5 Tips To Help Build Paid Media Audiences Using Google Analytics Data

Identifying audiences to use in your paid media campaigns can be challenging, especially when you have a limited budget and want to ensure that your budget is being spent on the right audience.  While you might have an idea of who your target audience is, they may not actually be high-value customers… let’s investigate this further.

A key part of any successful PPC campaign is optimizing it for the right audience. In today’s post, we will be looking at how Google Analytics can help you discover, target, and build paid media audiences to help grow your business.

Google Analytics Audiences 

Using the Google Analytics audience reports are a fantastic way to get detailed insights into who is visiting your website, what devices they’re using, what their interests are, demographic insights and more.  

Before you can see the data, you’ll need to make sure that you have enabled the Demographics and Interests reports.  You can enable this by accessing your Google Analytics account and then selecting the Audience tab in the left menu.  Next, click on the Interests category and select Enable.  See below:


Demographics Data 

The Demographics report shows the age and gender of your website visitors and can provide you more insight into who your top buyers are. This data can be especially useful when creating paid audiences, so you can help eliminate ad spend on low-value users in specific age groups or genders that don’t often convert.  

It’s also helpful in creating the tone of your messaging and when deciding which images to use in your ads.  You can view this data by clicking on the Audience tab in the left menu, then selecting Demographics.  See below:

 Interests Data 

The Interests report is broken down into three reports and can be especially useful in understanding what else people who visit your website do online.  Let’s take a look at each report.

  • Affinity category:  Use the data from this report to identify what your website visitors are interested in.  These visitors are generally higher in the purchase funnel and typically used when you want to increase brand or product awareness. 


  • In-Market segment:  This segment will give you some great insight into what your website visitors have been actively researching or planning online.  Typically lower in the purchase funnel, using in-market data is a great way to connect with consumers who are more likely to make a purchase of your products or services.


  • Other category:  This category provides a more specific view of your website visitors.  For example, Affinity Categories includes Sports & Fitness/Health & Fitness Buffs, while Other categories will contain team sports/hockey/.  


GEO Data 

This section of the audience report shows the location of where your website visitors are and what languages they speak.  For paid marketing, this data is especially useful in identifying what regions your website traffic comes from and what areas convert the best.  You can view location and language data by clicking on the Audience tab in the left menu, then selecting GEO.  See below:

Mobile Device Data

With Google’s mobile-first indexing, it is especially important to understand what devices your website visitors are converting from.  This data can be especially useful in setting up audience targeting and bidding based on the specific device people interact with your website on.  

For example, if the majority of visitors are converting on your website from a mobile device, you may want to test out a Call Only campaign or include bid adjustments so your Google ads show more often on mobile devices vs desktop.  You can find the Mobile data by clicking on the Audience tab in the left menu, then selecting Mobile.  See below:

Time-Lag Data 

This report shows the number of days it takes a website visitor to convert after their very first interaction with your website.  Keep in mind you need to have goals set up to track a transaction, form submission or any other action you have specified as a goal conversion.   Use this data to identify opportunities that can be used to target your audiences through remarketing, email or lead nurturing campaigns.    You can find the Time Lag data by clicking on the Conversions tab in the left menu, then selecting Multi-Channel Funnels and then Time Lag.  See below:


Using the above reports on their own may be too broad and not very helpful in determining a high-value audience.  However, if you’re using goals you can segment the data to understand which interest group may be more likely to convert. 

Audience reports are incredibly valuable and versatile in identifying your top-value customers, not only for paid marketing but also used to improve performance across your entire marketing campaigns.  Google Analytics offers a ton of data and it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the dozens of reports, however, using five reports mentioned in this post can be a good place to start when building out your paid audiences. 

What are some of your favorite reports that you use to help improve your paid marketing campaigns?  Let me know in the comments below.




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