google ads targeting

Reaching the Right People through Google Ads Targeting

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Have you ever launched a Google ad campaign with perfect messaging and creatives, only to have no one connect with your ads?

Like your conversion rate and click-through rate (CTR) are all appallingly low but your first impression rates are not that awful, you may have targeting issues on your campaign.  

It’s no surprise that you cannot make something brilliant out of a campaign that is not clear who are they built for. Successful advertising requires proper audience targeting.

If you are experiencing low conversion rates and unqualified leads for your paid campaigns, might as well question and challenge your strategies as you are wasting dollars every second. 

Here are some things that you must know about targeting the right audience at the right place and time. 

What is Google Ads Targeting

According to Google’s estimations, audiences for Display, Search, Video, and Hotel campaigns are made up of segments, or collections of users with particular interests, intentions, and demographic data.

Reaching relevant leads for your company is easy with Google Ads. You must take the time to set up your Google Ads targeting if you want to reach customers who are interested in your goods or services.

The function of Google Ads Targeting 

To limit who sees your ads, Google Ads offers a variety of capabilities for audience and content targeting. 

You can establish connections with people based on their place of residence, their interests, their purchases, the websites they frequent, and other details.

You are not limited to a single targeting option with Google Ads. Instead, you can overlay several targeting settings at the campaign or ad group level to create your ideal audience.

Usually, the only restriction is the kind of campaign you design. Some targeting is only available through Google ad networks. Others, though, are only accessible through search or display ads. 

So you can choose first which audience segment types are available to the campaign of your choice and determine what kind of audiences you would like to target accordingly.

Google Display Targeting

Display ads often perform best when they are seen by users who fit your ideal consumer profile or who are already interested in your company’s name, goods, or services. 

You have the following ad targeting choices when you advertise on the Google Display Network (GDN):

  • Affinity audiences
  • Custom segments
  • Demographics
  • LIfe events
  • In-market
  • Your data segments

Google Search Targeting

While search advertising tends to be more effective with individuals who have already interacted with your business or future buyers who are actively searching for what your brand offers. 

You can choose from the following targeting criteria when you advertise on the Google Search Network:

  • Affinity audiences
  • Demographics
  • In-market audiences
  • Your data segments

What kinds of targeting techniques are offered by Google Ads?

When you research Google Ads, you’ll discover that there are many different targeting options that you can utilise to connect with more worthwhile prospects. 

Targeting falls into two basic categories:

Audience Targeting

Google Ads’ audience targeting focuses on many methods of identifying potential customers for your brand.

Acquiring leads who are interested in your goods or services is important. You increase your chances of getting quality leads by accurately targeting your audience. 

Content Targeting

You can target by content in addition to by the audience.

You may attract people who are searching for a particular kind of content by using content targeting. 

Setting successful targeting on Google Ads

This is how you set a successful and practical Google Ads targeting campaign for your brand.

  1. Know and segment your target market.

You want to connect with those who are most interested in your enterprise; thus, knowing your target demographic is essential if you want to attract more qualified leads.

But on top of it, segmenting your audience will give you the advantage of providing them with a more tailored experience.

It is one way to succeed in this advertising campaign to be successful.

Ensure that you include these pieces of information when you do your audience targeting: socioeconomic status, interests, hobbies, and occupation. 

  1. Prioritise location targeting

One of the simplest ways to develop an audience is through location targeting.

Double-check your location targeting while setting up your Google Display Network targeting plan. You can target more relevant leads if you concentrate on local targeting.

More visitors will come to your place, and you’ll attract new clients for your company.

  1. Practise targeted exclusions

You can come into several factors when operating a Google campaign that you wish to leave out of your campaign. These factors are keywords, placements, interests, audiences, themes, and demographics that you can omit.

This is advantageous to your company since it gives you more control over who can see your ads, hence making ad spending more efficient. Practising this strategy can prevent you from experiencing a bad performance campaign or getting irrelevant leads. 

Google Ads Targeting Options

In-Market Audiences 


These are folks that are looking for your goods or services right now. 

This indicates that they are actively contemplating a good or service rather than merely looking around. Because these individuals are further down the marketing funnel, in-market audiences provide more valuable targeting.

Google considers the following metrics to classify a user as being in the market for a certain good or service:

  • Clicks on related ads.
  • Content of visited sites and web pages.
  • Frequency of the web seasons in these visits.
  • Subsequent conversions from clicked related ads.
  • The recency of visits through browsing history.

