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Google Analytics 4 Audience Builder

Last Modified on December 6, 2023

Introduction

Welcome to the new era of audience insights with Google Analytics 4 (GA4)!

Let’s dive into what this means for you and how Google Analytics 4 audience builder is set to redefine your audience engagement strategies.

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Let’s dive in!

What is GA4 Audience Builder?

GA4 Audience Builder is a groundbreaking tool within the Google Ads ecosystem, designed to streamline and enhance your audience creation and management process.

This tool represents a significant leap from the traditional ways of handling audience data, offering a more seamless, efficient approach.

Core Features and Benefits:

  1. Direct Integration with Google Ads: GA4 Audience Builder allows you to create and manage Google Analytics audiences right within your Google Ads account. This integration means you can build and refine your audiences in one place, without the hassle of switching between platforms.
  2. Enhanced User Access and Control: Whether you’re an account owner, manager, or user, GA4 empowers you to craft campaign-specific audiences directly in Google Ads. This feature enhances collaboration and control, making audience management more accessible and less time-consuming.
  3. Automated Sharing Across Linked Accounts: One of the standout features of GA4 Audience Builder is its ability to automatically share new audiences with all linked accounts that have ‘ads personalization’ enabled. This automation ensures consistency and efficiency across your advertising efforts, saving you the trouble of manually sharing audience data.
  4. Creating Audiences in Audience Manager and Campaigns: GA4 Audience Builder is versatile. You can create audiences both in the Audience Manager and while setting up a new campaign. This flexibility allows for real-time audience adjustments and refinements, ensuring your campaigns are always targeting the most relevant audiences.
  5. Simplified Linking and Permissions: Before you start, ensure your Google Analytics 4 account is linked with your Google Ads account. The process requires administrative access in Google Ads and at least Marketer level permissions in GA4. This setup is crucial for a smooth audience creation experience.
  6. Transitioning from UA to GA4 Audiences: GA4 facilitates the transition by attaching equivalent GA4 audience segments to campaigns and ad groups previously using UA audiences. This feature is particularly useful for those still dependent on UA audiences, ensuring a smoother migration to GA4’s advanced audience capabilities.

Preparation Before Starting

Before you dive into the world of GA4 Audience Builder, there’s a bit of groundwork to cover.

Let’s walk through the essential steps to ensure you’re all set to make the most of GA4’s capabilities.

1. Linking Google Analytics 4 with Google Ads:

  • The First Step: Your journey begins with linking your Google Analytics 4 (GA4) account to your Google Ads account. This step is crucial as it bridges your analytics with your advertising efforts.
  • How to Link: Access your GA4 account and navigate to the Admin section. Here, you’ll find the option to link Google Ads to GA4. Follow the prompts, and voilà, you’re linked!

2. Ensuring Proper Access and Permissions:

  • Google Ads Access: Make sure you have administrative access to your Google Ads account or a Google Ads manager account. This level of access is necessary to manage and create audiences effectively.
  • Google Analytics Permissions: In GA4, your account should have at least Marketer level permissions. This ensures you can edit or create Analytics Audiences within your Google Ads account.
  • Auto-Tagging Setup: Don’t forget to set up auto-tagging in your Google Ads account. This feature is vital for tracking Google Ads campaign data in GA4.

3. Checking Account Compatibility:

  • Compatibility Check: Ensure that your Google Ads and GA4 accounts are compatible and properly configured to communicate with each other. This step is often overlooked but is key to a smooth operation.

How GA4 Audience Builder Works

Now that you’re all set up, let’s dive into how GA4 Audience Builder works.

1. Creating and Managing Audiences Directly in Google Ads:

  • Direct Creation: With GA4 Audience Builder, you can create new Google Analytics audiences right within your Google Ads account. This integration means no more toggling between platforms.
  • Where to Create: You have two main avenues – either directly in the Audience Manager or during the campaign creation process. This flexibility allows for on-the-fly audience adjustments.

2. Automatic Sharing of Audiences:

  • Seamless Sharing: Any new GA4 audience you create through the Audience Builder in Google Ads is automatically shared with all linked accounts that have ads personalization enabled. This feature ensures that your audience insights are consistently applied across all your campaigns.

3. Transitioning from UA to GA4 Audiences:

  • Smooth Transition: For those who have been using UA audiences, GA4 eases the shift. Equivalent GA4 audience segments are automatically attached to your existing campaigns and ad groups.
  • Setup Assistant’s Role: The GA4 Setup Assistant plays a crucial role here, especially for those still reliant on UA audiences. It sets up a basic GA4 property, ensuring a smoother migration.
  • Opting Out: If you prefer not to use the automatic transition feature, you have the option to opt-out. This can be done by adding individual Google Ads account IDs in the provided form.

