How To Get Better Audience Targeting For Your Google Ads

January 27, 2020

How To Get Better Audience Targeting For Your Google Ads | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

Google ads are one of the most valuable tools marketers and business owners have in their arsenal. To bring your products and services in front of an audience that would be interested in your brand, and likely to convert, there’s no better option than creating a Google ads campaign.

Of course, this can also happen organically, but as many people who give this method a shot soon discover, it can take a long time to organically appear in relevant search terms, especially in a good position near the top of the page.

Paid search is, in a way, a method to speed up the process and reach people sooner. But who you reach and when greatly depends on the type of audience you target.

Google Ads Targeting 101

Google offers two main types of targeting options:


1. Audience targeting

● Demographics: based on data you have on your ideal customers, such as location, age, gender, or the type of device they use. If you think it’s similar to Facebook advertising or other social media ads, it’s because it is;

● Affinity audiences: targeting an audience who has a strong link/interest in a particular topic;

● In-market: targeting people who’ve searched for similar brands, products, or services to yours;

● Custom intent: targeting words or keywords relating to users most likely to engage with your content. This option allows you to add URLs on top of keywords;

● Similar audience: if you have an established audience, you can expand on it with future ads by creating a similar audience. Then, your ads will target users with similar interests, but who haven’t interacted with your business yet;

● Remarketing: targeting users who’ve already interacted with your brand, especially leads that didn’t convert.

2. Content targeting

● Topics: targeting one ad to multiple pages based on specific topics. The pages your ads could reach are on the Display Network;

● Placement: target websites on the Display Network you know your customers visit;

● Content keywords: this is the most common form of targeting for search campaigns. You choose a set of keywords relevant to your content that users may search for. When they type your keyword in the search bar, your ad is shown.

Perfecting Your Audience Targeting

Now that we’ve clarified all the different ways you can show your ads to users, let’s focus on the audience target option, and how to perfect it.

It goes without saying that you need to select specific audiences in your ads. If your selected audience is too broad, the ads won’t bring the results you desire. While it may make sense to target the largest group of people possible, it’s actually much more effective to target the people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

Here are 4 ways to perfect your audience targeting

1. Research Your Audience

Do you know who your customers are? Google ads work best if you go for specific types of audiences, but that only works if you know who they are.

If you’ve done Facebook advertising before, you most likely have a better grasp of the demographics of your potential ad audience. If not, you can do a bit of research, and create an audience for a small test to see if you’ve nailed it.

Once you have your broad audience profile, you should also segment it based on certain criteria that link them together. For instance, half of your audience may be interested in dog toys, while the other half is interested in cat toys. If you want to push ads for cat toys, there’s no point in targeting both audiences. These subgroups allow you to target specific sections of your audience when needed, to increase success.

2. Leverage Location Targeting

Location targeting is the best way for local businesses to target potential customers. This will allow you to not only target users interested in your business, but also those that live near where your business operates, and can, therefore, visit you.

Audiences based on location can be targeted:

● Based on location only;
● Based on location searches only;
● Based on location interest.

Of all of these, the second one is the most relevant to targeting nearby users. When you combine location searches and interest in a specific location, you can then end up showing your ad to a person who is 2000 miles away, but just used your search terms that one time.

3. Use Exclusions

When you’re creating your ad audience, it’s important to also leverage the ‘exclusions’ options when you target people. These exclusions can be keywords, placements, audiences, topics, or other things you don’t want to trigger your ads.

For instance, if you’re running a bigger online campaign and have an ad group running, you can choose specific audiences for each individual ad. But, at the same time, you may not want to target a certain audience because though you can target them in other ads, these ones, in particular, are not relevant to them. If you tell Google that it will exclude your selected audience.

Exclusions are a way to avoid ‘money waste’ and irrelevant leads. Think of it as a filter that can help you define your target audience better.

4. Monitor Your Performance

Nobody gets it right on the first try, so you should keep your eyes peeled to your Google Analytics and Google Ads dashboard to see how your ads are performing. The good news is that if something’s not going according to plan, you can change anything in your audience then and there. Ads will still have to be submitted for approval, but you will not spend your budget on ads that don’t bring valuable leads.

You should consider starting with smaller budgets at first, just to try out these targeting options and see how they work. Over time, when you perfect your audience and targeting, you can increase how much money you spend.

Over to You

If the notion of handling online advertising on your own isn’t all too appealing – we get it. Google Ads take a while to perfect, and you most likely want results yesterday.

So if you want to get great results with minimal effort on your part, we can help. Reach out to Australian Internet Advertising now and let’s set up a meeting to see how we can help.

Book in a free 30 minute strategy session
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