How do you set up in-market audiences in Google Ads?

If you’ve made up your mind to use in-market audiences, here are the steps to help you get started:

  • Log in to your Google Ads account.
  • Click on ‘Audiences, you will see this on the left-hand sidebar of the menu.
  • Next, a blank table on the main screen will appear
  • To create a new audience, choose the ‘+’ sign next to ‘AUDIENCES’ at the bottom of the table.
  • Click on ‘Select an ad group’, you can select a campaign and ad group from the list it will show you.
  • You’ll see options for ‘Targeting’ and ‘Observation’, if you’re not sure, use Observation to start.

Google might propose some audiences to you on its own.

  • Choose “In-market audiences” by clicking “Browse.”
  • After choosing “In-market audiences,” a drop-down list of checked items containing the various in-market audience types will be displayed.
  • Select the category and subcategory that best describes the target audiences or your goods since some categories encompass subcategories.
  • Assuming your company offers flowers, you should choose the “Gifts & Occasions” category and the “Flowers” subcategory to target customers who are considering sending flowers as gifts.
  • Select “Save”

You can also set up an audience through “Tools & Setting” -> “Audience Manager”. 

Here you can create a bunch of audiences before putting it into a specific campaign/ad group.

Plus Minus of In-Market Audiences

Some advertisers can benefit from in-market audiences since they can help you connect with customers who are near to making a purchase.

They can assist you in achieving a range of campaign objectives, such as:

  • Leverage in-market audiences to connect with potential customers who are now considering making a purchase or who may be highly likely to do so if given the proper offer.
  • Use in-market audiences to get your advertiser’s message in front of consumers who are more inclined to purchase your goods but may not be thinking about your brand.
  • Utilize in-market audiences to reach additional consumers outside of your first-party contact lists and enhance the overall number of conversions.

Well, we dont intend to burst your bubbles when you are now slowly considering in-market audience targeting. 

For the value of transparency and balanced reporting, here are some risks of jumping on it without further planning:

  • It will demand more of your time since it is a targeted type of advertising
  • Target marketing costs a lot of money for small businesses because you frequently carry out primary research to find out who purchases their goods, particularly when serving local or national markets.
  • It may lead you to lose a sizeable portion of customers. Owners of businesses who only advertise to specific customers risk ignoring other users and you may lose considerable sales from them. 

They can indeed provide quite amazing results, but deploying them consistently across the campaign board is not as simple, especially if you are not confident with it. 

Plan and consult your trusted digital experts before diving into this type of strategy.

When to Use 

You may want to consider these tips and tricks if you go with in-marketing audience advertising targeting.

  1. Maximise the power of Google Analytics to see the in-market audiences and affinities of your website’s visitors.
  2. Google Analytics can help you understand the demographics of your site visitors. You may access the audience profile feature of it.
  3. You can integrate website remarketing with in-market audiences.
  4. Think in advance. You may contact prospects earlier in the buying funnel before they conduct a search or make a purchase. Do you know that in-market audiences can also aid in improving remarketing performance?
  5. When compared to the search network, in-market audiences can receive many more impressions, which allows you to increase brand recognition while directing the best-qualified visitors to your website.
  6. To create smaller, more targeted audiences, similar keywords can be coupled with in-market audiences.

Affinity Audience


Like in-market segments, affinity audiences are Google users with similar interests. These interests can be cooking, fashion, beauty, gaming, music, travel, and a lot more.

When you look at it these are very expansive categories of internet users, so it’s equally important to find targeting criteria to narrow down the size of any one affinity interest or its sub-categories.

It is as easy as selecting a brand category and, optionally, overlaying demographics to reach a large range of relevant users.

How does it work?

By adding audience segments, advertisers can connect with consumers based on their unique interests as they browse YouTube, the Google Display Network, and other websites and apps, as well as YouTube search results and other content. 

You can choose from a variety of established and layer many audience segments to their corresponding ad groups inside your campaign depending on your marketing aim or the stage of the sales funnel each consumer is in.

How to set up Affinity Audiences

All ad types can benefit from affinity audiences, although Google advises employing them, especially for Display and Video campaigns targeted at the awareness phase of the marketing funnel.  

An Affinity Audience is simple to set up. Check this out.

