Advertisers are seeing combined audience targeting for search campaigns in their Google Ads accounts.
Although Google has not made a formal announcement, digital marketing consultant Steven Johns noticed the new targeting method in his Google Ads account and shared the news on Twitter on November 13.
GOOGLE ADS: *ALERT* …Game Changer….
Anyone guess what this means for search?#ppc #ppcchat @GinnyMarvin @mattgsouthern pic.twitter.com/agJemLJ9tK
— Steven Johns (@stevenjohns21) November 13, 2019
How Combined Audiences Work
Combined audiences allow advertisers to layer combinations of in-market, affinity, demographic, and remarketing audiences using “AND”, “OR”, or “NOT” directives.
Advertisers have had the ability to target multiple audiences to a campaign (“OR”) and exclude audiences from a campaign (“NOT”), but the real game-changer this tool offers is the “AND” directive.
For the first time, advertisers are able to specify that their ads only show to users who are in two or more specific audiences.
In search campaigns, this targeting is then layered with campaign keywords. Users who meet the combined audience criteria and search the specified campaign keywords are the only users who will see the ads for that campaign.
How to Use Combined Audiences
A retailer would be able to create ads with special messaging for users who have visited their site, did not convert, and are looking for Black Friday deals.
By creating a combined audience for website visitors who are also part of the Black Friday in-market audience, they’re ensuring their ads will only show to users who meet all of these criteria and search specific keywords on Google.
To see if you can use combined audience targeting in your search campaign, open a campaign and navigate to the “Audiences” tab.
Then, click the blue pencil to add a new audience. From the audience box, select “Browse”.
If available, combined audiences will be the fifth and final option on the list.
After selecting “Combined audiences” you’ll be able to build audience combinations right from the campaign.
What This Means for You
Google has greatly expanded audience targeting for search campaigns in 2019, first adding in-market audiences, then affinity audiences, and now combined audience targeting.
This new capability allows Google search campaigns to be targeted more precisely than ever before, leaving advertisers room to experiment with messaging, bidding, and broader keyword targeting.
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