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Add audience targeting (interests and remarketing lists) to an ad group

You can show your ads to specific audiences according to their interests whether they're gamers, pet lovers or looking to purchase a car or home. The ability to show your ads to such people with specific interests can help you reach the right customers. You can do this in AdWords by adding audiences to your ad groups.

This article contains step-by-step instructions on how to add or copy audiences throughout your ad groups or campaigns. Bear in mind, audience targeting is not available for all campaign types.

Before you begin

In the previous AdWords experience,  audience targeting appears:

  • under the "Interests & remarketing" section in the "Display Network" tab for Display campaigns
  • OR in the "Audiences" tab in Search campaigns

In the new AdWords experience, "Audiences" targeting appears in the page menu. For video campaigns, read Add targeting to your video campaigns


Select the AdWords experience that you're using. Learn more

Add audience targeting to your ad group

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at
  2. Click on the Campaigns tab.
  3. Select the campaign and ad group where you'd like to add audience targeting.
  4. For Search Network campaigns, click the Audiences tab.
  5. For Display Network campaigns, click the Display Network tab.
  6. Click +Targeting.
  7. Click the "Add targeting" button, and select Interests & remarketing.
  8. Click the Select category button. In the drop-down menu, select the type of audiences that you want your campaign to reach.
  9. The audiences targeting options for each type of campaign are different. Depending on your campaign type and remarketing set-up, you may see a combination of these options:
    • Affinity audiences: Show your ads to unique audiences based on their lifestyles, buying habits and long-term interests.
    • In-market audiences: Find customers who are researching and most likely to buy products and services like those that you offer.
    • Remarketing lists: Show ads to people who have viewed your website before.
    • Video remarketing lists: If you've connected your account to your YouTube channel, you can show ads to people who view videos and video ads or subscribe to your channel. These lists can include YouTube subscribers, YouTube video viewers, YouTube ad viewers and more.
    • Customer email lists: Show Gmail ads to people who have provided their email address to your company.
    • Similar audiences: Show ads to audiences that are similar to people on your remarketing lists or video viewer lists.
      • Similar to remarketing lists
      • Similar to video viewer lists
      • Similar to customer email lists
  10. Click the double arrows next to the audiences that you want to add. They’ll appear in the "Selected" column.
  11. Click Save and continue.

Create Custom affinity audiences

For Display Network campaigns, you can create your own custom affinity audience. Here’s how:

  1. Select the Interests & remarketing radio button.
  2. Click Custom affinity audiences.
  3. Click + Custom affinity.
  4. In the "New custom affinity audience" dialogue, enter a name and description for this affinity audience.
  5. Under "Enter interests and websites with content your audience likes", enter URLs of websites that your customers might be interested in. Enter the keywords of interests that your customers might search for.
  6. Click Preview custom audience to see the "Top website topics" and "Demographics" breakdown for your audience. 
  7. Click on Continue.
  8. Check that you added all the audiences that you want your campaigns to reach, and then click Save and continue.

When you add multiple audience categories to an ad group, you can bid more for audiences that are more valuable to you. Find out about bidding features on the Display Network.

If you're running Conversion Optimiser, then any audience bids that you set won't apply because you've already set a target CPA for the entire ad group.

Google obtains data from a small number of third-party providers to help to optimise targeting for certain audience segments. In the limited instances in which this data is used for your audience campaigns, Google may charge you a service fee. If you're charged a service fee, your maximum bid is reduced before the auction and the fee is added to the closing auction price.

Copying audiences to ad groups

Once you've set up audiences for one ad group, you can copy your audience targeting to use in other ad groups. First, you'll need to copy the audiences you want. Then you can paste them into a new ad group.

To copy your audiences:

  • Click the Display Network tab.
  • Click the Interests & Remarketing tab.
  • Select the tick box next to the audiences you want to copy.
  • From the Edit menu, select Copy (or press CTRL-C on Windows computers or Command-C on Macs).

To paste your copied audiences:

  • Click on the Campaigns tab.
  • Click the name of the campaign where you want to paste your audiences.
  • Tick the box next to the name of the ad group where you want to paste your audiences.
  • From the Edit menu, select Paste (or press CTRL-V on Windows computers or Command-V on Macs).
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