What is a Custom Intent Audience?

Feb 14, 2020 | Sales + Training

When consumers are actively looking for a product or service, not only do they use search engines, but they also engage with content, like product specs and reviews, across the internet. Google’s Display Network provides campaign managers the ability to leverage these audiences for their advertisers’ businesses. Many different targeting options can be used to reach potential buyers on the Display network, including Custom Intent audiences.

What is a Custom Intent Audience?

With Custom Intent audiences, campaign managers can utilize keywords to target users engaging with content that is relevant to the products or services being offered by their advertisers’ businesses. By promoting their offerings on the Display network, advertisers have the opportunity to engage with consumers as they move through the purchase cycle and ensure their brands’ offerings are top of mind when the buyer is ready to make a purchase.

(Note: Custom Intent Audiences are available on the Google Display Network only. )

Custom Intent audiences allow campaign managers to expand the targeting of their advertisers’ campaigns outside the bounds of predefined audience categories.

Using the specified keyphrases, Google then builds audiences based on consumer behavior. Since the targeted audience is already intending to purchase, this type of audience targeting is great for driving conversions.

Benefits of Custom Intent Audiences

  • Leveraging Local – Custom Intent audiences offer a great opportunity to leverage your local audiences for businesses that have brick-and-mortar locations. Add keywords that contain local landmarks or location-based terms – keywords that would help determine the location of potential buyers. E.g.: “Bridal store near Griffith Observatory”.
  • Competitive Advantage – Custom Intent targeting can be used to target customers purchasing from an advertiser’s competitor. Use competitor brand keywords to route potential buyers from a competitor’s business to your advertiser’s.
  • Better Results – Since Custom Intent targeting is so precise, it may lead to an overall decrease in click volume. But the clicks that your advertiser does receive will be more qualified – more chances of converting at lower acquisition costs (CPA).
  • Greater Focus – Custom Intent audiences can be used for promoting specific verticals or landing pages on your advertisers’ websites. E.g.: if your advertiser sells both men’s and women’s wear on their website, you could set up separate segments, in adVantage, to advertise each and implement Custom Intent audiences for each of those segments. This will also lead to increased CTR.
  • Brand Building – If you target competitor audiences looking for products/services similar to the ones being offered by your advertiser, you will essentially be building your advertiser’s brand as well as attracting new leads.

Custom Intent Audience in adVantage

In adVantage, Custom Intent audience can be specified at the Segment level, via a set of related keyphrases that will help Google understand the type of audience being targeted. It is important to note that this audience type is only available for the Google Display Network.


adVantage offers campaign managers the ability to report the performance of each individual Custom Intent audience being used.


Best Practices

  • Use Your Own Data – If you’re already running a paid search campaign, using your top converting paid search keywords is a great place to start with adding keyphrases to your Custom Intent audience.
  • Focused Keywords – Be sure to add keywords that are specific to the products/services being offered by your advertiser. Also, include close alternative keyphrases. that may be used by potential customers.