  1. Create a new campaign to begin with.
  2. After logging in, choose Campaigns from the menu on the left side of the page in your Google Ads account.
  3. Then, launch a fresh campaign by clicking the + button.
  4. Select your campaign’s objective and the kind of advertisement you wish to produce.
  5. Click Continue after selecting a campaign subtype.
  6. Create your campaign’s location, languages, bidding, and budget settings.
  7. Don’t forget to add a name to it. After this, you are set to build your ad group.
  8. After naming your ad group, go to the Audiences area and scroll down. You’ll find Affinity Audiences here.
  9. To select your Affinity Audience, use the three tabs: Ideas, Search and Browse.
  10. Pick your target market from the list.
  11. If you want to go on, you can select a subtype.

Plus Minus of Affinity Audiences

You may be wondering what is so attractive to this type of targeting campaign.

Companies can choose potential clients who are more likely than the average person to take notice of or respond to their advertisements with the aid of affinity audiences.

Because of these options, audiences can specifically assist small enterprises in:

  1. Boost brand recognition

Businesses can make display advertising for affinity audiences based on interests because these audiences are more likely to interact with their ads and remember their brand. As a result, their internet traffic and store visitors are of higher quality.

  1. Identify prospective new clients

To improve revenue, companies might produce display ads for audiences with in-market affinity. By exhibiting display ads to these extremely active prospective clients, who are more likely than others to make a purchase, business owners boost their advertising returns.

When to Use 

By further concentrating on your audience, you can increase your ad’s success with affinity groups.

As a business owner, you can create standout advertisements that appeal to each of your target audiences by narrowing your focus.

Additionally, you can modify your affinity audience bidding strategy to enable Google Ads to compete more fiercely and pay somewhat more for clicks from highly relevant potential consumers.

Since there are many possibilities with affinity audiences to tailor their advertisements to potential clients, you can raise your advertising ROI, build brand awareness, and engage with potential customers at the perfect time by producing display ads that are targeted and precise.

Life Events Targeting 

Google Ads has always been a fantastic method of reaching an audience, but advertisers rapidly discover that not every user converts the same way and that it’s simple to throw money away on users who aren’t necessarily your target market. 

Getting the right customer requires more than just adding up their demographics or keywords because people are unique individuals. 

When Google first made it possible to target individuals based on recent or anticipated important life events, marketers couldn’t help but celebrate the idea. 


The life events feature in Google Ads enables you to target individuals just before or right after life transitions like college graduation, marriage, and moving.

Your advertisement will be seen by those who are either about to or are now experiencing that significant moment if you use life events targeting. 

Each of these events can assist marketers in either hyper-targeting these people or eliminating them from your ad group.

Plus Minus of Life EventsAudiences

Events in real life have a significant influence on how customers interact with particular kinds of businesses and services.

Job Search platforms will now be able to target customers who are about to graduate or have recently graduated.

This feature also allows wedding planners and organisers to target online users that are about to tie the knot or real estate businesses can shift their campaigns to cater for customers who are looking for a place they can call home after moving out of their childhood homes. 

Although marketers recognise the necessity of targeting consumers at specific life events such as relocating, buying a car, or starting a family, many are finding it difficult to do so effectively due to difficulties in getting and preserving relevant data.

Adopting data-driven marketing presents obstacles and essential processes, particularly for life event targeting, such as data collection control, how consumer contact data is collected, and the quality of that information.

When to Use 

You may access Life Events targeting within an account by clicking the Audiences tab.

Then, audiences can be divided even more based on whether they are currently preparing for or have recently gone through one of the aforementioned life events.

To further define your target market, life events can be blended with in-market, affinity, or remarketing audiences.

Custom Segment

By grouping customers according to certain characteristics, one can develop unique audience segments.

Custom segments let you decide how you want to reach your ideal segment by entering keywords, URLs and apps.

You can set up a custom segment in your Display, Discovery, Gmail and Video campaigns by including specific keywords, URLs and apps related to your product or service. Google Ads will then show ads to people who are likely to be interested in these keywords on pages, apps, and videos.

It builds brand experience and aids in getting the correct message out to the right audience.


By entering keywords, URLs, and apps, custom segments enable you to choose how you want to reach your target segment.

In your Display, Discovery, Gmail, and Video campaigns, you may create a custom segment by adding particular keywords, URLs, and apps associated with your goods or services.

