How to Use Lookalike Audiences to Gain New Customers and Boost Sales

Emma Grant

Head of SEO

Results-driven Emma heads up our SEO team. A champion of best-practice SEO strategies for search engine success that lasts and delivers best value, Emma’s work focuses on boosting clients’ online visibility with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. Emma applies her extensive skill and experience to create strategies that pay off quickly for faster results. She knows precisely what to do to reduce clients’ paid ad spends for greater profits, and how to boost organic leads for better long term return on investment. After close of business, when she’s not organising exciting travel adventures, you may hear Emma strumming classical guitar tunes or working on her jazz riffs.

If you’re running digital advertising campaigns, the key thing you need to be doing to make sure they deliver a return is targeting correctly. Fail to target the right audience and you could blow your budget in one fell swoop.

But maybe targeting is easier said than done. Outside of the basics such as only directing your marketing locally if you’re a local business or aiming for a particular age range if you sell, say for example, children’s toys, how exactly do you target ‘the right’ audience and really get the most out of your advertising budget?


Lookalike audiences will help you find new customers based on the traits of those you already sell to.

Fairly recently, Facebook has introduced what’s known as ‘lookalike audiences’ and Google has brought in something along the same lines called ‘similar audiences’ to further enhance its remarketing service.

A lookalike or similar audience is a great way to reach new potential customers who are likely to be interested in your business, basically because they are similar to the customers who already buy from you.

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are a type of custom audience. If you already advertise on Facebook, you’ll be familiar with regular audience traits such as demographics, geographical location and interests for example. As you choose these traits, so you build your regular audience profile.

Now, with custom audience building, instead of selecting from the supplied options, you get to upload your own database from a local directory, copy and paste your own customer list or import one from a third party email list. This list will then be matched up to your customers’ Google or Facebook profiles which will then allow you to remarket to them through those platforms cost effectively, perhaps to bolster your email campaigns or even as an economical standalone initiative.

All good, but with lookalike audiences, you can take your marketing further and outside of your existing customer base.

Facebook Like

With Facebook Lookalike audiences, you can take your marketing further and outside of your existing customer base.

A Facebook Lookalike audience is created using your existing customer or warm leads database and will be formed of people with similar traits. You can also create a Lookalike audience based on the traits of those who like your Facebook page.

Whilst you can only target one country at a time, you will probably find that the sample size is of a size that will give you a considerable reach. Basically, you are taking the guesswork out of your targeting by allowing Facebook to do all the analysing for you. Plus it’s a great way to grow your following so that you can share updates and offers through your page to a wider and prequalified audience.

Google Remarketing Similar Audiences

Things work slightly differently with Google remarketing, however the key benefit is the same: you are taking all the guesswork out of your hunt for new audiences.

If you are familiar with Google remarketing then you’ll know it works by reaching out to people who have already paid a visit to your website. With ‘similar audiences’, you can find new potential customers who share traits with your existing website visitors. Add the similar audience target to your ad group, and your ads will be served to people with similar interests to those of your visitors, so widening your audience but again, on a prequalified basis.


With Google remarketing’s similar audiences you are taking all the guesswork out of your hunt for new audiences.

So for example, if you create a remarketing list based on people who have bought high heeled knee high boots from your online shoe shop so that you can be specific in your targeting (i.e. not just target people interested in ‘boots’), then ‘similar audiences’ will automatically identify what people on this list tended to search for before they reached your site and then locate people showing activity along the same lines, for example those who searched for ‘long stiletto boots’ or ‘high heel fashion boots’.

In Summary

In summary, with Google’s ‘similar audiences’ and Facebook’s Lookalike audiences, you will be driving new people to your site that have a much greater likelihood of being interested in what you have to offer.

Could you use a helping hand with your digital marketing campaigns or in getting a handle on lookalike audiences of remarketing? Give us a call!

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