How To Use Performance Max Audience Signals

Posted in: PPC

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If you are an eCommerce business currently running Google’s Performance Max campaigns or planning to advertise on Google soon, it’s crucial to consider using Performance Max’s Audience Signals feature. This powerful tool found within asset groups of Performance Max campaigns enables you to precisely target your ads to specific audiences with great effectiveness.

By leveraging data from your website and other Google properties, you can create personalized campaigns that reach the right people at the right time.

In this article, we will cover all the essential information about Performance Max audience signals so that you set your campaign up for success!

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What Are Performance Max Audience Signals?

Performance Max is a powerful tool that automates campaigns by utilizing machine learning to optimize bids and placements for optimal performance.

One of its major advantages is the Audience Signals feature, which enables advertisers to target particular audiences based on their interests and behaviors.

Audience Signals provide advertisers with an excellent opportunity to target users who are more likely to be interested in their products or services. By using this feature, marketing managers can inform Google about the potential customers of their business, helping Google’s machine learning to understand more about the business. Alternatively, Performance Max can analyze user behavior across multiple signals, including search history, location, and device type, to identify audiences that are most likely to convert and show them relevant ads.

To create a profile of potential customers with a high probability of interest in the product or service, it’s best to include multiple indicators within Audience Signals to increase the chances of them seeing your ads.

For instance, an advertiser selling running shoes can use Audience Signals to target users who have recently searched for running gear, live in a city with many runners, and use mobile devices. This allows the advertiser to reach a specific audience with relevant ads, increasing the chances of conversion and maximizing ROI.

Audience Signals are dynamic and can adapt to changing user behavior over time.

As machine learning starts to work, Performance Max can adjust targeting to focus on the most successful signals as users interact with ads, ensuring that the ads always reach the most relevant audience. However, it’s important to note that Google’s algorithm will need some time to learn about your business, resulting in wasted resources if Audience Signals are not utilized.

Therefore, it’s best to research your target audience before relying on AI technology to get the most out of the Audience Signals feature. By knowing your customer, you can use custom audience segments, demographics, and other indicators to tell Google who to focus on. When building a profile of a potential customer, the sky’s the limit, and your only limitation is your imagination.

Customer Match Lists Audience Signals

Targeting the right audience is crucial for the success of your campaigns.

According to some marketers, it can cost up to 5 times more to acquire new customers than to sell to existing ones.

With Performance Max, you have the option to utilize customer match lists, which will allow you to create targeted ads based on previous interactions with your brand, thus reducing the CPA for your campaign.

For instance, you can focus on people who have previously purchased from your website or subscribed to your newsletter.

By creating ads that are more likely to convert, you increase your chances of reaching the right audience and maintaining a consistent brand message across all channels. Performance Max lets you run campaigns on various networks, such as Google Search, YouTube, and the Google Display Network, enabling you to expand your reach and potentially increase conversion rates.

Suppose you display your ads within YouTube, Gmail, and Google’s partner websites to visitors who added products to their cart but later abandoned them without completing the purchase. In that case, you can remind them to finalize the purchase, ultimately improving your business’s profitability.

One of the significant advantages of Performance Max is its real-time ad campaign optimization.

To get started with Performance Max customer match lists, you need to upload your customer data to Google Ads. By using uploaded customer data, Google’s machine learning algorithms will find the best matches for your ads.

These audiences will be similar to the ones who have already converted on your website, but not necessarily the same customers. Performance Max will adjust your campaigns as your customer data changes, ensuring that you always reach the audience with the highest conversion potential. Utilizing customer match lists are definitely dependent on your current strategy but are worth looking into if you’re open to testing.

Custom Segments Audience Signals

In addition to customer match lists, Performance Max also enables you to target specific customer segments based on their behavior and interests. Identifying these segments and tailoring your messaging and ad placements can increase engagement and improve conversion rates.

According to Google, “custom segments help you reach your ideal audience by entering relevant keywords, URLs, and apps,” which can be immensely beneficial when used correctly.

The best part about custom segments is that you can add websites and apps that you think your customers could visit, and those visitors will be targeted for your products and services, making this feature a potent tool.

To create custom segments, your primary task will be to list keywords and find relevant websites and apps that relate to your products and services.

For instance, if you have an iPhone accessories business, you can add,, and Otterbox to your custom segments to attract visitors who are most likely interested in what you offer.

Interests and Detailed Demographics

Targeting the audience with detailed demographics and interests is an effective way to ensure that your ads reach the right people.

