How Can Using Google’s Detailed Demographics Data Benefit Your Business?

By Tony Newlands,

What are Detailed Demographics?

Anyone with an interest in marketing will most likely be familiar with the concept of demographics. Traditionally these are broadly measurable characteristics used to identify or segment a given population or audience and can be used to better identify consumer trends or potential target markets.

Thanks to the vast amount of data users share online we have long been able to measure and analyse the performance of our online advertising campaigns with respect to demographics such as age, gender and location. Since the rebranding of AdWords to Google Ads however, we are now able to take the use of demographic data a step further.

Following an extensive testing period, Detailed Demographics were initially only available to a privileged minority of online advertisers. Google has since rolled out Detailed Demographics as a fully-fledged feature to all Google Ads customers and it can be a very powerful tool when utilised correctly.


How are Detailed Demographics Useful?

Detailed demographics go beyond the traditional demographics most will be familiar with and add an additional layer of detail allowing us to segment our audiences by further factors such as home ownership, parental status, marital status, employment industry and even education level.

Here is a full list of the Detailed Demographic metrics which are currently available:

  • Home-ownership Status
    • Homeowners
    • Renters
  • Marital Status
    • Married
    • Single
    • In a relationship
  • Employment
    • Industry
      • Healthcare Industry
      • Technology Industry
      • Hospitality Industry
      • Education Sector
      • Manufacturing Industry
      • Construction Industry
      • Financial Industry
      • Estate Agency Industry
    • Company Size
      • Small Employer (1-249 Employees)
      • Midsize Employer (250-999 Employees)
      • Large Employer (1k-10k Employees)
      • Very Large Employer (10k+ Employees)
  • Education
    • Highest Level of Educational Attainment
      • Secondary School Leaver
      • Bachelor’s Degree
      • Advanced Degree
    • Current University Students
  • Parental Status
    • Parents
      • Parents of Infants (0-1 years)
      • Parents of Toddlers (1-2 years)
      • Parents of Pre-Schoolers (3-4 years)
      • Parents of Primary-Schoolers (5-11 years)
      • Parents of Teens (12-17 years)

While it may not be immediately apparent how these specific demographics relate to an individual business or product, it is worth considering that each of these may potentially be a key factor when it comes to making enquiries or purchases online. For example, though both homeowners and users who rent their homes may be in the market for a new kitchen appliance, Renters will be far less likely to consider a fully remodelled kitchen than home owners would be. Similarly, when researching holidays, users who have children are more likely to opt for a package holiday at a resort with child friendly amenities than booking a last-minute romantic city break.

By utilising Detailed Demographics, we have a far greater level of control over exactly who sees our ads, and this greatly increase the chances of our ads reaching the most qualified audiences. Even in cases where we believe our ads have the maximum exposure to our target demographics, it allows scope for testing new targeting outside of our usual audiences. By including these additional audiences in our campaigns, the resulting data will inform us whether these new audiences are relevant or not.


How Do We Setup Detailed Demographics?

When Google rolls out a new targeting metric, it can certainly be tempting to jump straight in and see what the new feature can do. However with Detailed Demographics it is highly advisable, at least initially, to add Detailed Demographics as new audiences in “observation” mode. Doing this will not affect campaign performance but Google Ads will gather data in relation to these new audiences with every impression, click and conversion,

Depending on the amount of traffic experienced, there may be enough data within a couple of weeks to determine whether an audience is relevant or not. It would however be prudent to wait up to 30 days particularly for campaigns with low daily budgets or those that do not typically drive large volumes of traffic.

As with any other metric, each Detailed Demographic audience will have a full set of performance data available for analysis. Once a sufficient quantity of data has been gathered we can gain a clear picture of which of these audiences are seeing our ads, interacting with them and ultimately, which go on to perform a conversion action on our website.


How Do We Start Using Detailed Demographic Data?

Once one of our Detailed Demographic audiences shows a clear interest in our ads or shows a particularly strong conversion rate, we can then apply bid adjustments to these individual audiences. This works in the same way as we might add an increased bid adjustment to users in a specific geographic location where conversions have been high in the past.

By selecting the Detailed Demographic audience, we have the option to set the bid adjustment as a percentage of the maximum CPC bid. If a keyword or campaign has a maximum CPC bid of €1, then applying a 50% bid adjustment will automatically increase the bid to €1.50 for users who fall into this Detailed Demographic. This is an ideal method of quickly increasing visibility to the most qualified audiences, while helping to keep overall campaign spend under control.

Inversely, if it has become apparent that a Detailed Demographic audience simply isn’t relevant, we can add a negative bid adjustment which will help reduce the likelihood of our ads being displayed to users within these demographics. This will reduce the volume of clicks from these non-converting audiences and again, help reduce the amount of campaign spend on non-converting clicks.


What’s The Next Step?

While Detailed Demographics can be a powerful tool, the best results can be achieved when they are paired with Google’s Smart Bidding strategies. To read more about Smart Bidding strategies, visit our blog post here.