Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Add similar audiences to your targeting

Similar audience targeting allows you to show ads to people who share characteristics with people on your existing remarketing lists. This article explains how to add this type of targeting to your campaigns.

Before you start

Similar audience targeting is available for both Search Network and Display Network campaigns. To find out how to create these lists, read about similar audiences on the Display Network.


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

For Search Network and Shopping campaigns:

  1. Under the Campaigns tab, click the Audiences tab.
  2. Below, click the + Targeting button.
  3. Under "Add to" select Campaign or Ad group, depending on which level you want to add your targeting.
  4. Click the Add campaign targeting or Add ad group targeting drop-down menu and select Interests & remarketing.
  5. Click the Select categories drop-down menu and select Similar to remarketing lists.
  6. Click the double arrows » next to each similar audience that you want to add. Your audiences will appear in the "Selected audiences" column.
  7. When you've finished, click Close and then Save.

For Display Network campaigns:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account
  2. Under the Campaigns tab, click the Display Network tab.
  3. Below, click the + Targeting button.
  4. Select the ad group of a "Display Network only" campaign with the marketing objective "Buy on your website". You can also select ad groups of "Display Network only – All features" or "Display Network only – Remarketing" campaigns.
  5. Click the "Add targeting" drop-down menu and select "Interests & remarketing".
  6. If you're in a campaign with the objective "Buy on your website" or a "Display Network only – Remarketing" campaign, select the "Show similar audiences" tick box. If you're in a "Display Network only – All features" campaign, select "Similar audiences" from the drop-down menu.
  7. Click the double arrows » next to each similar audience that you want to add. Your audiences will appear in the "Selected audiences" column.
  8. When you've finished, click Close and then Save.

Setting an audience bid or bid adjustment

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


Let's say that you have a Search Network campaign, and you decide to use keyword targeting. Some terms are more likely to be searched for by your potential customers, so you set custom bids to bid higher when someone searches for those terms on Google. On top of that, you decide to set a bid adjustment if the people searching for those keywords are part of your similar audience targeting. When the audience for a specific keywords matches your similar audience targeting, AdWords can use your audience bid adjustment to bid higher to show that person your ad. 
On the Display Network, it works similarly: you use keyword contextual targeting and set custom bids on specific keywords, and then set bid adjustments for whenever the audience that you've added matches.

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

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Previous New
Reach more customers with an online ad

With AdWords, you can run ads on Google to stand out on local searches. Only pay when your ad is clicked on. [Learn more]

Sign Up for AdWords