Google Adverts will display ads on pages, apps, and videos to users who are probably interested in these keywords.

The system will analyse all of those signals, deduce your marketing objectives, and select a segment that is concentrated on one of the following:

  • Consideration
  • Reach
  • Performance

Plus Minus of Custom Segment Audiences

The segmentation may surely assist you in customising the message you give to your potential customers, which is significant. Here are some of the pros of a custom segmentation. 

  • Aids in optimising your marketing efforts
  • Enables you to define more precise, quantifiable goals.
  • Develops unique, better-suited material for each segment
  • Develops more precise call-to-actions for every part
  • Can more quickly and effectively move leads through the marketing funnel

You must first decide exactly what segments you need to construct before taking any action. It is directly related to the objectives, goods, or services of your business.

Failure to plan and decide could mean the following for your brand and why custom segmenting is not meant for everyone.

  • Entails a bigger cost. Surveys can cost thousands of dollars, and research is required to poll clients and identify segments.
  • It takes time. Market segmentation requires creating client personas and profiles from the research data, which takes time away from tasks that might be more urgent.
  • May overlook significant clients. There’s a chance that a sizable consumer sector will be overlooked. 

When to Use 

Here are three ways that developing a unique consumer segmentation approach will help your marketing department:

  1. Talk to your clients about how they prefer to be spoken to.

By treating every customer equally, you’re passing up chances to acquire a disproportionate part of your target market.

When a customer is ready to buy, it will be simple for them to pick you if your sales and product delivery processes are in line with their purchasing and consumption processes.

Custom segmentation offers insights into consumers’ needs and demands throughout a wide range of parameters, enabling you to assess how well your customer service strategies align with how your customers prefer to be handled.

  1. When done correctly, a customer segmentation plan makes it very simple to measure effectiveness (aka ROI).

It is simple to measure factors like sales per client, profit per customer, and acquisition cost because they are stable. 

You already know your customers; thus, you know which angle to look at and can make manageable expectations. 

  1. It serves as the cornerstone of long-term competitive advantage.

Custom segmentation is challenging to implement because it involves emotions.

Business owners appear to find it engaging yet crucial. 

You’re likely to surpass any rival that lacks these insights if you can successfully implement and sustain a plan that takes attitudes, demo, life stage, and financial indicators into account.

Which Option is The Best for My Business?

We understand that you want nothing but the best for your business. Everyone wants to excel in the industry they are serving. 

However, not all are open to reassessing and reviewing their business plans and adopting new ways of campaigning to boost their company’s business presence. 

We recommend you take a look at these two things that can make or break your business. 

Look at Your Goals 

Yes. this is the first thing that you should give your 100% attention to. 

What is it that you want to achieve? What company are you running in the next 5 years?

Revisiting your goals affects everything that you do for your organisation. It sets the tone and the dynamic of your brand’s strategies and the type of campaign you will be releasing. 

It matters that you have a clear understanding of the bigger picture of how you run your company, so making adjustments to the nitty-gritty aspects of your organisation won’t hurt you too much. 

Your goals will serve as your roadmap in formulating your content, branding your website, and most crucial of all, producing your campaign ads. 

Look at Your Budgets 

Aside from focusing on your goals, never lose sight of your financial standings. 

You need a sturdy financial position if you want to integrate search engine optimisation and search engine marketing strategies into your business. 

We are not telling you that it is too expensive, but the damage it may cause you are irreversible if you fail to plan for it. 

It pays to consult digital marketing service should you wish to invest in campaign advertising for your online business. This endeavour is not for business owners who dont have concrete budgets and contingency plans to make.

Remember that if you experience success in one aspect of your campaign, it doesn’t guarantee the same for your other advertising plans. This means you might end up losing or spending much on every failed campaign strategy.

Once you run out of budget, your ads will seize to do their purpose. Budget and campaign ads have a direct relationship. Always look out for your budget. 

Final Thoughts 

For the longest time, you probably think that audiences are simply the people that you want to attract and avail your products or services. 

Now that we have created this article, probably you will never look at your target audiences the same way again. We are not sure if you have the slightest idea that you can segment your audiences and only cater your ads for them. 

Google Ads Targeting is only one side of the beautiful picture of paid advertising in search engines. It opens you to the possibilities of gaining audiences from all walks of life because of its different features. 

