Use the Audience builder when creating a campaign

The Audience builder allows you to easily and effectively create reusable audiences with focused segments, demographic targeting, and exclusions.

You can create audience segments based on the customer data you collected yourself, or from other Google surfaces to enhance the effectiveness of your targeting and campaign performance.

You can use the Audience builder and create a data segment directly using first-party data when creating your campaign.

On this page

Before you begin

Follow the steps to Create a Performance Max campaign, Create a Demand Gen campaign, or Create a Video Action campaign.

When you get to the “Targeting” segment of the campaign, click Use a saved audience and select + New audience.

Create a new audience and new segment

In the Audience builder, you’ll be able to search, browse, and select demographic groups, segments, and exclusions. Follow the steps below to complete audience creation.

Tip: Use the “Audience insights” and “Your estimated performance” data in the right column to get a sense of how your audience selections may impact your campaign reach and performance, and make adjustments as needed.

Step 1 of 2: Create a new audience

  1. Give your audience a name, which will be its name in your Audience library for all future use.
  2. Select the demographic groups that you want to target by clicking on the checkboxes Blue check box icon for selecting ad campaigns for each group. Age and gender are presented by default, but you can select groups based on household income or parental status by clicking Additional demographics.
    • For age, select one age range as wide as you’d like it to be, but you cannot select more than one age range for each Audience.
  3. Select applicable audience segments in the “Your data”, “Custom interests”, and “Custom search terms” modules.
  4. Click Search or Browse to add segments. Suggested segments will appear at the top of the list.
  5. Click Save segment when you’ve chosen the segments you’ll use.

Step 2 of 2: Create a new segment

You can now choose to create a new custom interest, a new custom search terms segment or a new “Your data segment” with first-party data.

Create a new custom search terms segment

  1. Click Tools and setting menu icon [Gear] More settings.
  2. Click the pencil icon Edit in the “Custom search terms” section.
  3. Click on the search bar of the “Custom search terms” module.
  4. At the top right corner of the drop-down, click +New custom search terms.
  5. Give your custom search term segment a name. It helps identify the segment while using it in the future.
  6. Add search terms to the “Search term” card.
  7. Click Save.

Create a new custom interest

  1. Click on the search bar of the “Interests & detailed demographics” module.
  2. At the top right corner of the drop-down, click +New custom interests.
  3. Give your custom interest a name.
  4. Enter keywords describing your ideal customer’s interests or purchase intentions in the “Interests or purchase intentions” card.
    • If you’re using an audience with your selection of manual targeting (all campaigns except for Performance Max can use manual targeting), your campaign will reach people with those interests or purchase intentions based on your campaign settings, such as advertising goal or bidding strategy. If you’re using your audience as a signal as part of optimized targeting (Performance Max campaigns use only optimized targeting), your audience selections will inform who will view your ads, but ultimately your campaign will focus on optimizing toward your goals and may show ads to people outside of your audience selections.
  5. Click Save.

Create a new data segment with first-party data

  1. In the “Your data” section, click + New Segment.
  2. Select your segment from the available segment types.
  3. Add a segment name.
  4. Click Continue and follow the steps on screen to create a new segment.
  5. Click Save.

Select an existing Audience

When creating a campaign, you’ll need to select an audience. Here are the steps on how to select an existing audience.

  1. If you’ve clicked Use a saved audience, the Audiences selector will appear with suggestions for audiences that match the advertising goal you set for the new campaign. Review the audience summary cards, which includes that audience’s specific segments and exclusions. (You can also view your other existing audiences that are not recommended based on your advertising goal by clicking the Audience not recommended link).
  2. If an existing audience in the table is right for your campaign, select it by clicking on it. If you’d rather create a new audience for the campaign, click + New Audience in the top right. Learn more about the Audience builder in the “Steps to create a new audience” above.
  3. Your selected audience will appear under “Create an ad group”. From there, you can leave the audience as is, edit it by clicking the pencil icon Edit, remove it by clicking the X icon Red X icon at the top right, or change it by clicking Change audience, which will take you back to the Audience selector.
    • When you edit your audience, you’ll do so in the “Audience builder”. Use Audience builder to update demographic targeting, segments, and exclusions by clicking on the Add or create option in any of the applicable modules. Learn more about the Audience builder in the “Steps to create a new audience” above.
    • (Recommended) Select the Enable audience expansion checkbox to open up additional inventory if your budget allows for it.

Tip: Editing an audience while creating your ad group and campaign will edit that audience for all the ad groups and campaigns it’s attached to. If you want your Audience edits to only apply to a single campaign or ad group, save the edits with a new name for that Audience.

“Made for you” audiences

“Made for you” audiences is a new feature that recommends audiences based on your advertising objectives and goals. They incorporate customer interests, habits, and past interactions with your business and can help you reach the right audience with your Performance Max and Demand Gen campaigns.

Using “Made for you” audiences can help improve your campaign’s performance. These audiences include previously used audience segments chosen based on various factors, including conversion history of the users, performance data, and landing page, play a part in audience suggestions.

“Made for you” audiences can be saved, edited and reused multiple times for other campaigns and ad or asset groups.

Note: This feature is only available for Performance Max and Demand Gen campaigns.


“Made for you” audiences will automatically appear in your Audience library when you choose to add an audience or audience signal as follows:

  1. In your Google Ads account, click Campaigns from the page menu on the left.

  2. Click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  3. Choose a marketing objective of either Sales, Leads, Website traffic, or No goal.
  4. Select either Performance Max or Demand Gen campaigns.
  5. On the “Audience [Signal]” page, click Add an audience [signal].
  6. In the pop-up window, “Made for you” audiences will have a hover title that starts with Made for your [advertising objective].
    • Click the pencil icon Edit if you wish to edit the suggested audience according to your requirements or select the audience as-is.
  7. The “Made for you” audience is automatically saved to your Audience library when selected or edited and saved, and can subsequently be applied to other ad or asset groups and campaigns.
    • Note: If you edit and save changes to the “Made for you” audience, the “Made for you” text will disappear.
Note: The Reimagined Audience Workflow in Google Ads supports Demand Gen, YouTube, App Campaign Installs (ACi), Display, Search, App, and Performance Max.


Can I add exclusions for all audience segments?

No, you can now only add exclusions for your data segments.

How does manual audience targeting differ from optimized targeting?

Note: All campaigns except Performance Max can use manual targeting. Performance Max campaigns use only optimized targeting.

When you build your audiences and set your campaign for manual targeting, your campaign will show ads that reach people you’ve specified. If you’re using optimized targeting for your campaign, you can still build your audiences to your specifications, but your ads may reach people outside of your audience selections because your campaign is optimizing towards conversion goals.

In any optimized targeting campaigns, your audience selections become signals that help Google AI quickly optimize for campaign performance. If there are people who are likely to convert based on your conversion goals, your ads may serve to them, even if they’re not specified by your audience selections.

How many audiences can I target in an ad group (Demand Gen) or asset group (Performance Max)?

To help you optimize campaign performance with the most targeted approach to serving ads, each campaign and ad group (Demand Gen) or asset group (Performance Max) can include only one audience at a time. The one selected audience may include several audience segments). You can change or edit the audience at any time. Check the steps above to edit your audience.

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