Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Reach Past Visitors with RLSA and Customer Match: Google Best Practices

Official guide to audiences in search ads in AdWords.

By using Customer Match and remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) in AdWords, you can better connect with your most valuable customers. Create an audience strategy based on Customer Match and RLSA following the advice in this guide.

1. Power your search campaigns with audience insights

  • Connect audience signals with your search strategy.

Why: Past customers and visitors are more likely to convert.

  • Generate your lists from both site visitors and customer data.

Why: RLSA and Customer Match audience lists complement one another and help you cast a wider net to reach all of your most important audiences.

  • Identify segments of visitors that you want to treat differently.

Why: You can change bids, messaging, and ways of reaching those audiences.

  • Make audience lists specific without being overly segmented.

Why: Each audience you create has the potential to limit your insights and increase your management overhead.

  • Apply negative targeting sparingly.

Why: Excluding an audience removes your ability to cross-sell and nurture customers over longer time frames.

Read more about powering your search campaigns with audience insights

2. Maximize engagement when applying your lists

  • Use “Bid only” to account for different values of audiences.

Why: Adjusting bids for audiences is quick and easy when using “Bid only.”

  • Set bid adjustments that will drive substantially more volume from your audience lists.

Why: Audience-based campaigns convert at over twice the rate of non-audience campaigns.1

  • Apply audiences at the campaign level to maximize your reach.

Why: One campaign-level bid adjustment allows for easy reporting and optimization.

  • Deploy broader match types and keyword selection.

Why: Audience lists are pre-qualified, so you can increase your reach with more permissive targeting choices that are still relevant to your audience.

Read more about maximizing engagement when applying your lists

3. Strengthen audience-based campaigns with other AdWords tools

  • Take advantage of automated bidding with audience lists.

Why: AdWords Smart Bidding considers audience list factors when setting auction-time bids.

  • Couple audience lists with Dynamic Search Ads.

Why: Dynamic Search Ads reach users based on the content of your site. It becomes even more powerful if you know which set of users it’s reaching.

Read more about strengthening your audience-based campaigns


Sign up for the Best Practices newsletter to get advanced AdWords tips and updates right to your inbox.



1 Based on internal Google data.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
AdWords Best Practices Right In Your Inbox

Google's Best Practices Team presents snackable emails that you can easily digest in 5 minutes or less. Get AdWords official paid search marketing tips, checklists, and videos right in your inbox.