Syncing Google Analytics to Google Ads allows you to create audiences based on aspects of website behavior beyond just the pages they visit. Taking full advantage of capabilities available to built Analytics-based audiences will allow you to target new buckets of people who are highly engaged with content on your site and could be potential buyers.
In this article, I’ll suggest five Google Analytics audiences that you should test syncing with Google Ads.
Engaged Blog Readers
If your site has a blog or offers other content pieces, targeting people who are taking time to read will allow you to specifically reach people who have gone beyond a surface-level interest in the topics you are talking about. Some suggested audience rules:
- 3+ pages/session
- Greater than 3 minutes average session duration (note that Google Analytics measures time in seconds when you input the time threshold you want to use)
- Filter for pages with /blog/ in the URL (or however your site structure delineates readers of a blog/content section of the site)
You can then use ads to move people beyond the point of interacting with content to show them sales-focused messaging. You can also use page/category-specific targeting to segment the types of products or services you promote to them based on what topics they read about.
Retargeting returning users can be another method to segment out people who are highly engaged with your site. They may be coming back during a process of researching the products you sell, or they may see your site as authoritative on a content topic.
You’ll want to be careful not to oversaturate an audience like this with ads (use frequency capping and put in place exclusions for people who complete actions like quote requests or purchases), but these individuals very likely have higher intent than those who have just come to the site one time and bounced. You can also combine a Returning Users audience with additional parameters for specific pages or sections of the site that they visited in order to segment ads by category.
If you’re sending custom events into Google Analytics, you can also use these to build audiences. For instance, you might have events in place to track PDF downloads, video views, or scroll tracking on your site.
You can then build audiences based on people who complete these actions. For instance, if you offer an ungated PDF download such as a Buyer’s Guide, even if you aren’t directly collecting the information of these people, you can retarget everyone who clicked to download this asset. You can reach them with a lower funnel offer, such as a call-to-action for free trial signup.
Referrals from Other Channels
Segmenting remarketing audiences by the channels they came from can allow you to reach people who may have higher intent. For instance, my B2B clients generally find that referrals from LinkedIn tend to be better qualified, and a home improvement client finds that referrals from Pinterest tend to convert with a higher order value.
Filter audiences based on source/medium to segment out users by channel. You can also add additional filters by campaign to group these people on a narrower level. For instance, if you have a LinkedIn campaign set up to specifically target administrative professionals, you can segment visitors from that campaign with messaging tailored for them. Just make sure you’re using proper UTM tagging on your campaigns to be able to use this data in Analytics!
Google Analytics lets you set up sequential conditions (steps that users took on the site) to build audiences for remarketing. This capability allows for an almost unlimited amount of customization.
For example, say that you have a landing page with a multi-step form. You could build a sequence to capture people who make it to the first step of the form but don’t actually complete the process. Then you could retarget those people either to finish their submission or promote a different offer.
Start Testing Audiences!
Now, it’s time to go into your Google Analytics account and pick a few potential audiences that might be relevant to your efforts. You can start with the ones in this article, or brainstorm some ideas on your own based on the parameters available in Analytics. Create the audiences, watch them build, and start layering them onto your campaigns to test!
What audiences do you like to use from Google Analytics? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!