Remarketing traffic should be among your best visitors. It’s engaged traffic, familiar with your brand and interested in your product. In fact, you may want more of it.

Google has a few features to help you widen your remarketing exposure. In fact, if you are running a remarketing campaign right now, you may be unknowingly showing your ads to these expanded audiences, who actually haven’t visited your site before.

Do a quick check now. Log into a remarketing campaign in AdWords, click on the Display Network tab and then click the “+ Targeting” link.

Explore Similar Audiences in Google AdWords to Expand Your Remarketing

After you choose an ad group, you may notice that you are already opted in to one of these audience expanding marketing features of AdWords. Look at whether you see any of the following boxes checked:

Explore Similar Audiences in Google AdWords to Expand Your Remarketing

You may have been wondering why those remarketing campaigns have been a little less impressive than you were hoping. It could be that you are spending money on audiences like the above that may have never been to your site to begin with. Why is Google doing this?

All ad networks promise to help advertisers reach potential clients. They also look for ways to expand your exposure and sell more inventory to you. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes not so much. This is one of several of Google’s defaults that we like to opt out of and treat separately later.

Once we have good baseline date, it’s time to expand. One of the ways to do that, is with the above or with “Similar Audiences.” In this section, we’ll take you through the Similar Audience feature and how you can utilize that to drive qualified traffic to your website.

Explore Similar Audiences in Google AdWords to Expand Your Remarketing

So What Exactly is the Adwords “Similar Audiences” Feature?
“Similar Audiences” is an Adwords feature that allows marketers to expand on their remarketing efforts by choosing to display their ads not only to previous visitors but also users who have similar browsing behavior to your current customers and visitors. For instance, if another user has visited the same sites that customers on your remarketing list have visited, then there is a chance this internet user may also be targeted and see your ads because they fall under the same category as the customers within your remarketing list.

Just like any other display marketing experiment, Similar Audiences should be used carefully. Your ads will be getting exposure across a new group of people that may have never heard or seen your brand. This is certainly a step or two removed from the results you were getting with regular remarketing ads. So, if remarketing is going great and you want to expand your site’s reach, consider using this tactic.

How Similar Audiences Work

These audiences will be automatically generated by Google by default after you create your remarketing campaign. Google analyzes your site visitors and uses that information to build an audience of new internet users based on similar interests. Hence, advertisers can create a display campaign targeting this audience exclusively.

How to Use Similar Audiences

According to Google, using this feature plus remarketing can lead to over 60 percent impressions, 41 percent more conversions and 48 percent more clicks. Here is how to use it:

Segment and Target Different Audiences

If you have many product categories with varied client types, you can use the similar audiences feature and remarketing tags to divide your audience by category. By diving into specific niche categories, you can find new audiences for each product category and enhance your traffic.

Target Your Ideal Audience

Often in remarketing, you may leave out  users who have already converted from your marketing campaigns, because they are already clients. But instead of stopping there with that valuable client information, use your list of already converted customers to target similar audiences that might also likely to convert.

For instance let us say a hotel supply site has a remarketing list of customers who bought beds. Instead of reaching the broad group of people interested in hotel supplies, similar audiences can analyze the remarketing list and find individuals that tend to browse specifically about “hardwood hotel beds” before coming to the site and buying. It would then take that data and identify other internet users with similar characteristics so you can get to them with targeted ads.

How do I Roll this out across my Remarketing Campaigns?

Implementation of this feature is pretty straightforward. Here are step by step instructions:

  • To the right of the Campaign button, click on Display Network
  • Click the +Targeting button. Choose the “display network only” ad group that you would like to add these audiences to and then click the interests and remarketing button.
  • Click the “Add targeting” drop down and select “Interests & remarketing.”

Explore Similar Audiences in Google AdWords to Expand Your Remarketing

  • From here you can find a variety of ways to expand your reach with similar audiences. You should see lists with audience sizes and be able to select whichever ones you want to test.
  • Simply click add link next to every similar audience that you want to add and your selected audience will appear in the selected audiences list.

When you are done, click “close” and “save.”

Things to keep in mind

Because conversion rates may not be as substantial using the Similar Audiences feature compared to a normal remarketing campaign, it is important to keep certain things in mind to make sure you do not get any unpleasant surprises using this method.

  • Keep your budget tight at first to make sure you are not spending more than what you can afford on the new traffic
  • Always make sure that conversion tracking is enabled on your account so you can see how well your new audience is converting.
  • Set bids a bit lower than you would on a regular campaign. This is mainly because although your new audience may have similar browsing characteristics to that of your current customers, performance will vary so you do not want to pay too much for such users at first. As mentioned, they are a couple steps removed from the branding you’ve already done to those in your remarketing lists.

Think about it. You can actually take information about your real clients and then use that to target people with shared interests within Google Adwords. The “Similar Audiences” feature in Google Adwords is a great way to potentially broaden your reach and target additional qualified audiences to drive conversions.

It is another of many strategies that should be in your or your search marketing agency’s tool box. As Google gets more sophisticated in its tracking and audience building, the more likely this technique is going to only get better with time (although some sensitive categories may always be out of luck). We’ve seen very impressive results for our clients, which is why we highly recommend testing Similar Audiences and making that a part of your paid marketing strategy.

And that is it! Happy Marketing.