Saving advertising budgets with blended audiences

Quite a lot has already been said about combined audiences in Google Ads, especially when they were released in November 2019. Then everyone understood how to set them up, but not everyone understood why. And it’s in vain, it can reduce the number of non-targeted clicks by showing ads to the most interested users.

Let us recall how to create them:
Google Ads account ➝ Advertising campaign ➝ Audiences ➝ Overview ➝ Combined audiences.

By the way, combined audiences can only be created in search campaigns, however, they can be copied and added to display ones. But be careful, because of their nature, display campaigns can behave unpredictably: either spend a lot and attract low-quality traffic, or even have 10 impressions and 0 clicks per month. We recommend that you start your acquaintance with combined audiences in search campaigns.

Preparatory stage

Before creating combined audiences, you need to collect statistics on regular audiences. It is best to run as many different surveillance targets as possible and wait until enough data is collected. We recommend adding everything to the observation:

  • Who are they? (Detailed demographic data);

  • What are their interests and habits? (Standard and Special Interest Categories);

  • What are they looking for and what purchases are they planning? (Audience of interested buyers);

  • How do they interact with your company? (Remarketing audiences and custom audiences).

From the outside, it may seem strange, but this way you can get to know your target audience better, in addition, you do not need to pay extra for “observation” if you do not set bid adjustments.

Here you need to select “Observation”

How long does it take to collect statistics? The question is purely individual. It all depends on the amount of traffic that you drive to the site. However, often enough results collected in about a month.

You should also create a copy of the campaign in which you are monitoring in advance and put “Targeting” there, after removing all audiences from there. This campaign needs to be paused for now, we will need it later.

We also recommend giving your campaigns an appropriate name so that later it will be easier to distinguish them. For example, you can use a caption: “OBSERVE” for surveillance and “TARGET” for targeting.

Do not forget to mark the start date of the experiment somewhere.

Data analysis phase

Now that you have enough statistics, you can start analyzing your results. Most likely, you will get ahead of the audience of site visitors, as well as the audience that is directly related to your goods or services.

In our case, these are spare parts for cars (for a correct analysis, be guided by those that have gained a sufficient number of clicks).

Others will show some efficiency, but will most likely be too expensive or have no statistics at all.

If nothing can be done with the latter, then the former can be narrowed down by “combining”. Roughly speaking, we need to set conditions that from some large audience like “Automobile spare parts and accessories” we only need those who are interested in spare parts for Korean cars.

Next, write down a list of those audiences that have shown good results and that seem promising to you. In our case, these were:

  • “Automobile parts and accessories”;

  • “Electronic components for vehicles”;

  • “Audi”;

  • Hyundai;

  • “Kia”;

  • Chevrolet;

  • “BMW”;

  • “Engine and Transmission”;

  • “Car repair and maintenance”.

All of these lists are wide enough and large enough budgets are needed to cover them. This project does not have such budgets, so we need to narrow down these giants.

To better understand where working with audiences will be appropriate, we recommend using the columns “Percentage of impressions received in the search network”; “% Rubbed. pok. in the search network. ” This will give an understanding of how large a percentage of impressions we receive and lose for our keywords in search.

Sometimes it happens that the percentage of impressions received is already high, which means that combining can only do harm. In such cases, it is better not to take an audience or expand the number of keywords.

If you still did not manage to collect a sufficient list that you will use, then you can use those that are already in the lists of site visitors. Just click on Remarketing Audience ➝ Audience Statistics.

All interests of people who visited your site are collected here. However, you should focus only on those with the highest index.

Stage of working with audiences

So, we have audiences with which we will work, so we can start combining them. It is important to understand why we are doing this at all. After all, we don’t just need to narrow everything down, we need to isolate from a large audience that we cannot reach, those users who will be interested in our products.

Thus, the following picture is obtained: the audience of “Automobile parts and accessories” includes those who are at least somehow interested in car parts or accessories. There will be all brands and models of cars, from Zhiguli to Bugatti. Our client has no spare parts for either one or the other, his priority is Korean cars. So we are doing this:

It was also decided to add “Repair and maintenance of cars” to the list via the “OR” operator.

To avoid overlap between audiences, it is better to exclude remarketing audiences from here through the “NOT” operator.

There are three operators for working with audiences in total – “AND”, “OR”, “NOT”.

  • “And” – is responsible for the narrowing. For example, the user must be in the Automotive Parts and Accessories and KIA audiences;

  • “OR” – is responsible, on the contrary, for the extension, the user must be in the audience “Automobile parts and accessories” OR “Repair and maintenance of cars”. Also, at the expense of the “OR” operator, you can expand narrow audiences, as if “gluing” them, sometimes it is useful;

  • “NOT” – is responsible for excluding any audience from the created list. For example, the user must be in the Automotive Parts and Accessories audience and NOT in the remarketing audience.

Further, in the same way, we combine “Electronic components for vehicles” OR “Engine and transmission” AND “KIA” does NOT contain remarketing audiences.

We do the same with other brands of cars.

We leave them to collect statistics for a while. To avoid the intersection of “Automotive parts and accessories”, “Electronic components for vehicles”, “KIA” and others, we suspend.

Implementation stage

When statistics are collected, it is already possible to understand exactly what worked and what did not. Now it’s time to revitalize the TARGET campaign that we created in the first stage. Since there is “targeting” in the settings, the campaign will only show ads for the audiences we have selected.

We recommend using the “TARGET” campaign as a search remarketing. Add all audiences of your site visitors, as well as combined audiences that perform well. Eliminate both of those in the OBSERVE campaign (the one with “observation”).

We now have two completely new and manageable campaign types. One for search remarketing and mixed audiences, and the other for broad reach and experimentation. You can say: a clean copy and a draft, which you can focus on.

In addition, we avoid overlap as we exclude audiences at the campaign and composite audience levels. That is why in our “clean copy” site visitors and combined audiences will work in parallel and not warm up the auction to each other.

Then you can place adjustments in TARGET, here it is completely at your discretion, but we advise you to proceed as follows: immediately put on the most effective ones by + 20%, and then monitor their effectiveness, add and remove adjustments as needed.

Thanks for your attention! We hope this article was helpful to you.


Lane Derrick

My name is Lane Derrick, back in 2014, he began to take an interest in SEO and webmastering, and started real projects six months later. For 6 years of practice, skills were formed that I use to this day. The main activity is website promotion and contextual advertising.

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