Age Targeting with Google Ads

Google Ads is the most effective advertising platform ever devised. Go ahead and debate me if you want, but there is no other form of advertising that comes close to what Google Ads can deliver. It shows ads to a person at the exact moment they are looking for it. No other form of advertising can boast that.

Google Ads Campaigns are set up around keywords. You select the keywords you want ads to be displayed for. When someone uses those search terms, your ad shows.

Okay, oversimplification to be sure. But, it should be noted, it’s not uncommon for Google Ads campaigns to be optimized and targeted around keyword choice. A majority of the work can focus on the primary and negative keywords refinement in order to ensure you are reaching your target audience.

It makes sense to do that, and it is the core strength of Google Ads–using keyword research to see what your audience searches for, then showing ads on those searches.

But there are a few other ways to refine the audience you are reaching and that is with demographic targeting. In follow up articles, we will discuss the other forms of demographic targeting available inside Google Ads, but today we are going to focus on age-based targeting.

Why Use Age-Based Demographic Targeting in Google Ads?

There are two main reasons to refine your target audience based on age. The first one is obvious: if your product is specifically geared to a specific generation or age group, then this helps ensure the ads are shown to them.

The second is budgetary reasons. If you have a limited budget, this is one way to refine your audience. When you are working with a limited budget, there are a variety of helpful ways to limit targeting to make best use of your dollars. Geotargeting is generally the first choice for many, but age targeting is also an option.

How Does Google Determine a Person’s Age? 

It’s really important to understand how Google determines a person’s age grouping. It isn’t perfect.

When people are signed in from their Google Account, they determine demographics from their settings or activity on Google properties. While people can add or edit their demographic information in their Google Account settings, not that many people do. So if you frequent a site known to cater to a specific age group or gender, that is information they may use to place you in a demographic category.

In addition, some sites might provide Google with demographic information, such as social networking sites. So the information can be pulled from Facebook, or similar properties. For people who don’t have or are not signed in to a Google Account, they estimate demographic information based on their activity from Google properties.

This is far from perfect. So if you adjust age targeting in your Google Ad settings, understand there is sometimes quite a bit of variance.

How to Adjust Age Targeting In Google Ads.

  1. Login to a Google Ads account.
  2. Select a campaign.
  3. Click on Demographics.
  4. Select Age.

Here, you will see the age breakdowns: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65+. If you check the box next to the age group, then click the edit menu, you can select options. You can include, exclude, or adjust a variety of bid options.

In this case, I excluded people at 65+ as they are not a good target for this particular client.

Adjusting age targeting in Google Ads is a good method to help refine the audience you reach. The manner in which Google determines age is not perfect, but it can still be a helpful way to guide your campaigns to reach the people best suited for your company.

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