Custom audience targeting using Google Analytics can be a powerful addition to Google Adwords remarketing campaigns.
Remarketing isn’t a new concept at all, but I continue to meet marketing folks who are surprised when I tell them about Google Analytics (GA) Custom Audiences. It’s my favorite feature of GA, and I want to show you how simple it is to get started, as well as begin to create segmented, granular audiences that you’ll use in your Google Adwords campaigns.
Head over to Google Analytics, login, and then click on the Admin link:
Then you want to look in the Property column for “Audience Definitions”:
Click on “Audiences”, and once on the next screen click the orange “New Audience” button to begin:
On the next screen you’ll need to choose which Adwords account you’ll be using this new audience with. If you’ve yet to link an Adwords account to your Google Analytics account, you’ll need to go over and take care of that now. Google explains how to do this here in this help doc. Once you’ve got your Adwords account linked with GA, you’ll be able to choose it from the dropdown here:
Once you’ve picked the Adwords account, hit the blue “Next Step” button. On this next screen you’ll see some default audience definitions that you could choose, but you can also hit the “Create New” button to begin putting together your Custom Audience Targeting:
Now you can really start to have fun with this! The options available here are fantastic and powerful, but do keep in mind that your website may not receive enough traffic for every custom audience definition that you create here. In order for your remarketing ads to run on the Google Display Network, your targeting list must be made up of at-least 100 active users from the last 30 days.
If you have a low traffic website you’ll need to begin thinking about how you can get enough new traffic to the pages you want to add into your custom audience targeting.
You may need to run some Adwords search campaigns first.
Another thing to note is that some options here are not allowed to be used with a remarketing campaign. At this time Google doesn’t allow the “IN-MARKET SEGMENT”, (but interestingly does allow us to use the “OTHER CATEGORY” segment for our custom audiences). Another option that’s currently not available is the “DAYS SINCE LAST SESSION”, which is under the “BEHAVIOR” section.
Get creative here. What do engaged users look like for your business? Start building that out here. My go to is the “CONDITIONS” section:
In this example we’re building an audience of users who visited 3 valuable pages of our site, but EXCLUDING users who also made it to our Thank-You page URL. After this I usually go to the “BEHAVIOR” tab and add one more part to this audience. I include “SESSION DURATION > 60” too. This says that I want users who have been to my important pages, didn’t convert, and were also on site for more than a minute. Engaged users. Now we can start remarketing and “nurturing” them along with additional messaging and content.
How about referral source. Do you drive consistent business from your Instagram account? You can create an audience of users that come from your social networks.
Better yet utilize the awesome targeting options available in Facebook and Linkedin advertising first, then add the non-converters to a custom audience for retargeting!
Here we added users from this paid Facebook campaign to our custom audience. The Facebook settings were women in the US, between the ages of 24 and 45, live in Portland Oregon, and have “online buying” habits. Think about how powerful that is! We’re extending those amazing targeting options that Facebook allows over onto the Google Display Network.
So analyze what content your converting users interact with most, or the traffic sources they consistently come from, and create these audiences here. Once you have these audiences created you need to jump over to your Adwords account.
Once signed in to Adwords go ahead and click on the “SHARED LIBRARY” link in the bottom of the left side menu. On the next screen click the “VIEW” link under “AUDIENCES”:
Now you should see your custom audiences that you created in GA listed here for use in your campaigns now. If you just created the audience(s) in GA recently, you’ll most likely not see the list size just yet. Give it some time to calculate. Again, you’ll need at least 100 active users on a list to use it on the GDN.
While your lists are calculating you can begin setting up your remarketing campaigns though. Create a new campaign for DISPLAY NETWORK ONLY. On the first section you’ll be naming the campaign and choosing your location settings. The second page of setup is your first Ad Group:
Name your ad group – most likely something around what custom audience you’ll be using – choose your max CPC to begin with, and then choose one of your custom audiences that you created in GA. Save and create your ads in the next section.
You’re now all set and ready to keep the message going to your most important, relevant users who might just need a little extra push to convert. I hope this successfully helps you get started with Custom Audiences, but please don’t hesitate to contact me here at Preeminent Productions if you need any additional assistance getting things set up properly!