Interest Reports in Google Analytics

If you are looking to find audiences for your targeting of ads through Google Ads products, then the Interest reports section might very well be the place for you.

There are essentially three types of “Interests” that are defined by Google Analytics.

  • Affinity Interest
  • In-Market Interest
  • Other Interest
Video about the Interest Reports in Google Analytics.

In the video above I go through the different options that you have when looking at the reports. In the video I mention Segments. If you haven’t setup any segments yet, I suggest you do so in order to be able to fully take advantage of all of your reports in Google Analytics.

What is Affinity Interest in Google Analytics

Affinity interest is a defined group of users that come from traditional TV-advertising targeting. The idea with affinity is that you are trying to target people who are likely to have the need your product is solving problems for, however, they might neither know that they have a problem yet, nor might they understand that a product such as yours might solve it.

The kind of ads you push towards these audiences are thus centered around problem definition, awareness and brand values. Why should someone care, who should care etc.

If you have defined your affinity audience the right way, you will be able to target them and thus build the market for your product or service.

What is In-Market Interest in Google Analytics

In-Market interest applies to all users who are looking for services such as your own or are looking for similar services and products. This will go best if you are using proper markup on your website such as schema.org as Google will have a much easier time defining who you are similar too if you do.

In-Market Interests are:

  • People who are interested in buying your or similar products or services
  • People who need to be convinced to buy from you, not motivated to buy

If you want to target this group of users based on their Interest you need to get down dirty with the value proposition, the incentives and the reason as to why they should buy from you rather than from your competitors. This is not a group to build brand towards as it is likely they already have an impression of you. You need to close them, and you need to give them exactly what they want.

In-market targeting based on interest should almost always be combined with keyword targeting as it helps you better target both motivation of a user as well as maintain the same value proposition toward’s all users.

Think about it this way. Example: Two users might want rubber gloves for two different reasons. One wants to play Dexter whilst the other just wants to do prostate exams. Thus, they have two very different motivations although they are equally eager to buy rubber gloves. It is likely that they will search for keywords related to their prospective use case whilst looking for the specific rubber gloves they want. By understanding this, you can target one customer with one ad copy and another with another ad copy but give them both 10% off their first purchase. Motivations are different, value propositions are the same.

Thus if you are looking to use In-Market audiences then think about how they can help you define your target audience and use other targeting techniques to be able to match your ad copy with the person you are trying to reach within each interest.

Other Interests in Google Analytics

Despite the poor choice of labeling, the Other category of interests is actually a real treasure chest if you are trying to target influencers or fans of influencers.

Other Interests are:

  • Part of the affinity definition
  • Much more specific

Since you can break down interest in very narrow interest groups, you are very well off if you know exactly what types of people you’d like to reach. This report gives you some of those answers. However, I wouldn’t stick all of my budget on one interest just because it seems to convert the best right now.

You always have to remember that with affinity groups, you have to constantly improve your problem definition in order to grow your market or market share. If you don’t you’re just going to overbid yourself for the same users again and again and again and they won’t be interested in what you have to say eventually.

If you want to make a full Audit of your Google analytics you can find a good template here.

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