4. Manual Migration Recommendation:

  • Why Manual Migration?: Despite the automated features, a manual migration is still recommended for the best results. This approach allows for a more tailored and precise audience setup, ensuring your campaigns are as effective as possible.

5. Understanding Audience Configuration:

  • Not All Automatic: It’s important to note that not all audience types will be automatically configured. This is where your strategic input becomes crucial.
  • Audience Review and Refinement: Regularly reviewing and refining your audiences ensures they remain relevant and effective for your campaigns.

Creating a Google Analytics 4 Segment for a New Campaign

Alright, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty of creating a Google Analytics 4 segment for your brand-new campaign.

This process is where GA4 Audience Builder really shines, allowing you to craft targeted segments that can significantly boost your campaign’s effectiveness.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to make this process smooth.

  1. Accessing Google Ads:
    • Log into your Google Ads account.
    • Click on the Campaigns icon.
  2. Starting a New Campaign:
    • Click the plus button and select New campaign.
    • Choose your campaign objective and type, then click Continue.
  3. Audience Setup:
    • In the campaign setup, locate the Audience card.
    • Click on Add an audience.
  4. Creating GA4 Audience:
    • In the new window, select + New Audience.
    • Go to the search bar in the ‘Your data’ section, then select ‘+ Your data’.
  5. Selecting Google Analytics Segments:
    • Under Segment types powered by other products, choose Google Analytics segments.
    • Scroll to Select a Google Analytics property and pick a GA4 property.
  6. Linking and Enabling Properties:
    • If not linked, click Link new property and choose your GA4 property.
    • To enable audience import, select the property, go to Manage settings, and enable Import Google Analytics audiences.
  7. Finalizing Audience:
    • After selecting and enabling the GA4 property, click Continue.
    • Acknowledge the notification confirming the audience creation and click Done.
  8. Saving and Resuming Campaign:
    • In the New audience window, click Save Audience.
    • Resume campaign creation with your new audience.

Creating a Google Analytics 4 Audience in Audience Manager

Now, let’s switch gears and focus on crafting a Google Analytics audience directly in the Audience Manager of Google Ads.

Here’s how you can whip up an audience that’s sure to resonate with your campaign goals.

  1. Accessing Audience Manager:
    • Log into your Google Ads account.
    • Click the Tools icon and navigate to the Shared library section. Here, access the Audience manager.
  2. Starting the Audience Creation Process:
    • In the ‘Your data segments’ tab, click the plus button and select + Google Analytics segments.
    • Search for your linked GA4 property in the pop-up window and click Continue.
  3. Building Your Custom Audience:
    • In the ‘Build new audience’ window, choose Create a custom audience in the ‘Start from scratch’ section.
    • Define your audience based on behaviors, interests, demographics, or combinations thereof.
  4. Saving and Publishing Your Audience:
    • Once the audience is defined, click Save and publish.
    • Acknowledge the notification confirming the creation of your new audience and click Done.
  5. Understanding Limitations:
    • Be aware of the audience limit in your GA4 property; a notification will appear if the limit is reached.

Limitations and Considerations

As we near the end of our deep dive into the Google Analytics 4 Audience Builder, it’s crucial to pause and consider a few limitations and considerations.

Think of this as the fine print in a contract – not the most exciting part, but definitely important to understand to make the most out of GA4.

1. Audience Size Limitations:

  • Keeping an Eye on the Cap: Remember, there’s a cap on the number of audiences you can create in your GA4 property. If you hit this ceiling, you’ll get a heads-up. This is like having a full closet – before adding more, you might need to clear out what you don’t use.

2. Not All Audiences Are Automatically Configured:

  • Manual Touch Required: While GA4 does a lot, it doesn’t do everything. Some audience types won’t configure automatically. This means you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and do some manual tweaking to ensure your audiences are just right.

3. Regular Review and Refinement:

  • Keep Evolving: Your audiences aren’t set in stone. Regularly reviewing and refining them is key. Markets change, behaviors shift – your audiences should adapt too.

4. Understanding Permissions and Access:

  • Access Matters: Ensure you have the right level of access in both Google Ads and GA4. Without this, you might find yourself locked out of key features.

5. Integration with Other Google Products:

  • Synergy is Key: GA4 Audience Builder works best when it’s part of a broader strategy that includes other Google products. Integration and synergy across platforms can amplify your results.

Conclusion

And there you have it – a comprehensive guide to mastering the Google Analytics 4 Audience Builder.

This tool isn’t just a new feature, it changes how we approach audience segmentation and campaign targeting.

Read the official Google documentation.

To continue learning, check out recent update on GA4 scheduled reports.

What do you think of this update? Have you implemented it already? Let us know in the comments below!

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