When it comes to advertising online, especially with Google Ads, one of the most powerful tools at a business’s disposal is demographic targeting. Demographic targeting allows you to target, exclude, or adjust ad bids up or down around your desired audience. Say you are a company that sells women’s footwear. With demographic targeting you can set your ads to only show to women. This level of control over your advertising campaign can allow you to find the right audiences without wasting money on people who are unlikely to engage with your business.
Demographic Targeting Options with Google Ads
With Google Ads, demographic targeting applies to both the Search Network and the Display Network, as well as video ad campaigns on sites like Youtube. However, not all demographic options are available on every network. These options include:
- Age – You can target customers based on age group across all Google ad networks. They are divided into the following age brackets: “18-24,” “25-34, ”35-44,” “45-54,” “55-64,” “65 or more,” and “Unknown.” For example, a retirement planner may specifically target older users who are may be interested in her services.
- Gender – You can target customers based on their gender across all Google ad networks. They are divided into the following subgroups: “Male,” “Female,” and “Unknown.” For example, a men’s only health club can solely target male customers with their ads.
- Parental Status – You can target customers based whether they are parents or not. This option can only be used with display ads campaigns and video ad campaigns. They are divided into the following subgroups: “Parent,” “Not a parent,” and “Unknown.” For example, a company that makes baby monitors may want to exclusively target parents.
- Household Income – You can target customers based on their income across all Google ad networks. This option is divided into the following income brackets: “Top 10%,’ “11-20%,” “21-30%,” “31-40%,” “41-50,” “Lower 50%,” and “Unknown.” For example, a seller of high end golfing equipment might only target customers on the upper end of the income bracket.
When Google cannot profile the desired demographic information from a user, it automatically groups them into the “Unknown” category. It may also gather people who are gender non-binary or under the age of 18 into this group. Generally, you do not want to exclude this demographic as there may be interested and motivated customer hiding in this group. Unless you are running a very specific and narrow campaign, it is best to leave “Unknown” alone.
Not only can you show ads to people based on what demographics they fall into, but you can also exclude any irrelevant demographic groups to make your advertising even more efficient and effective. This will keep you from wasting resources advertising to demos you are uninterested in targeting and save you money while tightening up your campaign. For example, the retirement planner we mentioned above can exclude younger age groups so she only attracts older customers who are interested in investing more in retirement and are thus more likely to convert.
A Quick Note on Other Methods of Targeting
While the previously mentioned demographics groups are what Google considers demographic targeting, there are other methods that allow you to target specific people on the ad networks. They are geographic location-based and device-based ad targeting.
- Location – Geographic locations can be used to target potential customers in two different ways. The first is targeting based on the user’s geographic location. If a person is located within a certain area you designate like a city or county, you can decide whether or not they see your ad. You can also target users based on whether they show interest in a certain location.
- Device – You can also target based on whether people are using their phones, tablets or desktops. You can adjust how much you want to bid for ads shown to certain devices so it isn’t an all or nothing situation. You could advertise with an emphasis on phone ads but still show ads to tablet and desktop users.
Have More Questions About Demographic Targeting?
Demographic targeting is a powerful and effective way to reach the right audience while making efficient use of your advertising dollars. If you have ideas about what demographics you want to target, contact JSMT Media. We can help you plan and execute a successful advertising campaign tailored to your business and interests.