Are you using Performance Max campaigns on Google Ads and not seeing the results you want? You may not be leveraging audience signals correctly. In this article, we’ll share audience signal best practices to improve the performance of your campaigns.
What are Audience Signals?
Audience signals were introduced by Google as a way to inform the algorithm of your ideal target audience, but they are not used for direct targeting. Instead, they act as suggestions to steer the algorithm in the right direction. Google may or may not target the people in your audience signals, depending on whether they have a strong likelihood of converting.
Using Audience Signals for Better Performance
To make the most of audience signals, it’s essential to understand how to use them effectively. When setting up audience signals, you have several options to choose from, including your data, custom segments, interests and detailed demographics, and demographics.
To start, we recommend using specific first-party data signals such as low-intent and high-intent leads, low CLV and high CLV clients for lead generation campaigns. For e-commerce campaigns, great examples include new customers, repeat customers, low-value customers, and high-value customers.
If you don’t have enough data points, you can use broader first-party signals. You can also combine your data with a limited amount of specific custom segments such as people who searched for specific terms on Google or your top 25-50 best-performing search terms.
Interests and detailed demographics tend to go very broad, so we don’t recommend targeting them individually. Instead, test broader audience signals to expand your targeting once you hit your targets and your performance is good. If your performance is not good, narrow down your audience signals.
Challenges with Audience Signals
The problem with audience signals is that it’s difficult to see their actual impact per signal. Google doesn’t provide any data for your signals, and it’s up to the algorithm to follow your signals or not. Google may go beyond your audience signals and target anyone, anywhere in order to get the cheapest conversions possible.
The best way to optimize your audience signals is to create signals that combine your own customer data with Google’s search data. Don’t overcomplicate it. Combine high-value customer/lead data with high-intent search term data and you’re well on your way to a well-performing Performance Max campaign.
Audience signals are not used for direct targeting but act as suggestions to steer the algorithm in the right direction. To improve your campaign performance, use specific first-party data signals and combine them with a limited amount of specific custom segments. Don’t forget to test broader audience signals to expand your targeting once your performance is good and narrow them down if it’s not.
Keep in mind that it’s difficult to see the actual impact per signal and that Google may go beyond your audience signals. By combining high-value customer/lead data with high-intent search term data, you can optimize your audience signals and achieve better results with Performance Max campaigns.