Reach people similar to your existing audiences

Google remarketing allows you to reach people who have already visited your site and connect with an audience that's already interested in your products or services. You probably also want to find new visitors for your site, and what better way to do this than by finding people who are similar to your existing site visitors.

The "similar audiences" feature enables you to find people who share characteristics with your site visitors. By adding "similar audiences" to your ad group, you can show your ads to people whose interests are similar to those of your site visitors, which allows you to reach new and qualified potential customers.

This feature is available for the Display Network only.

How "similar audiences" are formed

AdWords looks at browsing activity on Display Network sites over the last 30 days, and uses this, along with our contextual engine, to understand the shared interests and characteristics of the people in your remarketing list. Based on this information, AdWords automatically finds new potential customers whose interests and characteristics are similar to those of people in your remarketing list. The more characteristics and interests people in your remarketing lists share, the better similar audiences works.

To find similar audiences, we look at the millions of users on the entire Display Network. As your audience changes, your similar audience will change as well.

A similar audiences list is created from a remarketing list with at least 500 cookies with enough similarity in characteristics and interests to create a corresponding similar audience. Similar audiences can't be created based on the characteristics and interests of individual users.

People who don't want to be included in similar audiences can opt out of the DoubleClick cookie using Google's Ads Settings.

Keep in mind

Models for similar audiences exclude browsing activity from sites, pages, or products related to what we consider sensitive categories, such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health.

We don't support finding a similar audience for lists based on any of the sensitive categories listed in our policy. All use of similar audiences is subject to our Policy for advertising based on interests and location.

Qualifying for similar audiences

Google will automatically identify which of your remarketing lists qualify for similar audiences based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the number of visitors on the original list, how recently these people joined the original list, and the types of sites that these visitors browsed.

We can define a similar audience for your own remarketing lists only. In addition, you can't use similar audiences with custom combinations.

Benefits of using similar audiences

Simplified audience targeting

Similar audiences takes the guesswork out of your search for new audiences by automatically finding new customers similar to your site visitors. Using this feature, you can find new potential customers based on the specific topics or concepts that people --in aggregate-- on one of your remarketing lists were browsing before being added to that list.

Example

Say you've created a remarketing list of people who bought steak knives from your kitchenware site. Instead of helping you reach broad groups of people interested in "cooking," similar audiences will identify that people on this list tended to browse sites specifically about "cooking steak" and "high quality knife sets" before coming to your site and making a purchase. Based on this, similar audiences will then find other people with similar activity.

Your similar audiences lists will automatically get updated as the original list evolves and people change their browsing activity. So, you don't need to update the similar audience list after it gets created.

Getting new potential customers

With similar audiences, you can boost the reach of existing remarketing campaigns, and drive to your site new users who have an increased likelihood of being interested in your product or service.

Even if these new visitors don't immediately make a purchase from your site, if you've added the remarketing tag to your site, you can still reach out to them via remarketing and get another chance at a conversion at a later date. By enabling similar audiences, you can get more visitors on your remarketing list in a way that is intuitive and easy to manage.

Note

The original remarketing list is automatically excluded from your similar audiences list. So, if visitors who are in a similar audiences list get added to your remarketing list because they match your list definition, they'll be removed from the similar audiences list.

Add similar audiences to an ad group
  1. Under the Campaigns tab, click the Display Network tab.
  2. Below, click the + Targeting button.
  3. Select the ad group you'd like to add the similar audiences to.
  4. Click the "Add targeting" drop-down menu and select "Interests & remarketing."
  5. In the "Interests and remarketing" area, click the Remarketing lists link. Right below each remarketing list that qualifies for similar audiences, you'll see a new list that you can add to your ad group, as well as the estimated list size. The similar audiences list name will start with "Similar to." For example, if the remarketing list name is "Visitors to cookware category page," the similar audiences list name will be "Similar to Visitors to cookware category page."
  6. Click the double arrows » next to each similar audience you want to add. Your audiences will appear in the "Selected audiences" column.
  7. When you're finished, click Close and then Save.
Setting an audience bid

You can get a higher return on investment (ROI) or increase your chances to show your ads to people who are more likely to buy your products by setting a custom bid or a bid adjustment for these customers.

Example

You could target your ads using keyword contextual targeting, set custom bids on keywords, and set bid adjustments for whenever the audience you've added matches. Then, your keywords would determine the sites on which your ad is eligible to appear as well as the custom bid, and when a visitor to one of these sites matches any audiences you've added to the ad group, AdWords would use your bid adjustment. Learn more about Display Network bidding features.

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

Next steps