GA 4 Remarketing Guide: Creating and Optimizing Audience Lists for Effective Campaign Targeting

9/28/202311 min read


In the dynamic realm of today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, the significance of optimizing marketing endeavors cannot be overstated. As businesses strive to extract the utmost value from every investment, strategies like remarketing campaigns emerge as potent tools to achieve a noteworthy Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). The concept of remarketing is the ability to market users who have visited your website in the past.

GA4 audience goes beyond the basic demographics, you can consider users' interactions, interests, and behaviors.

By harnessing the power of GA4 audiences, businesses can gain insights into various facets of user engagement. Whether it's tracking specific actions, like clicking on buttons or watching videos, or understanding the flow of users through different parts of the website, audiences provide a detailed view that can inform strategic decisions.

Note: Please ensure that your Google Ads account is linked with your GA4 property. For any help on ‘How to link Google Ads account to GA4’ or any other Google Analytics Migration step click here.

How to access and create Audience/Remarketing list(s)

Navigation :
Admin > Property > Audience > New Audience

How to create a new custom Audience(s)

Navigation :
New Audience > Create a custom audience

How to create a “New user” list.

Navigation :
Step 1: Create a custom audience > Add a new condition

Step 2: search for “first_visit” and select the same from the search result
First_visit is an automatically tracked event GA4 that tracks when visitors reach the site for the very first time (see screenshot below from a live account).

Step 3: Name the audience list as “new user” and save the same

How to create a “Returning visitor” list

“session_start” event fires when a user lands on your website and signifies the start of the session for the user.

Navigation :
Step 1: search for “session_start” and select the same from the search result(or) click on “events” > select “ “session_start”

Step 2: click on “add a parameter” to add a parameter to the condition

Step 3: Select “other” > “Event count “ , to be added as a parameter

Step 4: set event count to more than 1 ( >1 ) indicating we are tracking people who had more than one session on the website by visiting the website back.

Click on Apply

How to set up an audience list based on visits past specific days

Step 1: Create an all users by selecting “page_view” event (automatically collected) as a condition.

Step 2: change the membership duration to your requirement

Example: the client wants to track the last 7 days visitors

How to setup audience based on the number of pages visited per session

To illustrate, let's consider creating an audience consisting of individuals who have visited more than 2 pages in a session.

Step 1: Click on the human icon located next to the timer icon and adjust the session scoping to "within the same session" to ensure that a user is included in this list only if they visit the pages within the same session. This option is called “Condition Scoping”.

Step 2: Under the condition select page_view event, click Add parameter. In the "Other" section, choose the "Event Count" parameter.

Once you click on apply, your new audience list will look something like shown in the screenshot below.

Step 3: Here you will modify the membership duration to one day.

How to build an audience from a specific source

Example: Building an audience list of visitors from Google ads click

Step 1: select “traffic source” as a condition and select “first user source”

Step 2: Search and Add “google/cpc” as a parameter

Example: Building an audience list of visitors from a specific campaign

Step 1: select “first user campaign” under traffic source

Step 2: You can search for the campaign name or simply copy and paste it from the ads platform. Once you have identified the campaign name, select it and save your selection.

NOTE: you can select a specific campaign, ad group, source and medium using the same method as well.

How to set up an audience list of visitors visiting a specific page

Step 1: Select “page location” under “pages/screen”

Step 2: click on “add filter” and add/paste the page path.

How to set up an Audience based on scroll depth

Example: To build an audience who scrolled at least 90% in the landing page

Step 1: Select “percent_scrolled” under general

Step 2: Select the percentage under add filter

How to setup audience based on technology/device

Example: To track Macintosh and Windows, users

Step 1: Select “Platform/device” and select “Operating system”

Step 2: Add “Macintosh||Windows” to the filter and select “is one of” as the condition.
Use separate lines while entering multiple values.

How to setup audience based on a specific Time of the visit such as date/date/week/Month

Example: to set up an audience who visited at weekends only

Step 1: Select “Time” and select “Day of the week”

Step 2: Choose the specific days of the week that the client intends to include in the list.

How to set up demographics (age/gender) based lists

Example: To set up a list of the male audience who visited the site,

Step 1: Select “Demographics” > Gender

Step 2: Select “Female” from the filter

Note: please select “Age” and select the age range as a filter for age-based lists.

How to set up Geo/location-based lists :

Step 1: Select a city/country from “geography”

Step 2: Add the city or country name as a filter.

How to create an audience list based on “Custom events”

Note: to create an audience of people who have taken part in a specific event that is not readily available under “include users”. Kindly create a custom event and add the custom event as the condition.

For example: To create an audience list of people who completed form submissions on the site, create a custom event that fires every time submits the form.

Step 1: Search and find the name of the custom event and save the same.

How to create an audience list of visitors who did not take part in an event

Example: to set up a list of people who did not fill out the form

Step 1:delete the “include user” conditionand click on “add to exclude”

Step 2: Add “form_submit”: under “add group to exclude”

How to build an audience based on multiple conditions

Example: To build a female audience between ages 24-34

Step 1: add age from demographics and add the appropriate age

Step 2: Add the second condition of “gender” with the appropriate filter.

