Audience Targeting vs. Keyword Targeting: How to Find the Right Audience in Google Ads

Finding the right audiences is a requisite to having a high ROI on Google ads. No matter how great your ad is, displaying it to customers who aren’t unwilling to purchase will be a clear waste of time and money.

Google’s immense global reach, with over billions of users, make it a goldmine of opportunities. But this sheer audience volume makes ads placement on Google ads a little more challenging:  How do you show your ads to your preferred niches? How do you know your messages are sent to the right prospects?

There are different ways to target audiences. The most common among these are keyword targeting and audience targeting.


What is Keyword Targeting?

Keyword targeting has been the foundation of pay-per-click advertising ever since. This targeting feature allows you to reach people on Google based on the keywords in their search queries.

Keyword is a powerful targeting tool. They can be a form of communication. Think of it this way – whenever a user types something on Google search, that user is telling you what he or she wants.

For instance, if a user goes to Google and inputs “running shoes for women”, that user is telling you she wants new running shoes. If the keyword list in your ad account includes “running shoes for women”, your ad (taking into account other relevant factors such as keyword bids, negative keywords and keyword match types) might show up for that individual search query.

Finding the right audience based on keywords requires in-depth keyword analysis. Analysing search behaviours is crucial, as it helps derive keywords that match the actual search intent of your prospects. By integrating high-quality keywords into your PPC campaign, you can show your ads to people who are most likely to purchase.


What is Missing in Keyword Targeting?

At times, keyword targeting isn’t enough. The keywords used do not capture the buyer’s intent or that they are used incorrectly. Here’s an example of keyword stuffing, or misuse of keywords in Google ads:

For instance, a user types in “interior design for baby room” on Google. It’s safe to assume that the user is looking for ways to design her baby room. So if you’re targeting the keywords “interior design” for a paint product, you’re not going to get the results you want because your ads may show up for this search query even when the user isn’t looking to buy paint. That’s the problem with keyword targeting. Your ads end up reaching even those who aren’t your targeted niches which may lead to wasted ad spend.


What is Audience Targeting?

Audience targeting solves this problem. Through audience targeting, you can reach people based on specific interests or demographics. You have control over who sees your ads in audience targeting. You can create custom audiences and segment your broad consumer base. You can create specific buyer persona based on demographics (age, sex, income, employment, income) or interests and behaviours.

Still, audience targeting isn’t perfect too – cause while you’re sure that the ads are shown to the right people, some of them don’t have intent to purchase, unlike in keyword targeting when users already have high purchase intent.


Interesting Mix of Audience Targeting and Keyword Targeting in Google Ads

Good news is, in Google ads, both keyword targeting and audience targeting features are available. This means that you can still target keywords and reach people with high purchase intent, without really having to guess to whom your ads are shown. You can simply customise the ad audience based on your targeted buyer personas. This ensures that you display ads to interested audiences who are likely to convert and don’t waste ad spend on irrelevant clicks.

The Audience feature gives you valuable insights on your target niches. If you check the insights report, for instance, you’ll learn more about frequent converters. For a coffee brand, for instance, these may be women, single, 24 to 40 years old, outdoorsy, avid readers and jazz aficionado. For a beer brand, for instance, these may be men, 18 to 30 years old, college graduates, fitness conscious and sports enthusiasts. Whatever your buyer persona is, you can customise your campaigns to target your desired audience profiles.


Find the Right Audience with the Help of Paid Search Specialists

Finding the right audiences on Google ads is not easy. You’ll have to understand the search intent and the search behaviours of your target niche. On top of that, to maximise your gains on Google ads, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of your ad account’s basic features, including actual ad creation, bidding strategies and keyword optimisation.

Before launching your paid search campaign, it’s best to consult with a Google ads specialist. They help to streamline ad spend while generating optimal campaign results. Further, they give valuable insights on how to create powerful ads that draw traffic to your website and generate high ROI.