Defining Your Audience with AdWords

Defining Your Audience with AdWords
Defining Your Audience with AdWords

As all business owners know, it is imperative when trying to sell your product that you have a clear picture of just who you’re trying to sell it to. For search advertising, it starts with defining your audience in AdWords.

Defining Your Audience with AdWords

Google AdWords provides advertisers a variety of ways in which they can target particular groups to maximize the effectiveness of their campaigns. No matter your campaign’s goal, defining the audience you’re trying to reach is always beneficial.

Start by answering four questions about your target audience:

  1. Who?
  2. When?
  3. Where?
  4. What?

By answering these questions, you’ll not only give yourself a clearer image of your future customers, but you’ll also make your AdWords campaigns much more effective.


There’s no one who knows your customer base as well as you do. When setting out to define your audience for AdWords, stop and ask yourself: “What do I know about my customers? What are some things they all have in common?” Though not all campaigns possess this capability, some allow you to pinpoint users and potential customers by age, gender, and interests.

So if you own a gaming store and think your campaign would be best suited by targeting people most likely to buy games or gaming accessories, your best bet is to do some soul searching and research through statistics in that industry. For the sake of time, let’s assume that you end up coming to the conclusion that young people in their twenties, both male and female, are interested in games and are likely to buy from your store. These are your buyer personas.

You can craft ads specifically tailored to get the attention of and address the concerns of these buyer personas. You might also create some display or video ads to feature on websites which host content that relates you what your business does, such as gaming forums and the like.


Just as important as knowing who you’re selling to is knowing when they’re likely to be looking for it. An ad usually works best when it is there to solve an immediate problem for the user seeing it, even if that problem is “I really want…”. In order to answer this question, you once more should consider your customer base.

Continuing with our gaming shop example, you might derive that because your customers are young, possibly college or high school students or working a 9 to 5 job during the week, the best time to reach them might be on the weekends. Further, you think that the summer might be a good time to really ramp up your advertising campaigns, as all of those students who frequent your shop will likely have more free time to consider picking up or pursuing the hobbies you offer products in.

AdWords offers scheduling tools that allow you to do everything mentioned in the above example and then some. You can tell the system you only want your ads to appear during certain hours of the day, days of the week, weeks in the month, months in the year, and so on and so forth. If you throw a summer sale, you can create a campaign to advertise it and let AdWords know you only want it to show those ads during the period in which your sale is taking place. By using these options to your advantage you can get a leg up on your competition by providing your customers with access to your product when they want it most.


Though internet marketing allows your business to connect with potential customers across the globe, it also can narrow your focus to much smaller chunks of geography, if you are so inclined. As the manager of your own campaign, you’ll have to consider your business’ needs and means when deciding which regions and locations can see your ad.

In our gaming store example, let’s say that our store does not have capability to deliver orders. We would really prefer that if people buy from us, they either do so directly from our store or order the item online through us and then come to pick it up when it arrives at the store. Because of this physical limitation to our business, it doesn’t really make sense for us to show ads to users who are located more than a reasonable driving distance away from our brick and mortar location. We could decide to only show ads to users within 30 miles of our store.

AdWords encourages advertisers to decide where their target audience is located and with that knowledge, can help you best reach them. Quite literally now with mobile devices, your ads can show to users who are right around the corner from your location, but they can also show across the city, state, nation, world, and anything in between. As with so much else, AdWords leaves the decision to you.


The final question mostly pertains to deciding which keywords you’ll want triggering your ads throughout the campaign. In this step, it’s valuable to think of things from your customer’s perspective. If you were in their position, looking for what your business has to offer, what would you search for? By asking this question, you’ll be able to select effective keywords and drive relevant traffic toward your ad and your website.

In addition to determining what you want your potential customers to search for when they see your ads, you should also consider when you don’t want your ads to show. By utilizing “negative keywords”, words or phrases that will never trigger your ad if you input them to AdWords with a “-” prefix, you can ensure that irrelevant traffic and searches do not spawn useless impressions and drive down your click-through rate (CTR).
In conclusion, defining your audience can really help your campaign in AdWords succeed. By figuring out who you’re selling to, when they’d be looking, where they are located, and what exactly they’re looking for, you’ll be in a great position to be the business they make a purchase from.


Ricky Noel is a Google AdWords Certified AdWords Professional, a proud employee of eBiz, ROI. as well as a full-time student at SUNY Geneseo, where he studies English, Education, and Theater. Ricky got into the internet marketing industry when his father, Rick, introduced him to Google AdWords and showed him the possibilities online advertising represented for business owners and web-users alike. Ricky began working with eBiz in the summer of 2016, between senior year of highschool and shipping off to college. Since then, he has worked remotely from school thanks to the wonders of Google Hangouts and high speed internet connectivity. His passions include reading, writing creatively and analytically, and performing in plays and musicals. He is also an experienced Dungeons and Dragons aficionado, holds Abraham Lincoln and George R.R. Martin among his personal heroes, and is really excited to help businesses grow and spread their message online.

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