One of the most powerful tools in your PPC arsenal is an audience list. Simply put, it’s a grouping of site visitors who’ve engaged with your pages for the purposes of ad targeting. It’s the first step to setting up a remarketing campaign and can be your most qualified traffic for conversion.

Know Your Goal

As with every other task in PPC, there should be a clear correlation between your efforts and your goal. Knowing your goal before you create an audience list is an essential step in creating an audience list, because not all site visitors are equal. Depending on the pages viewed, some visitors will be more qualified for conversion than others. For example, if you wanted to show display ads for a new software upgrade, then you’ll want to make sure that your audience list is collecting visitors who’ve engaged with your product pages. Understanding your goal will allow you to focus your audience list to only group the visitors you want.  

Know Your Visitors

We’ve touched on this a little bit previously – site visitors who’ve engaged with a certain set of pages will be more qualified than other visitors. Depending on your platform, you can also add filters to your audience list so that you’re capturing the most qualified users possible. Google Analytics is one popular platform with flexible filters like:

  • Time spent on site
  • Total number of pages visited
  • Specific pages visited
  • Specific events
  • Visitor demographics
  • Geographic qualifiers

What Are Visitors Getting from Your Site?

Learning about your visitors will require some SEO work. Specifically, which pages are generating valuable traffic, how do visitors engage with your content, and an understanding of the channels used? Knowing the answers to these questions offers insight on who your visitors the value that they take away from your pages. This information is exceptionally helpful in assigning personas to your audience list, as well as creative ideas for your ads.

Optimize Your Strategy

It will take time for your audience list to build members and generate data. Generally, you want to aim for a minimum of 100 active visitors within a span of 30-days for display ads, 1,000 active visitors for search ads. Once you’ve reached this minimum, you can test your audience list by enabling ads and adjust your filters. Some strategies to consider:

  1. Membership duration: Depending on the platform, you can hold membership from a week to two-months (60 days). If your impressions are low for a list that is large, then consider lengthening the membership duration. If impressions are high and clicks are surpassing your daily budget, you may want to consider finding a sweet spot with your membership duration.
  2. Frequency caps: You don’t want your ads to be perceived as spam. If a user hasn’t engaged with an ad upon the first impression, chances are they won’t the second. Experiment with your frequency cap and monitor your click-through-rate for adjustments as needed.
  3. Landing page content: You audience list is made of people who have visited your site. Depending on your filters, if you’ve limited membership to cart abandonment, then you’ll want to promote a landing page that speaks directly to these visitors. This type of content will be different from someone who has only looked at the product page. Take the landing page into consideration as you’re analyzing your audience list.

Building an effective audience list is a process that involves a thorough understanding of your site’s content and visitors. While it takes time to build a visitor base and experimentation of your filters and messaging, steadily optimizing your list can help produce some of your most qualified traffic for conversion.

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