Read This Before Creating Custom Audiences in Google Ads

August 05, 2019

Within the Google Ads platform you can create audiences of users based on factors such as website visitors, app users, YouTube users, and customer lists. These are useful because they allow you to target/exclude users so that your ads target only those users you intend to reach.

In this article I’ll be explaining the lists I usually make: customer list and website visitor-based audience lists. Hopefully you can use these tips to help you find success in your digital marketing efforts.

Creating Customer List and Website Visitors Audiences

To create a customer list audience, from the Google Ads UI first click on “Tools” at the upper-right corner then click the blue “+” and finally “Customer List”.

From here, you’ll be able to create your audience based on different types of customer data – Email, Phone, First and Last Name, Country Zip, User IDs and Mobile Device IDs. 

The guidelines for uploading your list can be found here

Since Google tries matching the data you’ve entered to users in their database, not all of the individuals will be matched and the final audience size will vary. We typically see a 40-60% match-rate with Google for Customer lists.

Website Visitor Audiences – additional detail

While creating lists based on website visitors (URLs) I recently stumbled upon some interesting warnings that you can hopefully avoid:

  • Dedupe your data or else you’ll receive a warning “Duplicate value” and won’t be able to save – which means you’ll either have to start new or go back and find your duplicate value and delete.
  • Watch out for the maximum upload limit which can occur when you’ve added anywhere from 90-100 emails. The exact number doesn’t seem to be fixed since I’ve hit the limit on some audiences with 100+ URLs and some with only 80 URLs. I recommend that once you reach 80 emails, you add more emails in small amounts and clicking “Save” to see if Ads will allow you to save. If you’ve surpassed the limit you’ll get the warning “Value is too long” and you’ll have to delete URLs one at a time until it saves.
  • Strip out “http” and “https” if your site has both secure and unsecured versions since users may be directed to land on either one and you want to include users on both sites.

With your audience list uploaded you can then apply that list to your campaigns for targeting!

Now you’re ready to create your own customer lists quickly with minimum hassle. For more tips on improving your digital marketing efforts. Check out the rest of our blogs.