Demographic TargetingGoogle recently announced the release of demographic targeting within the AdWords Display Network.  For many advertisers this is old news, but Google finally opened up their beta testing to all advertisers in 39 countries.

This is great news for every business already advertising.  And if you’re not yet using AdWords to drive leads and sales, then now it’s even easier to target your ideal customer and display the message that best matches her needs.


What is Age & Gender Targeting?

With age and gender targeting, it’s now possible to create an AdWords display advertising campaign that will only be visible to men or women in a certain age range.  For example, let’s say you own a woman’s clothing store and you want to target 35 – 54 year old women in your city, because that’s your ideal customer.  In AdWords, you can now exclude all men and all women who are not 35 – 54 years old.  So your ads will only be visible to exactly who you want to target!

Note that this is not an exact science and Google does not precisely know who is actually using every computer.  Google can determine demographic information based on anonymous browsing history of computers.  So over time as your prospects surf around the internet, their computers will be categorized as male or female, within a certain age range.


How to Use Age & Gender Targeting

The first step to utilize this new targeting tool is to identify your ideal customer segments.  For example, are your best customers 25 – 34 year old men?  Or is your service a good fit for over 65 year old women?

If you’re not sure, then take a look at your historical sales data to see if you can identify any trends.  Also, if you’re already advertising on the AdWords display network,, then go to the “Display Network” tab, click on the “Change display targeting” button, select “Specific genders” and “Specific ages,” and then click Save.  Now your campaigns will start to display stats for each demographic segment and over time you’ll be able to identify your top segments.

The second step is to craft your advertising copy and landing pages to match your target segments.  For example, if you’re targeting young men, then make sure your ads and landing pages reference men using your product or service and show relevant pictures whenever possible.

The third step is to monitor the performance of each demographic segment so you can optimize “winning” segments and exclude any poor performing segments.

That’s it! By following these three steps you should see a significant boost in your ad click through rates and sales conversion rates over time.

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