This is the second post in a series on the Google AdWords Audience tab . In the first post in the series, we walked through what an AdWords audience really is and the types of audiences you can target . In this post we’ll focus on the reporting options available via the audience tab and what you can do with the data.
Why Wouldn’t My AdWords Audience Reports Show?
Before you can determine what to do with your audience reporting data, of course, you need to actually have the data. Many accounts will show something like this:
If you haven’t already created and targeted a specific audience, you’ll be presented with the message above (“There are no targets in this campaign”). Similarly, if you’ve chosen the specific targeting method within campaign settings under network setting options (also labeled: Show ads only on pages that match all selected targeting methods) you won’t be shown any reporting data. From Google’s documentation :
When your campaign settings are set for your ad to appear when all targeting criteria match, although the ad will appear only when your audience or topic matches, the Audiences or Topics tab will show 0 for all stats (impressions, clicks, etc.).
On the other hand, if you’re leveraging the broad targeting method you’ll be able to access the same columns of information broken down by audience that you would at the campaign, ad group, or keyword level:
What Can You Do With Google AdWords Audience Data?
Analyzing and responding to AdWords audience data is very similar to analyzing and responding to data at the keyword or placement level. You can identify outliers within your campaigns that are performing particularly well or poorly, and as with other types of data analysis within AdWords you can create filters from the AdWords tab to get to specific types of information:
You can also set up similar filters and formulas in Excel. From there you can also adjust Max CPCs at the audience level so that you can bid more aggressively on audiences that perform well or bid more conservatively on audiences that aren’t performing well:
By editing your audiences, you can change the Max CPC. You might have constructed audiences based around a variety of different, factors such as:
- Remarketing  audiences with different cookie lengths (1 day, 30 days, 90 days, etc.)
- Remarketing audiences who have taken certain actions (e.g. viewed a key page) and/or not another (e.g. viewed a key page but didn’t convert to a lead or sale)
- Specific interest categories
- Combinations of multiple factors
By looking at the performance of your audiences, you’re able to evaluate which segments work well and which don’t, and you can either pause certain audiences or adjust bids accordingly. For display campaigns that have been carefully constructed and generate a lot of value, this can be an important dimension from which to view the performance of your display campaign.
Of course, a lot of the actual data here will be impacted by how well you construct your campaigns and create your audiences. In the next and final installment of our series on AdWords audiences on Thursday, we’ll talk about some of the specific applications for audiences and some of the specific combinations you can create to help reach the right prospects with the right messages at the right time.
About the Author
Tom Demers  is co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM , a boutique Boston SEO  and PPC agency offering search marketing consulting services including pay-per-click account management, comprehensive SEO audits , content marketing strategies , SEO reputation management  and link building services  for a variety of specific niches such as B2B SEO .