May 14, 2019
The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Smart Bidding
Do you have a strong performing remarketing list you wish you could expand and continue to drive performance gains with? If you’re worried your remarketing revenue and ROI are slowing down, it’s time to try Similar Audiences for Search to get in front of new users who have comparable qualities to your current remarketing audiences.
Users who make purchases or fill out lead forms on your website typically have similar characteristics. Using data on these users’ online browsing activity, interests, or even demographics like age or income, Google AdWords is able to create audience lists known as Similar Audiences.
Similar Audiences are automatically created after you’ve created an AdWords remarketing list. This process can take three to five days, but after your similar audience is created, you can overlay these on your search campaigns to heighten targeting and hit your marketing goals. For example, you can target new customers by creating a remarketing list of past purchasers and creating a Similar Audience from your customer data.
There are some restrictions on which Similar Audiences you can use for search campaigns, however. For instance, you can’t use Similar Audiences from customer match or Google Analytics audiences on search. You can, however, incorporate Similar Audiences from an Analytics audience on Display and use a Customer Match similar audience for YouTube targeting.
No matter what, by incorporating Similar Audiences for search, you will be targeting new users who express lookalike qualities of your remarketing list and are thus more likely to convert. Plus, if you use these in conjunction with Google’s automated bidding strategies, like eCPC, Google will automatically take these audience lists into consideration and increase bids on users most likely to convert. By having similar audiences overlaid on search campaigns with the addition of a bidding strategy, you will be more likely to get in front of valuable prospects within that similar audience.
In order to test the effects of this feature, we decided to evaluate RLSA audiences against Similar Audiences for performance insights. Similar Audiences will also exclude users within your set remarketing lists, so this allowed us to test the two audiences side-by-side. Results varied between advertisers, but we saw strong results from using Similar Audiences overall.
In the first example below, we saw Similar Audiences generate half as much revenue as our RLSA audiences with only one-third of spend, at a 55% higher ROI.
Even though we would expect RLSAs to be our most efficient audience and have the highest ROI, in this case Similar Audiences outperformed RLSAs and made up a healthy portion of our overall targeted audience revenue.
In another account running Similar Audiences and RLSAs, we saw similar results; however, in this scenario, ROI for RLSAs performed as expected and outperformed Similar Audiences ROI by 11%.
In each scenario, adding Similar Audiences drove valuable incremental traffic, and in both instances, ROIs were comparable to those of our regular remarketing audiences.
Overall, adding Similar Audiences to your campaigns will help your paid search performance. Without at least adding them to your campaigns as an overlay, you will be missing out on valuable audience insights and data points to base future adjustments on.