About custom intent audiences

Custom intent audiences allow you to reach the ideal audience for your business in your Display campaigns by segmenting ad groups according to the specific keywords and landing pages you would like to target. You can use custom intent audiences with auto-created audience segments or you can define your own audiences by entering keywords, URLs, and apps related to your product or service. Google Ads will then show ads to people who are likely to be interested in these keywords on pages, apps, and videos.  Learn more about audience targeting
Alert: Beginning in April 2019, all ad groups targeting audience keywords will be automatically migrated to custom intent audience segments. Learn more about the migration here.

Before you begin

To start working with custom intent audiences, make sure you have created a keywords list to target the right customers. Read these basic tips for building a keyword list. Because custom intent audience segments are applied to ad groups, you may also want to research how ad groups work and set up your ad group default bid.

Use custom intent audiences

You can apply keywords, URLs, apps, or YouTube content to Display campaigns to reach an online audience that’s actively researching a related product or service. To help Google Ads understand your ideal audience, it’s a best practice to add keywords and URLs (ideally 15 total) that fit a common theme. Avoid entering URLs that require people to sign in, such as social media or email services. Include keywords related to the products and services this audience is researching, which will be used as the focal point for building the custom intent audience. If possible, it's a good idea (but not essential) to set up conversion tracking before you start your campaign.

Create a custom intent audience segment

Use the following steps to create a custom intent audience segment:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Display campaigns from the navigation panel, and select one of your active campaigns.
  3. Click Audiences
  4. Click the pencil icon , then select Edit ad group targeting.
  5. Select an ad group. 
  6. Under “Targeting,” select Narrow targeting and click the grey plus icon next to Audiences.
  7. Click the pencil icon  next to Targeted audiences.
  8. Select In-market and custom intent.
  9. Click the blue plus icon plus next to New custom intent audience.
  10. Create a name for your custom intent audience, and add any related keywords or URLs this audience is actively researching.
  11. To the right, under “Ideas,” you can view suggested URLs, and under “Audience size,” you can preview estimated reach and demographic information about your custom intent audience.
  12. Click Create.

Use auto-created custom intent audiences

Google uses machine-learning technology to analyze your existing campaigns and automatically creates custom intent audience suggestions. These audiences are based on the most common keywords and URLs found in content that people browse while researching a given product or service. 

For example, insights from existing campaigns may show that people who’ve visited a sporting goods website have also actively researched rainy day workout shoes. Google Ads may then auto-create a new “waterproof trail running shoes” custom intent audience that can simplify the process of reaching this niche segment of customers. These audiences are constantly refreshed, which may lead to improved performance over time.

Note: For now, auto-created audiences are only available in English, German, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, French, and Italian. Check back for updates, as new languages will be added over time.

Use an auto-created custom intent audience segment

Follow these steps to use auto-created custom intent audiences:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Display campaigns from the navigation panel, and select one of your active campaigns.
  3. Click Audiences
  4. Click the pencil icon , then select Edit audiences.
  5. Click Select an ad group and select an ad group.
  6. Select Custom intent audiences and select the audiences you’d like to add.
  7. Click Save.

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