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How to Create a Lookalike Audience in Google Ads

Alexandra Vilchinskaya December 1, 2022
5 min read

Disclaimer: Use the data about your existing customers to target similar audiences and increase sales.

Before you can sell a product to someone, you must first find that person and persuade them that they require your product. In the past, you might have gone out into the street and yelled to passers-by about your new service. In the modern world, there is no need to be that embarrassed. You just need to explore the possibilities of online advertising and marketing. According to, there are more than five billion Internet users worldwide, which is 63.1% of the population. 4.7 billion of them, or 59 percent of the world’s population, are social media users. As a result, your target audience is almost certainly someplace online; all you need is the right technology to identify them.

What exactly is Google Ads?

In our blog, we share information and experience regarding different marketing issues, programs, and tools. Google Ads was mentioned several times as a modern and easy-to-use platform for both experienced marketers and inexperienced newcomers. The functionality of the tool covers a wide range of possibilities, such as creating online advertising, setting the target audience and traffic channels, and allocating the budget for each ad. Users monitor the effectiveness of the campaigns after they are launched and, if necessary, provide relevant optimization.

What is a lookalike audience?

Advertising with Google Ads starts with creating campaigns. However, before moving on to creating ad campaigns, you need to know who your audience is. Why is it important? Because once you’ve closed the first few random sales, you’ll need to find your next customers, and you’d better know where to look. A complete customer profile provides marketers with information such as potential clients’ age and gender, interests, and “pains,” which leads to a specific choice of websites. A twenty-five-year-old unemployed woman will most likely use a different set of web resources than a forty-two-year-old full-time employed male. As a result, as a marketer, you should consider various sorts of content and channels through which to put adverts for your target market. Usually, the scope of characteristic features of the target audience allows advertisers to create a portrait of a typical client. This portrait is then used in the process of developing catchy ads.

The technology of machine learning embedded in the Google Ads platform allows users to generate those portraits of a typical client faster and more conveniently. The audience similar to those customer profiles will be a lookalike audience for your product or service. In other words, the lookalike audience comprises people who are potentially interested in your product. Marketers can use that audience to target ads more precisely and increase conversion rates.

How do you build a lookalike audience?

You need to use the data about your past clients as a benchmark for creating similar audiences. Such issues as geographic location, demographics, and browsing routes help to build a new range of followers. However, Google Ads requires at least 100 visitors to your website or ad leads to generate a lookalike audience. Shared visitor lists are not permitted.

Here’s a quick guide to creating lookalike audiences in Google Ads:

  • Select “Audiences” in the navigation bar of your Google Ads account.
  • In the section “Edit audiences”, choose a group with a pencil icon.
  • In the box “All audiences”, click on the lists you wish to use for similar audiences.
  • Save the changes.
  • Call tracking as a means of expanding your audience

    If your business involves communication with customers over the phone, you must be using a call tracking software platform. It usually provides companies with virtual phone numbers that are allocated to online and offline ads. The analytical data about the inbound calls is stored safely in the call log. This data is a box of insights regarding possible campaign optimizations as well as customer details. Depending on the settings of ad campaigns, call tracking platforms may show the customer route, keywords browsed, and other metrics that can be successfully used to characterize a common customer. Therefore, this data can be loaded into the Customer Match tool and used for targeting customers similar to the existing ones.

    Please note: Google Ads has informed that this feature will be gradually discontinued starting in May 2023. However, more advanced functionality will definitely appear to support online marketing and targeting.

    Benefits of creating lookalike audiences

    • Wider brand awareness: more people will get acquainted with your product or service, boosting the likelihood of larger earnings.
    • Higher conversions: a lookalike audience has something in common with your existing clients. Thus, they are more likely to buy from you.
    • Technological advancement: lookalike audiences are made by artificial intelligence. Therefore, there is no chance for a human mistake. The data is analyzed by a computer, which provides you with insights for relevant further optimization.
    • Easier management: once the target audience is determined, the hard part of launching advertising campaigns is over. You can concentrate on campaign optimization, probing new traffic sources, etc., leaving the target to well-developed tools.
    • Reduced costs: probing the market, displaying your ads to the wrong people on the news feeds, and paying per click is blowing the budget fast. With the audiences set automatically, there is a significant money saving.

    Wrap up

    Building lookalike audiences that will come to conversions enables marketers to automate part of the tasks, increase sales, and focus on more challenging issues. However, efficient targeting depends on how well you know your clients. Therefore, a thorough analysis of the first closed deals and the first generated leads should take place to create a detailed customer profile.

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