[GA4] Set up audiences

[GA4] Examples of audiences in Google Analytics and how to create them

Create commonly needed audiences in Google Analytics

Prebuilt audiences

For every property, Analytics automatically generates two audiences:

  • All users: Users who have ever launched your app or visited your website
  • Purchasers: Users who have completed a purchase

Analytics also provides a list of prebuilt suggested audiences that address a lot of common use cases.

If you are collecting the required types and amounts of data and Analytics is generating predictive metrics for your property, then Analytics also automatically generates a set of predictive audiences:

  • Likely 7-day churning purchasers
  • Likely 7-day churning users
  • Likely 7-day purchasers
  • Likely first-time 7-day purchasers
  • Predicted 28-day top spenders

Users are automatically added to these audiences when they match the audience definition. You can use these audiences for reporting or advertising without having to do any audience building yourself.

Create your own

If the automatically generated audiences don't exactly fit your needs, you can duplicate and customize them or you can create entirely new audiences of your own.

The general concept of creating an audience is simple: create a condition based on the data you collect that identifies the user characteristics you want; for example, "include users who have made more than 5 purchases and who have a lifetime value to my business of over $100".

To create your own audiences, use the audience builder in Analytics. The audience builder can often feel like an entire foundry of tools you've never seen when all you want to do is pound a nail or tighten a screw. It is purposely designed to let really advanced users create really complex audiences, but it's also really easy to use to create really basic audiences.

The following sections will show you how to build audiences using the audience builder. We'll ignore a lot of the advanced controls and options and focus on building basic conditions to define each audience.

If you're new to using the audience builder, read this next section beginning to end. The examples in the beginning provide a lot of detail about how to use the audience builder. The later examples eliminate repetitive details to save you time.

Open the audience builder

To open the audience builder:

  1. In Admin, under Data display, click Audiences.
  2. Click Create custom audience to open the audience builder.

1 On top, where it says Untitled audience, is where you enter the name of your audience. Below that, you can add a description of the audience if you want.

2 Below those two text fields, on the left, you see the controls you use to create the conditions that define which users get included in the audience, like which age group users belong to or which city they live in.

3 On the top right, you set the membership duration, which is the number of days users stay in the audience once they're added to it. The default is 30 days; the maximum is 540 days.

4 On the bottom right, under Summary, you see an estimate of how many of your users over the last 30 days match your audience conditions. Before you start defining conditions, that estimate is all of your users. As you define conditions, you'll see the number change.

Watch a short video to see how to open the audience builder and how to create a condition based on the Age dimension, effectively creating an audience of users 18-34.


Include and exclude conditions

You use two types of conditions to define audiences:

  • Include: users who match the condition are included in your audience
  • Exclude: users who match the condition are excluded from your audience

For example, you might want to include all users who viewed the details page for a particular product (they're interested), but exclude any users who purchased the product (don't bug them with ads for something they already bought).

AND and OR logic

You can use two types of logic when you use multiple conditions to define an audience:

  • AND logic means all the conditions have to be true for a user to be included in or excluded from the audience. For example: City = Los Angeles AND Age = 18-24. In this case, the user has to live in Los Angeles and has to be 18-24 years old.
  • OR logic means at least one of the conditions has to be true. For example: City = Los Angeles OR City = San Francisco. In this case, the user can live in either Los Angeles or San Francisco to be included in or excluded from the audience.

Users in a particular geographic area

Let's start with something simple: all of your users who live in a particular city.

We're going to base this audience on the City dimension and we're going to choose the dimension value Los Angeles, California.

First, under Include users when, click Add new condition to choose the dimension:

When you click Add new condition, it opens a menu of events, dimensions, and metrics. You can expand and collapse these sections when you need to.

Under Dimensions, you'll see the Geography category, and when you click Geography, you'll see the dimensions in that category.

Click City to add that dimension to the condition builder.

Now that you've chosen the City dimension, you have to specify the value of the dimension (which city) you want.

Click Add filter.

In the top field, exactly matches (=) is already selected, which is what you want:

City exactly matches (=) …

In the second field, type Los Angeles and select Los Angeles, California from the list of results. Now you have:

City exactly matches (=) Los Angeles, California

You have everything you need for your condition:

  • The dimension: City
  • The operator: exactly matches (=)
  • The dimension value: Los Angeles, California

Click Apply.

You've applied your choices and your condition is fully configured.

Before you can save the audience, you have to give it a name. Remember when you first opened the audience builder and there was a field at the top that said Untitled audience? Click in that field and enter Users from Los Angeles, California.

To the right of that field, click the Save button.

You've configured your first audience of users from a specific geographic area. Analytics will backfill the audience with all users from Los Angeles who visited during the last 30 days and the audience will accumulate new users from Los Angeles every time one of them visits your site.

You'll see the audience listed in the table when you click Configure > Audiences.

Users who added items to their carts but didn't purchase

For this audience, you want to:

  • Include users who triggered the add_to_cart event
  • Exclude users who triggered the purchase event

Under Include users when, click Add new condition and select the add_to_ cart event.

Below the Include condition, click Add group to exclude.

Select the option to Permanently exclude Users when.

Click Add condition group > Add new condition and select the purchase event.

At the top of the audience builder, where it says Untitled audience, enter Cart abandoners.

In the field below that, where it says Add a description, enter Users who left items in their carts.

This audience includes everyone who left an item in a cart. If you wanted to narrow the audience by brand or specific item, you would add one or more parameters and parameter values to the add_to_cart event. For example:

Click Add parameter, then select the item_brand parameter.

Specify the item_brand parameter values (e.g., Brand X) and click Apply.

Now you have an audience of everyone who left a Brand X item in their cart.

Users who spend at least a minimum amount

There are two metrics you can use to create conditions based on revenue:

  • LTV (lifetime value): This metric is calculated for individual users and is the sum of the value of all purchases.
  • Predicted revenue: The revenue expected from all purchases within the next 28 days from a user who was active in the last 28 days.

Both of these are available under the Events section of the items menu:

If you're going after users who you know have spent a minimum amount of money with your business, use an include condition like Include users when LTV >= 100:

"100" in this case is relative to whatever currency you're using for your property. Adjust that number to reflect the lifetime value you want in the currency you're using.

Users who have made a minimum number of purchases

If you want to market to users who have made a certain number of purchases rather than users who have spent a certain amount of money, create an include condition using the purchase event.

In this case, your audience will include users who have triggered the purchase event more than 5 times.

Additional reading

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