By targeting specific demographics such as age, gender, location, and interests, you can optimize your ad performance and increase your return on investment. Typically, effective targeting involves at least four demographic attributes.

Interests are another crucial factor to consider when targeting potential customers. By analyzing user data, you can identify the interests of your target audience and tailor your ads to their preferences. This approach can significantly improve the effectiveness of your campaigns and increase the chances of conversion.

Detailed demographics targeting can help you reach specific segments of your audience. For instance, targeting specific age groups, genders, or locations can optimize your ad performance.

Let’s take the example of an Otterbox Defender case for the iPhone 14 Pro Max to understand proper target audience analysis better: Their target audience is “Males, 25-34, New York, construction workers.”

Gender and age may also be essential factors in optimized targeting. In our case, Defender cases are more targeted toward males between 25 and 34. Utilizing age can help further narrow down to the correct audience. .

Depending on your campaign goals and products, location targeting may play a critical role in targeting because you may want to focus on specific countries or states. It is better to have multiple campaigns tailored to specific groups rather than general audience signals.

Occupations or interests are equally important in this target audience analysis. In our analysis, construction workers are more likely to purchase Otterbox Defender cases because of their bulky size, which offers greater phone protection.

By understanding the needs and preferences of your target audience, you can create ads that resonate with them and drive conversions. A detailed target audience analysis helps you understand the importance of detailed demographics and interest targeting.

Continuously analyzing and refining your targeting strategy is key to success. Use performance data to determine what works and what doesn’t, and adjust your targeting accordingly. By doing so, you can maximize your ad performance and reach your target audience effectively.

Audience Insights Report

Google Performance Max now offers Audience Insights, a report that provides valuable information about your customers and their interests.

The Audience Insights report collects data on demographics such as age, gender, location, and interests from visitors to your website and those who viewed and converted from your ads. This data is crucial in improving your campaigns or planning for future ones!

Another feature of the Audience Insights report is that it shows how your audience interacts with your ads. You can see how many clicks, impressions, index, and conversions your ads generate and which ad formats and placements perform best. This information can help you make data-driven decisions about where to allocate your advertising budget and which ad formats to prioritize.

Audience Insights is a powerful tool that you should explore, and you will find data there that will be extremely helpful.

For example, the screenshot below shows that an account selling hardware attracts people in the market for “lawn mowers, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, garden sheds, etc.”

Customer Match Lists

Besides providing insights into your existing audience, the Audience Insights Report can help you identify new potential customers. By analyzing the interests and behaviors of your current audience, you can create lookalike audiences that are more likely to engage with your ads and convert into customers.

Overall, the Audience Insights Report is an excellent resource for gaining a better understanding of your audience and maximizing the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Testing Performance Max Audience Signals

You have done all your research, know who your potential customer is, built your audience, and are ready to start advertising to sell. But how do you know if Performance Max Audiences is working for you? That’s where testing comes in. By testing different audiences and ad campaigns, you can see which ones perform best and adjust accordingly.

Here are some tips for testing Performance Max Audiences:

  1. Start with a small budget: This strategy will allow you to test different audiences and ad campaigns without spending all your budget before you find out it’s the wrong audience.
  2. Test different audiences: Try creating different audiences based on various factors, such as demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  3. Monitor your results: Keep track of your ads’ performance and make adjustments as needed.
  4. Create multiple campaigns: Don’t be afraid to create several campaigns with slight variations. Sometimes small differences can make a significant impact on your conversion rate.

By testing Performance Max Audiences, you can ensure that your ad campaigns reach the right audience and generate the results you are looking for.

So, try it out and see how it can work for you!

Remember, running marketing campaigns requires you to be open-minded, flexible, and willing to challenge your assumptions. If you see data contradicting your own assumptions, go with what data is telling you.


Using Performance Max Audience Signals can significantly benefit your advertising campaigns. By leveraging the powerful algorithms of Google, you can create a highly targeted audience that is most likely to engage with your ads and take action.

It is crucial to continually monitor and optimize your campaigns to ensure they perform at their best. AI will need guidance to know it is moving in the right direction. Without your guidance, Google won’t know if its optimizations are working.

With the right approach and a little experimentation, you can easily unlock the full potential of Performance Max Audience Signals and achieve your advertising goals.

Remember to test different audiences and ad campaigns, monitor your results closely, and be open-minded and flexible. By doing so, you can create more effective ad campaigns, reach your target audience, and generate better results.

So go ahead and try it out – you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make!

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