What audience solutions are available in Search Ads 360?


Neil Rodley

PPC Account Manager


Google Marketing Platform

When it comes to running paid media campaigns, getting in front of the right audience is key to your success.

Search Ads 360, Google’s premium search management tool, has a greater ability to customize your audience targeting and activation for better results. In this blog, we will run through the various audience solutions available in Search Ads 360 from utilizing audiences set up in other Google products and pushing to others.

If you’re interested in learning more about the features and benefits of SA360, you can read our previous blogs ‘What is Search Ads 360’ and ‘What bidding strategies are available in Search Ads 360’.

Google Ads

If you’re making the move from Google Ads to Search Ads 360, you’ll be pleased to know that your Google Ads remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) can be synced with Search Ads 360 and used to tailor your PPC campaigns by:

  • Targeting ads at specific users
  • Preventing ads from displaying to certain users
  • Adjusting keyword bids to users in your remarketing lists.

Remarketing lists can be applied at both Campaign and Ad Group level.

Display & Video 360

You can also easily target your SA360 remarketing lists in Display & Video 360 – as part of the GMP, they share the same cookie space which means search and display remarketing campaigns do not require any additional tags on your site.

To use this solution, set up Search Ads 360 to add cookie IDs to a remarketing list when a user clicks through specified search ads. You can then set DV360 to either target relevant display ads to these users, exclude users in this list from seeing your ads, or combine users with DV360 audiences to improve your targeting.

Google Analytics 360

As part of the Google Marketing Platform stack, Search Ads 360 fully integrates with Analytics 360 (GA360) which means you can utilize your analytics audiences in your paid search campaigns.

There are four main types of analytics audiences which can be used in your SA360 campaigns:

  • Smart lists – GA360 uses machine learning to identify which users are most likely to convert
  • Session quality – GA360 uses on-site behavior to calculate how close a user is to converting
  • Conversion probability – GA360 uses machine learning to predict the likelihood that a user will convert in the future
  • Funnel lists – GA360 segments users based on where they are in the sales funnel (where stages have been defined and set up in analytics).

Leveraging your analytics audiences in Search Ads 360 means you can improve performance and spend your budget more efficiently, as bids are adjusted based on the likelihood a user will convert.

Custom Floodlight variables

You can use custom Floodlight variables to create bid strategies in SA360 which focus on conversions with specific characteristics e.g. if someone is a new or returning customer, users from a specific location, etc.

You can create up to 100 custom Floodlight variables in Campaign Manager (consisting of 50 custom metrics and 50 custom dimensions), all of which can be used in SA360. While the variable is available within Campaign Manager almost instantly, the data only begins to collect once you’ve also set the variable up in the search platform – even if Floodlight tags have been recording the data for some time. It’s recommended that you plan ahead to set up potential variables of interest, so that there is a backlog of data should you decide to use them.

Campaign Manager

You are not able to directly utilize audiences from Campaign Manager. However, you can see how users from display campaigns respond to your search campaigns by creating an audience list of visitors who have completed a Floodlight activity on your site (e.g. clicking through a display ad). You can then see how the users in this list respond to your search ads in Search Ads 360 reports.

If you find that users who have engaged with display ads typically have a higher conversion rates, you can set up remarketing lists for this audience in Google Ads or Search Ads 360.

Social media

While management of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter campaigns is not possible through SA360, you can track and report on their performance. Once imported into SA360, you can then label your social campaigns, ad groups or ads for use in remarketing lists, and use them to enhance your search ads performance. You can also create a parallel remarketing list so that users who have engaged with search ads are put on an audience list which can then be targeted in your paid social campaigns.

Creating cross-channel search and social ad campaigns can help to improve the overall performance of your paid media. You will need to use Floodlight as your tracking solution to use this feature.

Search Ads 360 Adaptive Remarketing Targets

SA360 Adaptive Remarketing Targets is a feature which combines remarketing lists with automation to help reach a campaign goal. This feature uses historical performance to assess whether targets are likely to improve performance and then amends or creates targets based on this data. If you have applied a conversion goal or are using bid strategies, SA360 will also make bid adjustments.

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