as; ‘did you forget something?’, ‘don’t miss out’ or ‘complete your purchase’ may encourage them to complete the sale.

See the image below as an example of how an airline targets their cart abandoner audience:

Complete Your Purchase

How To Effectively Utilise Google Ads Audiences To Prospect

Prospecting audiences help you to find new customers to target with your ads. These audiences include targeting based on someone’s interests, online interactions, active research and life events. Below are some common prospecting audiences you may come across.

Similar Audiences

Google can create lists of people who are ‘similar’ to those who have already interacted with your website. They look at the recent search activity of the visitors to your website and find common search behaviour. Google then automatically finds new people whose behaviour is similar.

Let’s say you have a remarketing list for people who have bought tulips from you. Similar audiences will realise that people on this list usually searched for ‘online tulip delivery’ before making a purchase. Based on this, similar audiences will find other people with similar search behaviour.

These lists are automatically updated as people’s search activity changes. Therefore, there is no need to update this list once it has been created.

Affinity Audiences

You can use affinity audiences when you look to target people that have shown an interest in your products. This type of audience finds users who are more likely to convert based on their interests.

In order to best use this Google Ads audience, it is important to understand who is purchasing your products. If you sell high tech cameras you could target ‘technophiles’ and ‘shutterbugs’. Or, if you are selling women’s gym gear you could target ‘health and fitness buffs’ and ‘beauty and wellness’.

Affinity Audiences

As this audience includes people who convert based on their interests, it is a cost effective way to drive sales.

Custom Affinity/Intent Audiences

Custom affinity audiences are similar to affinity audiences but are even more tailored. As they give you the ability to target based on consumer habits. This audience does not limit you to the predefined segments that Google has.

Custom affinity audiences are most helpful when you are selling specific products. Google will allow you to create audiences using keywords, URLs, places or apps. The benefits of using custom affinity audiences include being able to target users that visit your competitors’ websites. You can also target people that use specific keywords and search terms. Below is an example of a custom intent audience using search terms for a Fijian Airline advertising in Australia:

Custom Affinity Audience

If you are a running shoe company rather than just targeting ‘Sports Fans’, you may wish to target marathon runners. Custom affinity audiences allow you to further define this audience provided by Google. You could enter interests such as ‘5K in Sydney’, ‘marathon athlete’ or ‘long distance running’. Or target URLs of websites that have content on running, training and nutrition. You can also enter places a marathon runner may be interested in, such as gyms and sporting shops. You may also want to enter an App such as Strava in the health and fitness category.

Effectively Utilising In-Market Audiences

Google’s in-market audience allows you to find customers who are in the market for what you sell. This means that they’re currently researching and considering buying a product similar to what you offer.

This audience leverages real time data which is based on demonstrated in-market behaviour. This data can help you show the right offer at the right time to customers most interested in your products. In-market audiences are used with remarketing audiences, to drive qualified users to your website.

For example, if you sell canvas art, an audience you may want to use is; ‘Home and Garden – Interior Design’.

Effectively Utilising Life Events Audiences

Lastly, Google allows you to target consumers based on life events. These events may be; graduations, moving house or marriage. By targeting people when they experience life events, you can customise your advertising. This means you are able to reach the right people with the right messaging.

Life events may reach smaller groups when compared to an affinity audience. But, as life events usually mean many other purchases, they’re often larger than in-market categories as these involve a single purchasing decision. For example, someone who is about to move house will buy furniture, moving services and mortgages.


Audience targeting is available to boost your campaign performance. You can target people based on their interests, as well as how they have interacted with your business. You can effectively utilise Google Ads Audiences to understand your potential customers and apply the best targeting.

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