About demographic targeting

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimisation simpler, you’ll see the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments and exclusions is now consolidated in one place, the 'Audiences' tab within the left page navigation menu. You can also easily manage your audiences from this report page. Learn more about audience reporting
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your Audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, 'audience types' (these include similar, custom, in-market and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and 'remarketing' is now referred to as 'your data'. Learn more about the updates to audience terms and phrases

With demographic targeting in Google Ads, you can reach a specific set of potential customers who are likely to be within a particular age range, gender, parental status or household income. For instance, if you run a fitness studio exclusively for women, demographic targeting could help you avoid showing your ads to men.

Demographic targeting is not supported in Shopping campaigns. You can specify if a product is gender or age group specific in the product data feed. Learn more about Product data specification.

Before you begin

Bear in mind that demographic targeting is an option to narrow your targeting. In other words, it helps prevent people outside of your chosen demographics from seeing your ads.

Demographic targeting options

Detailed Demographics (such as homeownership and education) are available as audience types. You can add Detailed Demographics to an ad group or a campaign.

Manage your demographic targeting and reports

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the Audiences tab in the left page menu.
  3. In the Demographics module, select Campaign view, Ad Group view, or Account view in the drop-down menu to filter for the reporting level that you want to see.
  4. Select a demographic tab: Age, Gender, Household Income, Parental Status or Combination.
    1. You can set your preferences for combination demographics by selecting specific demographics in the 'Combination' drop-down menu.
  5. Click Show table to view 'Lifted user', 'Cost per lifted user', 'Absolute Brand Lift', 'Interactions', 'Interaction rate', 'Conversions', 'Cost', impressions and other metrics.
  6. To pull in additional metrics to your reporting, click on Columns.
  7. To make changes to your targeting, in the Demographics module select the tab for the demographic that you would like to edit. Click Edit Demographics.
    1. Click Select ad group.
    2. From the drop-down, select the campaign or ad group that you want to update.
    3. You’ll see the full segment of demographic groups. Tick those that you wish to include.
    4. Click Save Demographics.

Learn more about Audiences reporting

Display campaigns

  • Age: '18–24', '25–34', '35–44', '45–54', '55–64', '65+' and 'Unknown'
  • Gender: 'Female', 'Male' and 'Unknown'
  • Household income (available in Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States): 'Top 10%', '11–20%', '21–30%', '31–40%', '41–50%', 'Lower 50%' and 'Unknown'
  • Parental status: 'Parent', 'Not a parent' and 'Unknown'

Discovery ads campaigns

  • Age: '18–24', '25–34', '35–44', '45–54', '55–64', '65+' and 'Unknown'
  • Gender: 'Female', 'Male' and 'Unknown'
  • Household income (available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates and the United States): 'Top 10%', '11-20%', '21-30%', '31-40%', '41-50%', 'Lower 50%' and 'Unknown'
  • Parental status: 'Parent', 'Not a parent' and 'Unknown'

Search campaigns

  • Age: '18–24', '25–34', '35–44', '45–54', '55–64', '65+' and 'Unknown'
  • Gender: 'Female', 'Male' and 'Unknown'
  • Household income (available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, and the United States): 'Top 10%', '11–20%', '21–30%', '31–40%', '41–50%', 'Lower 50%' and 'Unknown'

Video campaigns

  • Age: '18–24', '25–34', '35–44', '45–54', '55–64', '65+' and 'Unknown'
  • Gender: 'Female', 'Male' and 'Unknown'
  • Household income (available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates and the United States): 'Top 10%', '11-20%', '21-30%', '31-40%', '41-50%', 'Lower 50%' and 'Unknown'
  • Parental status: 'Parent', 'Not a parent' and 'Unknown'

Parents can create a Google Account for their children under 13 using the Family Link app. Ads may be displayed to these users. Advertisers can't target ads to be shown only to children under 13. Learn more about how ads work for these Google accounts and how to prevent your ads from being shown to these users.

'Unknown' category

Google Ads can't know or infer the demographics of everyone. 'Unknown' refers to people whose age, gender, parental status or household income we haven’t identified.

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. When you target by a type of demographic, the "Unknown" demographic category is selected by default because you can reach a significantly wider audience.

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.

How Google determines demographic information

When people are signed in from their Google Account, we may use demographics derived from their settings, depending on their account status. 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.

We sometimes also estimate people's demographic information based on their activity from Google properties or the Display Network. For example, when people browse YouTube or sites on the Display Network, Google may store an identifier in their web browser, using a 'cookie'. That identifier may be associated with certain demographic categories, based on sites that were visited.

For campaigns being shown on a Google site or app, the estimated demographic information for people is based primarily on their activity from Google properties. For campaigns shown on a non-Google site or app, the estimated demographic information for people is based primarily on their activity on third-party websites and apps. 

Note that for users who haven't provided iOS ATT consent to Google iOS apps, the estimated demographic information used in these apps doesn't rely on the users' activities on third-party websites and apps; nor will these users' activities in the said Google iOS apps be used to estimate demographic information when serving ad campaigns to these users on third-party websites and apps.

 

Example

Sarah's favourite hobby is gardening. Many of the gardening sites and blogs on the third-party properties in 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, when Sarah is on third-party properties in the Display Network, 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 that she made in her Ads Settings, including her demographic information.

Mobile app demographics: 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 estimate demographic information from everyone using the web or mobile apps, so if you narrow your targeting with multiple specific demographic groups, your ads may reach a more limited audience.

Refine your strategy

  • Targeting. Demographic targeting can be combined with other targeting strategies.
  • Exclusions. You can also exclude demographic categories so that you don’t show your ads to certain demographics.
  • Customise your bids. While still showing your ads to everyone, you can place higher (or lower) bids for a certain demographic group.

Examples of effective demographic targeting

Age. Marc is advertising for a financial institution, and he wants to market different products to college versus university students. He uses demographics to show different ads to each group of customers and adjusts his bids for demographic groups that may be more likely to spend more. Marc finds that middle-aged customers tend to have the largest initial deposits, and increases his bid for people ages 35 to 54.

Household income. In a video campaign, Marc can show ads to customers in a certain household income range. Marc sets his targeting to reach people in the top 30% of U.S. household incomes, by selecting the 'Top 10%', '11-20%' and '21-30%" options for household income.

Age and gender. Alberta runs a website whose audience is working mothers. On the Search Network, her demographic targeting is the '25–54' age range and 'Female' gender. On her Display campaigns, she specifies 'Parent' parental status as targeting criteria. A savvy advertiser, Alberta also adds a targeting method of 'in-market audience' for baby & children's products.

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