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About Demographics and Interests

Analyze users by age, gender, and interest categories.

Demographics and Interests data provides information about the age and gender of your users, along with the interests they express in their online travel and purchasing activities.

In this article:

Configure Analytics to display Demographics and Interests data

Before you can see or work with Demographics and Interests data in Analytics, you need to:

  1. Enable Advertising Reporting Features for your property
  2. Enable the Demographics and Interests reports for the view

Where Analytics gets the data

Once you update Analytics to support Advertising Reporting Features, Analytics collects Demographics and Interests data from the following sources:

  • The third-party DoubleClick cookie. Applies to web-browser activity only. When this cookie is present, Analytics collects any demographic and interest information available in the cookie.
  • The Android Advertising ID. Applies to app activity only. When you update the Analytics tracking code in an Android app to collect the Advertising ID, Analytics generates an identifier based on the ID that includes demographic and interest information associated with users’ app activity.
  • The iOS Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Applies to app activity only. When you update the Analytics tracking code in an iOS app to collect the IDFA, Analytics generates an identifier based on the IDFA that includes demographic and interest information associated with users’ app activity.

When the DoubleClick cookie or the Device Advertising ID is not present, or no activity profile is included, Analytics cannot collect Demographics and Interests information. Consequently, Demographics and Interests data may only be available for a subset of your users, and may not represent the overall composition of your traffic. The graphs and the first row of the Sessions column in the Overview report display the percentage of your overall data that is represented (for example, Age - 41.39% of total sessions).

Neither analytics.js nor ga.js collects Demographics and Interests data.

The dimensions

Demographics and Interests provides five dimensions: Age, Gender, Affinity Categories, In-Market Segments, and Other Categories:

  • Age identifies users by six categories: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65+.
  • Gender identifies users as either male or female.
  • Affinity Categories identifies users in terms of lifestyle; for example, Technophiles, Sports Fans, and Cooking Enthusiasts. These categories are defined to be similar to TV audiences.
  • In-Market Segments identifies users in terms of their product-purchase interests.
  • Other Categories provides the most specific, focused view of your users. For example, while Affinity Categories includes the category Foodies, Other Categories includes the category Recipes/Cuisines/East Asian.

You can view any applicable Analytics metrics in the context of these dimensions (e.g., Sessions, Bounce Rate, Transactions, Revenue).

You can create segments based on these dimensions, and can use the segments to analyze data and to create remarketing audiences.

Some geographies have limited coverage of interests. Data may not be available for many values of Affinity Categories, In-Market Segments, and Other Categories. Also, you may find that less data is available for In-Market Segments than for Affinity Categories and Other Categories.

Standard reports

Seven standard reports are available:

  • Demographics Overview: The distribution of Sessions (or other key metrics) on your property by age group and gender. Sessions is the default key metric. You can also use % New Sessions, Avg. Session Duration, Bounce Rate, or Pages per Session.
  • Age: Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions metrics broken down by age group. When you drill into an age group, you see the breakdown by gender, and then by interest. Ages below 18 are not included in the data.
  • Gender: Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions metrics broken down by gender. When you drill into a gender, you see the breakdown by age group, and then by interest.
  • Interests Overview: The distribution of Sessions (or other key metrics) on your property by the top-10 interests in Affinity Categories, In-Market Segments, and Other Categories.
  • Affinity Categories (reach): Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions metrics broken down by Affinity Categories.
  • In-Market Segments: Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions metrics broken down by In-Market Segments.
  • Other Categories: Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions metrics broken down by Other Categories.

Read Analyze Demographics and Interests data

Custom reports

You can use the Demographics and Interests dimensions in Custom Reports. For example, you might want to use the Gender and/or Age dimensions to set the context for evaluating Ecommerce metrics like Buy-to-Detail Rate or Product Revenue per Purchase.

Before you can see data in custom reports, you must enable Advertising Features for your property and enable reporting in the view.

Read Enable Demographics and Interests reports.

Data taxonomy

Affinity, In-Market, and Other Categories are based on a hierarchical taxonomy that is flattened in Analytics; for example, in Other Categories:

  • Software
    • Internet Software
      • Internet Clients and Browsers

becomes three separate categories in Analytics:

  • Software
  • Software/Internet Software
  • Software/Internet Software/Internet Clients and Browsers

A single session can be classified in multiple categories, and as such, can be counted multiple times in the metrics. For example, a session classified in Software/Internet Software/Internet Clients and Browsers will also be classified in Software/Internet Software and Software.

Even though a session can be counted in multiple interest categories, it is counted only once in the total at the top of the column.

Learn more about how Google determines interest categories.

Data thresholds

Thresholds are applied to prevent anyone viewing a report from inferring the demographics or interests of individual users. When a report contains Age, Gender, or Interest Category (as a primary or secondary dimension, or as part of an applied segment), a threshold may be applied and some data may be withheld from the report. For example, if there are fewer than N instances of Gender=male in a report, then data for the male value may be withheld.

If a threshold has been applied to a report, you will see a notice below the report title.

Targeting on the Google Display Network

Analytics uses the same age, gender, and interests categories that you use in AdWords to target ads on the Google Display Network. For advertisers, this parity between products lets you explore the data in Analytics, and then put your findings to work in AdWords. For example, you can see how behavior on your site or in your app varies among different segments of users (Do 25-34 year old Technophiles have higher conversion rates than 35-44 year old Technophiles?). The results of that exploration let you then refine your ad targeting on the Google Display Network. If, for example, 25-34 year old Technophiles convert at a higher rate than their 35-44 year old counterparts, you might focus more of your ad budget on the 25-34 year old group.

Next steps

Enable Demographics and Interests reports

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