[GA4] About Google Analytics 4 audience builder

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has replaced Universal Analytics (UA). Starting on July 1, 2024, you will lose access to Universal Analytics data in your account, the API, and in Google Ads. If you haven't completed the migration, go to the Setup Assistant to get started with Google Analytics 4. 

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) audience builder lets you create new Google Analytics audiences directly in your Google Ads account. You can create a GA4 audience in Audience manager, and when you create a campaign.

This animation guides you through the steps of setting up a Google Analytics segment.

Account owners, managers, and users can create campaign specific audiences without alternating between Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads. New GA4 audiences created through the GA4 audience builder in Google Ads will be automatically shared with all linked accounts with “ads personalization” enabled.

In this article you will learn how to create a Google Analytics audience with your linked Google Ads account.

Before you begin

Make sure to link your Google Analytics 4 account with your Google Ads account. You’ll need to use a Google Account that has the following permissions:

  • In Google Ads, the Google Account needs administrative access to a Google Ads account (or a Google Ads manager account). You should also set up auto-tagging in the Google Ads account.
  • The Google Ads Account needs at least “Marketer” user access permissions level in the corresponding Google Analytics property Google Ads linking configuration. If you don’t have the ability to edit or create your Analytics Audiences within your Google Ads account, that means your account doesn’t have enough permissions.

How it works

To facilitate the changes, we’ve attached equivalent Google Analytics 4 audience segments to campaigns and ad groups that are currently using UA audiences.

  • As of May 2023, the GA4 Setup Assistant set up a basic GA4 property for anyone who still depends on Universal Analytics audiences, and has not opted-out.
  • The new Google Analytics 4 property is linked to the same Google Ads account as the equivalent UA property. New audiences will automatically be exported from GA4 to Google Ads.
  • The equivalent GA4 based segments have been added to respective campaigns/ad groups that are using UA audiences. You may be able to opt out of this behavior.
  • To opt out, you will have to add individual Google Ads account IDs in the form. If you add a Google Ads manager account ID, this won’t opt out linked individual Google Ads accounts
  • Note that not all audience types will be automatically configured. We still recommend manual migration as the best path to move your campaigns from UA to GA4 audiences. Learn more about [UA -> GA4] Audiences migration guide.

Learn more about Migrating audiences to Google Analytics 4.

Note: All audiences are saved in Google Ads as segments, and on the GA property as audiences.

Create Google Analytics segment for a new campaign

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Campaigns.
  4. Click the plus button , and then click New campaign.
  5. Choose your objective and select your campaign type, then click Continue.
  6. While creating the campaign, on the “Audience” card click Add an audience.
  7. Click + New Audience in the new window.
  8. Click on the search bar of the “Your data” section, and click + Your data.
  9. Under the “Segment types powered by other products” select “Google Analytics segments”.
  10. Scroll down and click on the search bar under “Select a Google Analytics property”.
  11. You can view all the Google Analytics properties listed in the drop-down menu.
    • If the desired GA4 property isn’t linked:
      1. In the drop-down menu, click Link new property.
      2. In the new window, select a Google Analytics property you want to link, and click Next.
      3. Switch the toggle on for all the data you want to share with Google Ads, and click Link.
      4. When your property is linked, click Done.
    • If the desired property isn’t enabled:
      1. Click on the listed property.
      2. Click Manage settings.
      3. Switch the toggle on for “Import Google Analytics audiences”, and click Save changes.
    • If the user doesn’t have permission to create audience for the desired property:
      1. Click on the listed property.
      2. Click Request access to ask the property owner for permission.
      3. You’ll receive an email when your request is approved.
  12. Select the desired GA4 linked property and click Continue.
  13. You’ll receive a notification confirming creation of your new audience, then click Done.
  14. On the “New audience” window, click Save Audience and resume to campaign creation.

Learn how to Create an audience.

Note: You can hover on the selected audience, and click “View definition” to review the selected audience.

Create Google Analytics audience in Audience manager

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Tools icon Tools Icon.
  2. Click the Shared library drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Audience manager.
  4. In the “Your data segments” tab, click plus button and from the drop-down list, click + Google Analytics segments.
  5. Search for the GA4 linked property and click Continue.
  6. In the “Build new audience” window, click Create a custom audience in the “Start from scratch” section.
  7. Create an audience as per your requirement and click Save and publish.
  8. You’ll receive a notification confirming creation of your new audience, then click Done.
Note: If the number of audiences in the GA4 property has reached the limit, the user will be notified, and can’t create a new audience.

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