How To Create Custom Intent Audiences in Google Ads Campaign Structure

Custom intent audiences are a feature in Google Ads that lets advertisers target the right audience. It is an amazing feature you can leverage to bring the lost conversions back, build audiences based on your existing customers and find the new ones. It helps you increase brand awareness and target users in the mid-to-low marketing funnel.

What Is The Audience In Paid Media?

  • The audience is the group of people who:
  • Follow specific action like remarketing
  • Follow a specific behavior like in-market or custom affinity
  • Share their contact information with you

You Make The Following Type Of Available Audiences:

  • Visitors on The Website: These are the people who come to your website and look for a specific page; they reach on that page and take the custom action.
  • Audience from YouTube: These are the people who come to your channel by subscribing to a video/ad or may have commented or liked your video.
  • In-Market: These are the people who are actively looking for your services.
  • Intent-Based Audience: These are the users who visit the site showing general interests on-site visits and searches.
  • Custom Affinity: These audience users URLs/Keywords to focus on interest or following the buying intent.
  • Customer Lists: This group of audience focuses on emails/location and data acquired with the consent of customer or clients.

How Can You Use Google Ads Audiences?

There are four different ways to apply for the audiences:

  • Target the Audience and Observe: In this, you need to apply ads to a specific ad group for a given set of audiences.
  • Observe: In this, you must track the audience performance with the option to make it high and low.
  • Exclude: Don’t use the budget from going into a specific ad group. Keep the audience in mind and look for budget-friendly ad campaigns.
  • Ad Copy Customization: By simply using the ‘if’ function or swapping out the ad copy that relies on audiences.

Furthermore, one of the most common uses for the audience is remarketing. This can be done through various things like Search, Display ads, YouTube ads or through discovery campaigns. Depending upon your services and products, there might be a longer or shorter duration of the membership.

Below is how to create custom intent audiences in Google Ads campaign structure and make the best out of it.

Steps To Create a Custom Intent Audience

In order to create a custom intent audience, follow the following steps-

  • Go to Google Ads, click ‘Tools’ and choose ‘Audience Manager.’
  • Click the ‘Custom Audiences’ and ‘+’ buttons.
  • Select ‘Custom Intent.’
  • Then, name the audience. From a drop-down menu, select the in-market keywords. Add keywords, URLs of the audience looking for specific products or topics.

With these few steps, you can create a custom intent audience. Now you can use this saved audience for the next display advertising campaign.

Best Practices to Use Custom Intent Audiences

Now that you know how to create a custom intent audience on Google Ads, you want to know the best practices to do so. Here is what you should keep in mind-

Don’t Rely On One Custom Intent Audience Only

First and foremost, don’t create a catch-all audience to target all keyword variations. If you do, it will hinder the keywords/keyword groupings that create results. Instead, look for ways to organize the audience and test!

Suppose you are advertising business planning software. In that case, you shouldn’t treat the users searching for ‘business plan software’ the same as the ones who search for ‘how to create a business plan.’

Use Keywords That Are Performing Well

If you are already running search campaigns, it is advised to target the keywords that are performing well. Also, you can use custom intent audiences. However, before that, you need to get the answer to the following questions-

  • Do you need to increase reach on a campaign?
  • Can your brand address topics that aren’t easy targets on the Search?
  • Which of the campaigns can benefit from the Display network?

Custom Intent Audience + Remarketing List

Remarketing lists for Search Ads or RLSAs is a powerful Google Ads targeting strategy that helps you tailor search campaigns to the site visitors. By combining these two things, you can target high-intent prospects who have already interacted with your brand.

Suppose you have launched account-based marketing software. In that case, first, you need to create an account-based PPC marketing audience retargeting list in Google Ads to target people who landed your website via a custom intent display Ad.

Then, you create a custom intent audience using URLs and keywords. After that, launch a custom intent audience display campaign to direct the visitors to a specific piece of content. You can also create a Google Ads RLSA with a broad match modifier + account + based + marketing + software.

Test the Audiences

You have created a custom intent audience. But it’s just the first step of the process. After you have created a custom intent audience, the next step is to test the audience to ensure that it’s working for you. You can test your custom audience for various factors, like queries, search phrases, etc.’

The goal is to find out which audiences are the most engaged. Start by looking at the conversions. If there are no conversions, move on to the other metrics, like CTR, average session duration, bounce rate, etc. If you find an audience that isn’t performing well, pause it and use a high-performing audience. You can try new Ad creative and test new landing pages.


Creating custom intent audiences is a great way to target the users who are in your sales funnel. These are the audiences who have shown interest in a group, service, product, or brand. It provides you with a way to encourage the already engaged audience to complete the desired action. Moreover, understanding the user intent help guide you through strategy and decide when you need to change the strategy. If the audience isn’t performing well, you can try new creative before eliminating them.


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