Demographic targeting is a relatively new feature for Google. It’s the process of targeting your PPC ads and keywords to a specific age range and gender type. The purpose of demographic targeting is to really drill down on your target audience by writing extremely specific ads to a very specific audience, which in theory will help qualify your traffic and ultimately increase conversions. It also helps you prevent spending money on users who do not fit in your target audience and aren’t likely to purchase from your site.

**An important note to remember is that Google pulls demographic information only from the content network. Some sites like social networking sites do ask their users for demographic information. The demographic reporting in this tool is a combination of content network sites that do contain demographic and some sites that do not.

How to view your demographic information:

  1. Select a specific campaign from your Google Adwords account that you want demographic information on.
  2. Click the campaign settings link at the top of the campaign.
  3. Go down to the middle of the settings page where it says Networks and Bidding. Click on the demographic bidding link to the right. See screen shot below:

Once you click on the demographic bidding link, you should see a page that looks identical to this:

Now that you’re in the report section of the demographic bidding, you can view which age and gender click through on your ads most frequently and convert. In the screen shot above, you can tell that a majority of my users are female between the ages of 18to 24.

What you can do with the reporting information to improve your PPC campaigns and Quality Score is increase your bids on the age and/or gender that have a higher click-through rate or conversion rate. By doing this you can increase targeted traffic to your site and increase sales/conversions.

To increase your bids on a specific age and/or gender simply click on the ‘edit’ button under the ‘make adjustments’ column.  This will allow you to add a percentage of increase to your existing bid.

The bad part about the feature is that the date ranges for the demographic reporting is for the past seven days only, and you can’t compare date ranges to see your improvements.  However you can still run a campaign report in the reports section of the Adwords interface to see if your CTR or conversion rates have improved.  You can also use this feature in MSN adCenter, however the feature is not yet available in Yahoo!

I think this is a good feature if you can actually get conversion data out of the reports.  If you’re  mainly working to improve your click-through rates and  have money to spend then it would be okay for that too. The only problem I find is that most of my clients on the content network the conversion data wasnt’ showing up. Therefore I couldn’t feel confident in increasing bids demographically based off CTR alone.