How to build an audience based AND on OR condition

Example: To create an audience who visited either the blog or cart page

Step 1: Add the “page_view” event with the “page_location” condition for the “blog” page select “OR” as the condition and create another “page_location” condition for the “cart” page.

Note: you can use AND and OR conditions across all conditions (both include and exclude)

Another Example of a multi-condition audience list,
Example: create a list to include users if they have viewed the products page between a date range.

How to build an audience of people who take part in multiple events in a certain sequence

With GA4 you now have the option to set up Audience lists, where you can define steps and include users who have completed the steps you define within this audience.

Step 1: Delete the “Include condition group” and then click on “add sequence” and proceed to add step 1 of the user journey

Step 2: add step one of the user journey and select “add step”

You can now define the steps you want the users to complete and these can be anything ranging from an automatically collected event like page_view, file_download, scroll etc Or it can be any custom event that you have set up on GA4 to track some important action like form submission or any button click etc. Just like the previous examples you can set the session scoping for the whole sequence and for individual steps as well. You also have the option to set up a time constraint for the whole sequence. This ensures only users who complete the sequence you define in the specified time will be included in the Audience list.

Suggested Audiences:

Predictive Audiences:

In the realm of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a forward-thinking feature known as "Predictive Audiences" emerges as a game-changer. As businesses navigate the dynamic landscape of data-driven insights, Predictive Audiences serves as a strategic compass, guiding them toward a more proactive approach to audience segmentation.

Predictive Audiences within GA4 encompass a predictive modeling capability that goes beyond traditional audience creation methods. Rather than relying solely on historical data, this feature employs machine learning algorithms to anticipate user behavior and preferences. By analyzing a myriad of data points, Predictive Audiences predict the likelihood of specific user actions, thus enabling businesses to craft audience segments that align with these predictions.

The power of Predictive Audiences lies in its ability to uncover hidden patterns and trends that might not be immediately evident from past behaviors alone. This forward-looking perspective empowers businesses to identify potential opportunities and tailor their marketing strategies preemptively.

Through the lens of Predictive Audiences, businesses are equipped to venture into uncharted territory. By leveraging AI-driven insights, they can optimize their campaigns by targeting users most likely to engage, convert, or take desired actions. This proactive approach opens the door to enhanced personalization and engagement, forging deeper connections between businesses and their audiences.

In essence, Predictive Audiences in GA4 present a shift from reactive to proactive audience segmentation. By harnessing the power of predictive modeling, businesses can anticipate user behavior, strategically aligning their efforts to tap into emerging opportunities. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, Predictive Audiences offer a glimpse into the future of audience management, where data-driven foresight takes center stage in crafting successful marketing strategies.

To ensure the functionality of predictive audiences, the following basic criteria must be met:
Within the last 28 days, over a 7-day period, there should be a minimum of 1,000 returning users who have triggered the relevant predictive condition, while another 1,000 returning users should not have triggered it.

Note: Please be aware that predictive metrics for each qualifying model will be produced for every active user on a daily basis. If the model performance for your asset drops below the designated minimum level, Analytics will discontinue the refresh of related forecasts, and these predictions might no longer be accessible within Analytics.


Audience Templates in GA4 are akin to ready-made blueprints, offering businesses a shortcut to building well-defined audience segments tailored to specific objectives.

These templates serve as a strategic toolbox within the GA4 ecosystem, providing businesses with pre-designed audience categories that cater to various industries and engagement scenarios. This innovative feature simplifies the often complex process of audience segmentation, allowing users to choose templates that best align with their goals.

These templates encompass a range of scenarios, from tracking registered users to identifying tutorial finishers, allowing businesses to focus on the actionable insights derived from their data.

Audience Templates are designed to simplify the process of creating audience segments by providing a range of pre-designed templates. These templates serve as a foundation, offering businesses a head start in building audience segments tailored to their specific goals and industry nuances. These templates are by no means restrictive. Businesses can customize and fine-tune these templates to align with their unique requirements.

The basic templates currently available based on the user's Demographic information, Technology used to visit your website and Acquisition Method.

Internet and Telecom:

The final section available here is Internet and Telecom. For any one of the lists in the screenshot below we need to set up specific events. These are again just like templates, these templates are by no means restrictive. Businesses can customize and fine-tune these templates to align with their unique requirements.We have the option to set up remarketing lists on the basis of,

● If a user signed up on your website (Registered Users)

For the ‘Registered Users’ list to work, we have to set up an event called ‘sign_up’.
Please follow this link for more information on how to set up this event.

If a user registered a form of payment (Billable Users)

For the ‘Billable Users’ list to work, we have to set up an event called ‘add_payment_info’.
Please follow this link for more information on how to set up this event.

If a user completes a tutorial (Tutorial Finishers)

For the ‘Tutorial Finishers’ list to work, we have to set up an event called ‘tutorial_complete’.
Please follow this link for more information on how to set up this event.

If a user did not complete a Tutorial (Tutorial Abandoners)

For the ‘Tutorial Abandoners’ list to work, we have to set up two events called ‘tutorial_complete’ and ‘tutorial_begin’ .
Please follow this link for more information on ‘tutorial_begin’ and this link for ‘tutorial_complete’ on how to set up this event.