Google Ads (aka Google Adwords) has had one of the biggest revamps since its inception in 2000. Over the last year, there has been a ton of new features released by Google that advertisers can leverage to drive efficiencies from their ad spend via the platform.

One of the most exciting updates that have search marketers frothing at the mouth is the increased options when using audience targeting across your search campaigns. Gone are the days when advertisers have to rely on keywords alone for targeting and managing their search campaigns. Now you can use audience targeting to adjust your paid search campaigns too.

So, how do you capitalise on using audience targeting across your search activity to increase your performance?

Firstly there are two ways you can use audience targeting that you need to be familiar with, both of which give you some great options and how you use them really depends on what you are trying to achieve:


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  • "Targeting" setting narrows your entire campaign down to the audiences you select, nothing else,
  • "Observation" allows you to increase (or decrease) your bids across different audiences and monitor the performance. You can decrease bids up to 90% or increase bids up to 900%

Here are three of the top audience data segments you can use right now across your search campaigns to drive effectiveness:

  • RSLA
  • In-Market Audiences
  • Detailed Demographics
  • Audience Exclusions
  • Similar Audiences for Search


Retargeting Lists for Search Ad's(RSLA) enables you to customise your search campaign for people who have previously been on your website. You can use RSLA by either setting up a separate campaign to just retarget site visitors, or simply buy using bid adjustments to increase your bids for this audience in your main search campaign.

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PRO TIP: Sometimes the CPC's in one of your campaigns are very high, and you don't have the budget to compete with much bigger players. When this happens you can use RSLA on the "Targeting" setting to only show your ads when people who have already been to your site are searching for your offering on Google.

In-Market Audiences:

Being able to use In-Market Audiences across your search campaigns is a game changer! Now you can target both keyword phrases and data on who is in-market for a particular product or service.

Google uses machine learning to create their In-Market Audiences by analysing trillions of search queries and browsing activity to predict purchase intent. I use this targeting option all the time, it's awesome how on the money they are most of the time. Previously you were only able to use them across display and video campaigns.

You can also use in-market data to decrease your bids heavily on in-market segments you know won't likely convert, or to exclude people who aren't your target market. An example is a car manufacturer who is using search to attract car buyers might decrease the bids for people in-market for servicing and parts.

Detailed Demographics:

Now you have even more control over who sees your ads with Detailed Demographics. Everything from Homeownership status, Parental Status, Education Levels, Marital Status. Couple this with the other demographic targeting that's available like age, gender, income level this really takes targeting to another level.


Wrapping it up

They want to make it easier than ever before to run ads and be successful with Google ads.

And they are delivering on that goal.