Google Audience Types & How You Can Use Them

Google Audience Types & How You Can Use Them

Long gone are the days of using keywords as our primary targeting method for Google Search Ads. Now, we have the ability to target URLs (using dynamic search ads), remarketing lists, and more! In this article, we’re going to explore the 3 main Google audience types that you can use (asides from remarketing lists). After that, we’ve got a couple of options for targeting levels.

So, what are these Google Audiences?

Affinity Audiences

Google identifies these audiences based on their ‘habits’ and ‘interests’. Google creates a picture based on the pages a user frequently visits, the time they spend on the page, and their search behaviour.

Affinity audiences are grouped into generalised topics, so targeting with them can be quite broad. Google states that you can reach people based on a ‘holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions and habits’. You can find a full list of these categories from Google’s help article on audience targeting. However, a few examples are:

  • Banking & Finance – Avid Investors (People who actively invest their money, follow financial markets and regularly read financial or business news)
  • Food & Dining – Frequently Dines Out (People who frequently purchase meals at restaurants and other dining establishments)
  • Shoppers – Luxury Shoppers (People who prefer luxury brands and tend to buy high-end goods)
  • Travel – Business Travellers (People who travel frequently for business, typically by air and over several days)

In-Market Audiences

In-market audiences are users that Google has identified to be actively researching or planning. For example, they could be buying a product, or planning a wedding!

We know they’ve taken the first steps to actively seek out the product/service they are interested in. So, you can imagine that these audiences would be great for targeting users further down the buying cycle, in the consideration or action stage. Again, there’s a range of different categories you can select, for example:

  • Education – Post-Secondary Education (People interested in pursuing degree programmes or formal continuing education)
  • Gifts & Occasions – Wedding Planning (People interested in wedding planning services or products)
  • Property – Residential Properties (People interested in purchasing or renting residential properties)

Detailed Demographics

As the name states, these audiences are based on the demographics of the user. They are broken down into four categories:

  • Parental Status: Parents of children in different age brackets
  • Marital Status: Single, In a relationship, Married
  • Education Level: Current student, the highest level of education attained – i.e secondary school, bachelor’s degree or advanced degree
  • Home Ownership Status: Homeowners or renters

Google Audience Targeting Options

Once you’ve decided on your audiences, there are two levels of targeting options.


Firstly, this allows you to observe how the users interact with your ads, without narrowing the reach of your campaigns. We’d recommend starting out with this approach so you can see which audiences perform best. After that, once you have sufficient data, you’re able to add a bid percentage increase or decrease on each of the audiences.


On the other hand, this approach narrows the reach of your campaign to the specific audiences that you’ve selected. You would take this approach with a Remarketing List for Search Ads campaign. If you’ve determined that one audience converts better or perhaps is more valuable to you, you could create a campaign targeting that specific audience.

Wrapping up

So, why not give them a go! Test adding relevant audiences to your campaigns (under observation) to further optimise your campaigns. There are more advanced options you can take with custom or combined audiences, but they deserve a blog all to themselves, so stay tuned!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Written by Gabrielle Behm-Pike