Reach people of specific demographics

Looking for information about demographic targeting for Google Analytics? Read about it in the Google Analytics Help Center.

With demographic targeting in AdWords, you can reach customers who are likely to be within the demographic groups that you choose. Demographic groups that you can choose from include:

  • age
  • gender
  • parental status

For example, if your business caters to a specific set of customers within a particular age range, gender, or parental status, you may want to target your ads to this audience because they’re more likely to be interested in your products or services. Similarly, you can use demographic targeting in combination with other targeting options like affinity audiences or in-market audiences to reach a more narrow customer base.

Keep in mind

  • Narrowing your targeting to reach a more narrow customer base might prevent a significant number of people from seeing your ads.
  • To start using demographic targeting, you can select any "Display Network only" campaign type except a remarketing campaign.
  • For a "Remarketing" campaign make sure you select demographic targeting after creating the campaign.
  • While demographic targeting is available for online video campaigns, the examples and descriptions that follow are only for non-video Display campaigns.

Learn about the different campaign types available.

Demographic targeting on the Display Network can help you achieve the following goals:

  • Reach the right audience
    For example, if your products are made specifically for one gender, your typical customer skews heavily toward a specific age group, or your customer has a specific parental status, you can use demographic targeting to reach the people who’re most likely to buy your products.

    Example

    Alberta runs a website with content that’s primarily for women between the ages of 25-54. This means her ad campaigns currently use the “25-54” age range, “Female” gender, and “Parent” parental status as targeting criteria. To attract 25- to 54-year-old mothers most likely to be interested in her website, she then adds an in-market audience of Baby & Children's Products as a targeting method.

  • Customize your ads and bids
    You might want to market your business differently to people who are in different age groups and life stages. With demographic targeting, you can bid differently or have ads unique to each group of customers.

    Example

    Marc is advertising a financial institution, and he wants to market different products to seniors versus college students. He uses demographic targeting to show different ads to each group of customers, as well as higher bids for demographic groups that may be more likely to spend more.

  • Refine your targeting
    Demographic targeting can be combined with any targeting strategy on the Google Display Network to reach your customers. For example, you can also exclude demographic categories if you want to prevent people from specific age ranges, genders, or parental status from seeing your ads.

    Example

    Stella's online boutique carries nursery bags and strollers, so she uses demographic exclusions to keep her ads from appearing to people who probably aren’t interested in these products.

Ready to get started? Find out how to add demographic targeting to an ad group.

Demographic reporting on the Google Display Network

With Display Network demographic reporting, you can gain insights into your audience that can help you manage and analyze multiple demographic targeting methods. The demographic charts show you which demographic groups your ads are reaching, across all of your ad groups and across your account. By comparing the actual performance of your ads with their demographic reach, you can see in which audiences conversions are happening the most. With this data, you can learn more about the customers you're trying to reach, find out if you're meeting your campaign goals, and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

Example

Anna, who runs an online shoe store, wants to understand overall how her ads are doing with the demographic targets she selected. In the demographic chart, she can select "Clicks," "Conversions," or "Impressions" to see how her ads are performing across all targeting groups, compared to her advertising goals.

Display demographic chart View single demographic reports
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click Campaigns, and then click the Display Network tab.
  3. Click the Demographics tab.
  4. Click Gender, Age, or Parental status to select a demographic targeting method.
  5. Click either Ad group view or Campaign view.

    With “Ad group view,” you get a detailed view of the demographic targeting for each ad group in the same campaign. With “Campaign view,” you get a detailed view of the demographic targeting across all of the ad groups in a campaign.

    Note

    If you clicked “All campaigns” after signing into your account, you’ll see the “Ad group view” and “Account view” buttons on the Demographics tab.

View cross-demographic reports
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click Campaigns, and then click the Display Network tab.
  3. Click the Demographics tab.
  4. Next to View demographic combinations, click ON.
  5. On the “Select targeting” dropdown menu, click Gender, Age, or Parental status to select a demographic targeting method.
  6. Add more demographic targeting methods.

    Note

    You can see the demographic targeting methods you selected the next time you turn on “View demographics combinations.”

  7. Click either Ad group view or Campaign view.

    With “Ad group view,” you get a detailed view of the demographic targeting for each ad group in the same campaign. With “Campaign view,” you get a detailed view of the demographic targeting across all of the ad groups in a campaign.

    Note

    If you clicked “All campaigns” after signing into your account, you’ll see the “Ad group view” and “Account view” buttons on the Demographics tab.

Tips

You can view the demographic charts by clicks, conversions, or impressions.

To hide the charts, click Demographics, and a one-line summary of your selected demographic targets will show.

How Google determines demographic information

When someone visits a website that has partnered with the Google Display Network, Google stores a number in their browsers (using a "cookie") to remember their visits. This number uniquely identifies a web browser on a specific computer, not a specific person. Browsers may be associated with a demographic category, such as gender, age range, or parental status, based on the sites that were visited.

In addition, some sites might provide us with demographic information that people share on certain websites, such as social networking sites. We may also use demographics derived from Google profiles.

Example

Sarah's favorite hobby is gardening. Many of the gardening sites and blogs on the Display Network that she visits have a majority of female readers. Based on this, Sarah's browser could be added to the "female" demographic category.

As a result, Google may show Sarah ads from advertisers who have chosen to show their ads to women.

Consumers can edit their inferred (that is, suggested) demographic categories for websites by visiting Ads Settings.

Mobile app demographics: You can now also try reaching mobile app users. This targeting feature uses an anonymous identifier linked to a customer's phone to remember which apps the person has used. We might associate the anonymous identifier with a demographic category based on web browsing and app activities on a mobile device.

Keep in mind that we aren't able to gather or infer demographic information from everyone using the web or mobile apps, so if you limit your targeting to certain demographic groups, your ads may reach a more limited audience.

You can edit your inferred demographics on mobile apps, on the Settings menu of Google Play on Android and the Settings menu of Google Search apps on iOS.

Demographic targeting

Demographic targeting might not be available for certain countries. If you add demographic categories to a campaign that targets a specific country we don't support, you'll see a message that demographic targeting isn't available for that country.

"Unknown" category

You can choose to target or exclude people whose age, gender, or parental status we haven’t identified by selecting the "Unknown" category.

By default, when you target by a type of demographic, the "Unknown" demographic category is selected because you can reach a significantly wider audience by showing ads to people whose age or gender we don’t know.

We don't infer demographics for all people, and most websites don't provide demographic information for their customers. In addition, some websites on the Display Network opt out of demographic targeting, so if you want to show your ads on those sites, leave the "Unknown" category selected.

Important

Exclude the "Unknown" demographic category only if you're sure you want to restrict your campaign to a narrow audience. Excluding "Unknown" might prevent a substantial number of people from seeing your ads, some of whom you might want to reach.

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