At Roots Digital, we always tell our business partners to think like Google. 

Our digital marketing strategists make it a habit to use search engine lenses and language when structuring our clients’ campaign ads. 

We understand that these ads have the power to influence their company, so we ensure it fits their designated budget and echoes their brand’s voice. 

If you are curious about how we do this, feel free to contact us and set an appointment with your Digital Specialists. 

You no longer have to worry about SEM services or Google Ads because we got you covered. Talk to you soon!


How are Google Ads targeted?

Google Ads Help provides these step-by-step guides on how you can add audience targeting to your campaign or ad group:

1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
2. Click Audiences in the page menu.
3. In the “Audiences segment” module, click Edit Audience segments.
4. Click Select an ad group and then select a campaign and ad group from the list that appears. You can also search for the campaign or ad group you want to update.
5. Select the audience segments you want your campaign to reach.

For Search campaigns
Your data: People who previously interacted with your business

For Display campaigns
Affinity: Groups of people based on their lifestyles, buying habits, and long-term interests
– Intent: People actively researching products or services
Your data: People who previously interacted with your business

For Video campaigns
Affinity: Groups of people based on their lifestyles, buying habits, and long-term interests
Intent and life events: People actively researching products or shifting purchasing behaviour and brand preferences change during life milestones like moving, graduating from college, or getting married
– Your data: People who previously interacted with your business
– Detailed demographics: Groups of people that share common traits, such as college students, homeowners, or new parents.

For Hotel campaigns
Your data: People who previously interacted with your business (website visitors, app users, similar segment, custom combination segment, and customer lists)

6. Click the checkbox next to the segment you’d like to add. This will add them to your targeting.
7. Click Save

How do I set targeting on Google Ads?

If you aren’t already running ads on the Google Display Network as part of your Google Ads account, here’s how you can do so according to Google:

1. Log into your Google Ads account
2. Click on “Campaigns,” and then “New Campaign”
3. Select “Display Network only” as the campaign type

From here, select the types of Google Display Network targeting that you’d like to include as part of your campaign.

What is a device targeting Google Ads?

You can target people with your adverts based on the device they’re using thanks to device targeting.
Targeting device settings

– For tablets, smartphones, and desktop PCs, you can specify targeted bid modifications. You may set your adverts to target particular devices by selecting “Devices” from the page menu:
– Computers: Any desktop or laptop device with a screen greater than 7″ diagonally is considered a computer.
– Mobile: These are portable electronics that come with a cell.
– Tablet: A tablet is a type of mobile device that does not always have a phone attached.
– Television sets: This targeting option is only accessible for Display and Video campaigns, and refers to connected devices like Chromecast, smart TVs, and game consoles that stream TV programming.

How do I target a rich audience on Google Ads?

Whether they are big earners or not, attracting any audience is difficult under the best of circumstances. It is nearly hard to foresee the language that your target audience will use.

Yes, the many items that users have been seeking help characterise their interests.

Google, however, also takes into account other elements of a person’s internet presence, such as:

– Demographics
– Location targeting
– Language correctly in your ad copy and content
– Use negative keywords to filter out the wrong type of customer

About Roots Digital

Roots Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency headquartered in Singapore, specialising in eCommerce Marketing and lead generation. We are a Google and Meta Business certified partner working to deliver the best-in-class digital marketing campaigns from large enterprises and SMEs to growing start-ups.

Some of our core digital marketing services include SEO services, SEM services, PPC services, Google Analytics Services and more.

Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in working with us. Connect with us via our service enquiry form. You may schedule a call for more information and to know more about our digital marketing services.

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About Roots Digital

Roots Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency and SEO agency headquartered in Singapore, specialising in eCommerce Marketing and lead generation.

Some of our core digital marketing services include SEO servicesSEM services, Google Ads management servicesGoogle Analytics services and more.

Feel free to reach out if you’re interested in working with us. Connect with us via our service enquiry form. You may schedule a call for more information and to know more about our digital marketing services.

Looking for digital marketing grants for SMEs? Check out our pre-approved digital marketing solutions under the PSG digital marketing grant.

PSG Grant For Digital Marketing – Save up to 50% on your digital marketing today!

Picture of Ian Ong
Ian Ong
Marketing Director @ Roots Digital, a digital marketing agency in Singapore. Aka the guy responsible for growing the digital marketing agency.
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