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Reach people of specific demographics

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

  • Age ("18-24", "25-34", "35-44", "45-54", "55-64", "65 or more" and "Unknown")
  • Gender ("Female", "Male", and "Unknown")
  • Parental status ("Parent", "Not a parent", and "Unknown")

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 such a affinity audiences or in-market audiences to reach a more narrow customer base.

Bear in mind

  • Narrowing your targeting to reach a narrower 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 that 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.

Find out about the different campaign types available.

Demographic targeting on the Display Network can help you to 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.

  • Customise 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 college versus university 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 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 nappy bags and pushchairs, 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.

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

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 analyse 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 find out more about the customers that 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 how her ads are doing overall with the demographic targets that she selected. In the demographic chart, she can select "Clicks", "Conversions" or "Impressions" to see how her ads are performing across all the targeting groups, compared to her advertising goals. Because the chart shows that her ads are viewed mostly by males, by 25 to 34-year-olds and by people who aren't parents, Anna could use these insights to tailor her ad campaigns to these specific audiences.

View single demographic reports
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.co.uk.
  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 on 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, then 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.co.uk.
  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 that you selected the next time that you turn on “View demographics combinations”.

  7. Click on 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, then 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 (and they’re not signed in from a Google account), Google stores a number in their browser (using a "cookie") to remember their visits. This number uniquely identifies a web browser on a specific computer, not a person. Browsers may be associated with a demographic category, such as gender, age range or parental status, based on the sites that were visited.

When people are signed in from their Google Account, we may also use demographics derived from their settings. Consumers can edit their demographic information by visiting Ads Settings. In addition, some websites might provide us with demographic information that people share on certain websites, such as social networking sites.

Example

Sarah's favourite 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 (when she’s not signed in from her Google account) 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.

When Sarah’s signed in from her Google account, Google may show her ads based on selections she made in her Ads Settings, including her demographic information.

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

Bear 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, then your ads may reach a limited audience.

"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 know or infer the demographics of 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 that 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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