Target New Visitors with Similar Audiences for Search & Shopping

By Tinuiti Team

Remarketing is an extremely valuable strategy that allows retailers to reach people who have already visited their site and connect with an audience that’s already interested in their products or services.

As an advertiser it’s likely you don’t want your strategy to end there.

Now, thanks to the introduction of Similar Audiences for Search and Shopping you can also attract new visitors to your site, by finding people who have similar search behavior to your existing remarketing list members.

Leveraging RLSA To Connect with Shoppers

According to Google’s announcement, similar audiences for Search and Shopping allow advertisers to use their own data to reach the right customer with the right message.

FREE GUIDE: The 2017 Google Shopping Guide

Before we jump into the benefits of similar audiences – let’s quickly review how RLSA works.

When potential customers leave a site, remarketing lists  for search ads (RLSA) help retailers connect with those shoppers while they continue to search for what they need on Google.

For example, Laura is looking for ballet flats and she visits a dance apparel website and looks at the shoe section of the site to check out the available styles. Even if Laura does not purchase, thanks to RLSA, the site will add Laura to a “Shoe category” audience list. Then, the site could bid more for Laura the next time she searches for ballet flats on Google again.

BLOG POST: Why Advanced RLSA Audience Targeting is Essential for Your Business

Benefits of Similar Audiences for Search and Shopping

By adding “Similar audiences” to your campaign or ad group targeting, you can show your ads to people whose search behavior is similar to those of your site visitors. Now, these people are more likely to be potential customers.

google similar audiences for search

The two major benefits of using Similar Audiences for Search and Shopping are:

Keep in mind, even if these new visitors don’t immediately make a purchase from your site, if you’ve added the remarketing tag to your site, they’ll be added to your remarketing list. This way, you can get more high-quality members on your remarketing list in a way that is intuitive and easy to manage.

So what happens to those people who are already on your original remarketing list?

According to Google, people on your original remarketing list are automatically excluded from the corresponding similar audience list. So, if visitors who are in a similar audience list get added to your remarketing list because they match your list definition, they’ll be removed from the similar audiences list.

How Similar Audiences for Search and Shopping Work

Step 1: AdWords looks at the search activity in a short time frame around when visitors are added to your remarketing list to understand aggregate search behavior of visitors in your list.

Step 2: Based on this information, the system automatically finds new potential customers whose search behavior is similar to that of people in your remarketing list.

google similar audiences for search

Let’s apply this in an example scenario (we’ll stick with the ballet flats theme):


How does Google Qualify Similar Audiences?

Google will automatically identify which of your remarketing lists qualify for similar audiences based on:

Pro-tip: A similar audiences list is created from a remarketing list with at least 1,000 cookies with enough similarity in search behavior to create a corresponding similar audience. Similar audiences can’t be created based on the behavior of individual users, and AdWords can only define a similar audience for your own remarketing lists.

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