How to Target the Correct Audience with Google and Facebook Paid Ads

Google and Facebook’s ads have different ways of both reaching your target audience and filtering out low-quality traffic. However, it’s important to remember that Google and Facebook make a portion of their revenue from users clicking on your ad, so they have no problem showing your ad to as many users as possible, even if they aren’t the audience members you were wanting to reach. Translation? It’s up to you (or the Denver marketing agency you’ve partnered with) to filter down to only users that fit within your audience scope.

Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook’s audience targeting is located at the ad set level under “Audience.” In this section, you’ll be able to adjust the location, age, gender, detailed targeting, and language. If you do not have any pre-saved custom or lookalike audiences and want to build one, review Facebook’s instructions here.

Denver Marketing Agency Shows Facebook Ads Location Demonstration

“Location” determines how far Facebook should reach to show users your ad. It is important to note that Facebook allows you to choose whether to target users that “live in or recently were in this location,” “are living in this location,” “recently were in this location,” or “are traveling in this location.” Age and gender can also be adjusted. However, if you are advertising for credit cards, loans, jobs, housing, or social issues, age range and gender cannot be due to Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights laws.

“Detailed demographic” is where the perfect user starts to really come into focus. As all Denver ad agencies should know, there are over 300 interests to choose from as of January 2023, so make sure to find as many as possible that define your audience. A helpful tool our Denver marketing agency uses is called the “Narrow Audience” option, which means users that fit into your first list of interest must also fit into this second list. Narrowing your audience allows Facebook a more transparent view of the user you’re trying to target.

“Exclude” is another option under detailed targeting that Denver marketing agencies use. Interests added to the “Exclude” section means Facebook will filter out any users in this interest group. This is helpful for when a low-quality user might still fit into your first level of interests but if they are also in an audience you add to the “Excluded” list, they will be filtered out. For example, if you sell skis and snowboards, you’ll likely include the interest “ski” and “skiing”, but you’ll also want to exclude the interest “waterskiing.”

Denver Marketing Agency Conducted Detailed Demographic Demonstration for Facebook Ads

There are even more options for streamlining your ads like placement and ad scheduling, but the Audience section in the ad set is where you define most of your targeting.

Google Ads Targeting

Google has multiple places to define users but the main area our Denver ad agency recommends editing is the “Audience” tab. Under this tab you can click “Edit Audience Segments” and Google will allow you to add audiences to a campaign or ad group level. From here, much like with Facebook, you can really narrow in on the user you want seeing your ad. There are thousands, yes thousands, of options here, so make sure to take your time and search all areas that encompass your campaign’s objective. Like Facebook’s “Narrow” option, Google provides “combined segments” under the browse option to the right of the search option.

Denver Marketing Agency Explores Google Ads Audience Segments

From here, you or your Denver marketing agency can create custom audiences for users that must fall under each segment you include, creating a more transparent user for Google to target.

If you have Google Analytics linked to your Google Ads account, you can build custom audiences in Analytics and import them into Google Ads. This audience type is more advanced, but also more specific, so make sure to ask a Denver marketing agency if you need assistance. These audiences can be found under Browse > How They Interact with Your Business > Website Visitors.

Still Needing Some Guidance? Try Using a Premier Denver Marketing Agency

Now that you have a general idea of how to get your ads in front of the correct audience, you should see a change in your traffic/clicks. If your clicks decrease, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It just means the low-quality traffic that could see your ads before are no longer able to click on them. This allows your budget to be spent more efficiently and align your campaigns with the correct users that are likely to convert.

If you and your team want to consult with the pros for help instead of giving it a shot on your own, rest assured that our Google and Facebook ad experts here at Red Egg would be happy to help. Reach out to us at or at 720-782-1284 and we can start working together on optimizing your ad campaigns and driving more conversions.