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Use Age and Gender Targeting to Boost GDN Performance

Published: January 3, 2013

Author: Molly Shotwell

Today’s post is by Account Manager Tyler Jordan, who is really good at not gloating about the success of his San Francisco baseball and football teams.
All the way back in 2012, Google launched demographic targeting at the ad group level on the Google Display Network. We’ve run some tests and highly recommend using it for your GDN campaigns. Here’s a quick primer on why and how to put the targeting to use.
Most people start out with campaigns set to all gender and all ages. Rather than starting there, click the green “Change display targeting” button and scroll down to the Gender and Age sections:
gender and age targeting
Once there, break out all options to get data on who your customers actually are.
The goal here is to target the best – and the worst – groupings and bid to them separately. In the same way that you increase bids to top placements, you should aim to increase bids to top demographics (and decrease bids to the bottom ones).
The benefits? Like most optimization techniques, good age and gender targeting will improve efficiency and give you room to push for added volume in your most successful buckets.
Here’s what your targeting menu looks like:
age and gender GDN targeting
The other piece to remember here is that to get these segments to operate properly, you should check to confirm the targeting selections are set to show “only”:
show only gender gdn
show only age gdn
Once you have your demographic segments broken out, you can see them in your UI, and you can start gathering data on what age segments and which genders are converting at the highest rate.
GDN gender targeting structure
GDN age targeting structure
Let this run for a week or two and check back. You may very well find significant differences between age segments and genders that you can use to your advantage.
In this particular example, we found that for most all ad groups, men were converting at lower rates for less volume than women, so we separated those out into their own group:
gdn gender targeting
After we excluded men from the test, we let it run for a bit longer and found that our optimal age/gender demographic was women aged 35-55:
age and gender targeting results
So we broke out women aged 35-44 and women aged 45-54 to gain visibility into how those segments performed.
In the end, we ended up breaking out Men (all ages) and Women (ages 35-44, 45-54, 25-34, and 55+). The structure looked like this:
GDN demographics targeting results
The upshot is that we’re bidding higher on the age/gender slices that convert and bidding lower on the ones that don’t. If your GDN campaign performance plateaued in 2012, using this tool will help you get 2013 off to a much better start.
– Tyler Jordan, Account Manager

25 E Washington Street
Suite 420

Chicago, IL 60602(650) 539-4124


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