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Household Income Targeting in AdWords? Yup

Published: February 19, 2014

Author: Susan Waldes

Did you know that buried deep within your AdWords account is the ability to target in search via household income levels? You heard me right. Let me walk you through the (many) steps.
First, click on a campaign and go to the Settings tab, then the Locations sub-tab. Now, click the +LOCATIONS button.


(Take a moment to reflect on how very unintuitive this is and, in your own future site design efforts, try to do better than Google has on this one.)
Okay, next down at the bottom of your Locations list, you’ll see an “Advanced search” link; click it.

edit locations

We are almost there…I promise. Now, click on the “Location groups” link there at the top:

location groups

You are getting so warm! Once in “Location groups,” you’ll see a little drop-down that says “Choose your location group type”. Drop it down to “Locations by Demographics,” and ta-da….

by demographics

You get a second drop-down to select a household income tier. The top 50% is tiered by 10% increments, with the bottom fifty all in one.
There are many situations where this could be useful; the most common is facilitating reach to higher-income households in locations that are, in aggregate, lower HHI. Once you have created your target, it will look like this and be called a “custom” target.

 custom target

 You can use this income segmentation layered with geo as a stand-alone target for your search ads in cases where you want to eliminate certain HHI tiers entirely. You can also use it as a layer for bid modification. So, in my example there, I could target all of Louisiana but boost my bids 30% for people in the top 10% HHI there.
This deeply buried tool is a real gem in my opinion. Off the top of my head I can think of tons of keywords where the intent is dramatically changed when you are thinking top 10% HHI vs bottom 50%: loans, cars, real estate, shoes, business training, preschool, travel…the list goes on and on. Given the so buried, so unintuitive location of this, I’ll bet your competitors are not capitalizing on it (yet).

Thank you for viewing our post. Want to learn more? Check out our Guide to Adwords Search Ad Extensions.

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