Home > Blog > How to Create Your Google Ads Audiences

How to Create Your Google Ads Audiences

Now that you have configured proper Google Ads conversion tracking, it’s time to lay the groundwork for your future ad campaigns. And the first step is to create various custom and remarketing audiences in your Google Ads account. 

By the way, did you know that only 2% of website visitors convert during their first visit? It means that you need to do something to capture the rest 98%. 

Creating remarketing audiences and retargeting them with your personalized Google Ads campaigns is one of the best ways to reengage cart abandoners and other website visitors who didn’t make a purchase during their previous interaction with your online store.

Conversion Rate Fact

Apart from remarketing audiences, Google Ads lets you create different custom audiences based on your prospects’ lifestyles, buying habits, long-term interests, purchase intent, and demographics.

Since there are two ways you can create audiences for your Google Ads account, it might be quite confusing at the beginning. But no worries, as always, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s Zima Media’s complete course on how to create Google Ads audiences, step by step!

We’re here to guide you through the proper Google Ads audiences setup process, but first, here is why it’s so important.

Why Add Google Ads Audiences

Custom and remarketing audiences in Google Ads can help you:

  • Reach your ideal customer
  • Entice cart abandoners to complete their purchase
  • Target users who are actively searching for products similar to yours
  • Attract your competitors’ website visitors
  • Encourage your regular customers to discover new products
  • Retain your current customer base
  • Regulate bids more efficiently
  • Explore new opportunities
  • Find more prospective customers
  • Improve your advertising strategy

How to Create Custom and Remarketing Audiences in Google Ads

There are a few ways you can add audiences to your Google Ads account. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the setup process using both Google Analytics and Google Ads. At this point, you should already have your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts linked and your conversion tracking configured. 

If you haven’t done it yet, please refer to our previous guides:

Step 1: Enable Remarketing in Google Analytics

Google Ads Remarketing


Log into your Google Analytics account → Go to “Admin Settings” → under the “Property View”, select “Audience Definitions” → choose “Audiences” from the drop-down menu → under the “Enable Remarketing” press “Next Step” → add “Audience Destinations”

Audience Destinations

Choose your Google Ads and Analytics accounts from the menu.

Audience Destinations

Press “Save.” Now, you have an automatically created “All Website Visitors” audience in your account. Go back to the Audiences pages.

Step 2: Add Remarketing Audiences

Now, you have a choice to do this either in Google Analytics or Google Ads. Just keep in mind, if you create audiences directly in Google Ads, they won’t be shared to your Google Analytics account. And when you create audiences in Google Analytics, you have an option to share it with your Google Ads account too.

For remarketing audiences, we recommend using Google Analytics and Google Ads for the custom ones.

Step 2.1: Add New “All Website Visitors” Audience

All Website Visitors

Press “+New Audience”

Remarketing Audiences

Choose “All Users”

Membership Duration

Change membership duration from 30 days to 180 days → name your audience “All Website Visitors” → press “Next Step”

New Audience

Add your Google Ads and Google Analytics as audience destinations and press “Publish”

2.2: Add More Desired Audiences

Now, follow similar steps to create audiences for:

  • New users
  • Returning users
  • Users who visited specific sections of your site 
  • Users who completed a transaction

And don’t forget to name them accordingly. You can also play around with the membership duration (1 to 540 days) if you want to keep data about your website visitors for a specific amount of time. Here, you need to take into consideration your business goals and your customer journey.

Step 3: Create Custom Audiences in Google Ads

Audience Manager

Log into your Google Ads account → navigate to “Tools” → under the “Shared Library”, select “Audience Manager” 


Custom Audiences

Switch to the “Custom Audiences” tab and press “+” to create your first custom audience.

Step 3.1: Create Audiences Based on Interests and Purchase Intent

Come up with a relevant name for your audience and add the desired keywords that describe your ideal customer’s interests and preferences.

Step 3.2: Create Audiences Based on Search Terms

Search Term Audience

This setting lets you create an audience based on what users search for. Enter relevant keywords and name your audience accordingly.

Step 3.3 Create Audiences Based on Competitors’ Website Visitors

Competitor Audiences

Under the “Expand audiences by also including” choose “People who browse websites similar to.” Enter your competitors’ websites or create a separate audience for each competitor’s website. Name them accordingly.

Step 4: Add Customer List if Eligible

Customer Match

Switch back to the “Remarketing” tab → press “+” → choose “+ Customer list” from the options menu → Upload a file with your customers’ contact information.

Customer List



Please, note that you need to meet certain criteria to be eligible to use Customer Match. So, if you’re not eligible now, take advantage of other remarketing audiences meanwhile.

Google Ads Audiences Insights

To give you a better understanding of Google Ads audiences, here’re some of the most common types you might consider targeting in your future ad campaigns:

  • Custom Affinity Audiences: Audiences to help you reach potential customers based on their lifestyles, passions, habits, interests, etc.
  • Custom In-Market Audiences: Audiences that can assist in reaching likely buyers who’re already searching for similar products and are close to completing a purchase.
  • Custom Life Events Audiences: Help you target people who reached important life milestones, such as marriage, graduation, buying a new home, etc.
  • Custom Intent Audiences: Help you create your own audience, based on keywords, URLs related to products and services your prospects may be researching.
  • Remarketing Audiences: Let you reach people who have previously engaged with your website, app, or YouTube channel or have already purchased your products.
  • Customer Match: Customer lists let you create audiences based on your customer contact info (e.g., email, zip codes, etc.) that you collected over time.
  • Custom Combinations: Helps you combine two or more existing remarketing lists or audiences to test various strategies.
  • Similar Audiences: Help you reach prospects with similar interests to your website visitors or existing customers.
  • Detailed Demographics: This allows you to reach users based on their long-term life facts and who share common traits such as college students, homeowners, or new parents.

HURRAY! Now you know how to create Google Ads remarketing and custom audiences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with adding various audiences to your Google Ads account and using them to improve your advertising efforts. 

In the next tutorial, we’ll walk you through the setup of your first Google Ads Search campaign and show you how to apply these audiences to your ad campaigns.

Want more tutorials? You might be interested to check out these articles:

Want a Free Consultation?

We'll discuss your business' strengths and pain points and recommend a custom marketing strategy that fits your needs.

Share the article
Get 5% off your first month!

Free Ebook

‘5 Marketing Mistakes That Are Costing You Money’

Get your FREE Copy Now!