How to Define Audience Segments in Google Ads

How to Define Audience Segments in Google Ads


Targeting the right customer is crucial while running PPC campaigns on Google Ads since you are spending hard-earned money on it. Once you have defined your customer segments, you can narrow down and pinpoint your campaign only to the target groups.

PPC engines now allow a variety of demographic and psychographic metrics to help you achieve this. Let’s look at audience segmentation and targeting options in Google Ads.

Customer segmentation and Targeting in Google Ads

Google Ads Audience Manager allows you to create Remarketing lists, Custom audience segments, and Combined audience segments.

Once you are logged in to Google Ads, go to Tools and Settings -> Audience manager.

Audience Manager

This section shows a table of customer segments with the Segment name, Type, Membership status, and sizes that can be used for Google Search, Display, Gmail, and YouTube campaigns.

You can apply filters to this table to show you only the relevant segments that you are looking for.

Customer segments can be associated with a Campaign or with specific Ad groups.

In order to be used for Google Display Network(GDN), the segments should have at least 100 active users in the past 30 days.

For Google Search Network as well as YouTube, the customer segment needs at least 1000 active users in the past 30 days.

Tab 1 - Your Data Segments

This tab includes all the customers who have interacted with you in the recent past or customer lists that you have already built. Similar segments, a very popular target segment with marketers, will be removed by Google in May 2023.

Data segments in Google ads

How to create a new Data Segment

New data segments can be based on a few types of users. Here are the options available:

  1. Website visitors

  2. You can create segments of website visitors based on visits to the website or based on visits to pages with specific tags (which can be added manually or using GTM).

    Webpage visits can be for a specified number of days, usually 30, 60, or even 90 days based on your requirements. You can pre-fill the segment based on data for the past 30 days, or start with an empty container that will collect data over time.

  3. App users

  4. In order to be eligible for the App campaign, you should have at least 250,000 installs for your application. Connect your app to Google ads through Firebase on any third-party app analytics platform.

  5. YouTube users

  6. You have to be the owner of the specific YouTube channel to connect it to Google Ads. Select customers who have viewed any video, all videos, any video ad, all video ads, subscribers, those who have visited your channel page, or those who have liked videos during the past 30, 60, or 90 days.

  7. Customer lists

  8. Upload a CSV file with customer email ids, phone numbers, user IDs, mobile device IDs, or even upload data from your CDP (customer data platform).

  9. Custom combinations

  10. You can create separate lists with a combination of any of the above customer segments that you have already created. Examples are:

    • Website visitors who have already seen at least one YouTube video in the past 60 days.
    • Customers from the CDP who have used your app in the past 60 days.
    • And so on

    Once you have created the customer segments, you can select a specific segment and apply them to your Campaign or Ad group.

Applying audience segments to campaigns and ad groups

Tab 2 – Custom segments

This tab includes visitors that you can select based on their interests or affinities. The options available are:

  1. People with certain interests or intentionss

  2. You have to enter keywords that your customer segment is likely to be interested in. Google will then match your ads to these customers.

    This customer segment is more important for Display ads, so that you spend money on the target audience only.

  3. People who searched for specific keywords

  4. Similar to the above option, you have to enter keywords that your target audience is likely to search for. Google Ads will show you related keywords in the drop-down. You can also research using Google keyword planner or Ubersuggest to arrive at relevant keywords.

  5. People who browse certain types of websites

  6. Enter a list of websites that your target audience is likely to visit. Google will expand your list with similar websites and show your ads to those matching the criteria.

  7. People who use certain types of apps

  8. Similar to the above option, you can enter a list of apps that your target audience is likely to use. Google will show your ad to users similar to this audience segment.

Tab 3 – Combined segments

This allows you to combine various segments you have defined earlier based on their interactions with you, and also based on their affinities or interests.

  • Those who have visited your website in the past 90 days and who use websites similar to
  • Those who have watched your YouTube videos and are interested in fitness videos.

These combinations will help you narrow down your audience so that you spend money only on those who are interested in your specific products and services.

Audiences option within campaigns or ad groups

In addition to using the Audience manager to set up segments, you can also edit Audiences from within a Campaign or Ad group. Once you are inside a campaign or ad group, use the Audiences menu on the left panel to edit this.

Remember that the changes you make will be applicable only to a specific Campaign or Ad group here, as opposed to being universal audience segments that can be used across campaigns if they are added using Audience manager.

Adding audiences to campaigns and ad groups

Targeting and Observation

At the top of this screen, there are two options – Targeting and Observation.

Targeting method is used to narrow down your ads to the audience segments you have selected. This is very relevant in Display ads where the ads will be shown to a very broad audience group if you DO NOT choose Targeting.

Observation method will not restrict the ad but will track them separately so that you can adjust bids for the audience segments that are performing extremely well or extremely poor.

You can edit Audience segments here, or manage them in your Audience manager.

The importance of choosing the right target audience cannot be stressed enough in PPC marketing. If you would like help in targeting the right audience groups for your campaign, reach out to Tagbeans Digital today.

Get in touch with us

Sobha Petunia, Nagavara, Bangalore. India