Hidden deep in a recent blog post from Google is an update to their AdWords platform that had me sit up and take notice. Most of our clients know the type of prospect they are after. Theirs may be from a certain age group and with definite gender bias. Previously there was no way to target this bias through search advertising.

This is about to change.

But before we get into the good stuff of the future release, let’s remind ourselves how you bias a search campaign now to suit a certain demographic audience.

Let’s say for instance you run a women’s gym and want your AdWords search advertising to target women between the ages of 18-24. To support this goal you load up into your account search terms with this bias (e.g. women’s gym, or gym for women) to actively filter out any male “search noise”. This helps, but unfortunately is not the complete story.

That’s because not all women look for a gym with those search terms. Life is never easy. So they will also be using terms like “gym” or “ auckland gym”. Now you would actively discourage any males from clicking your ads by ensuring your Expanded Text Ad copy actively deterred them. Again, your chances of a 100% success with this strategy is never assured.

Which makes it so cool that with this recent announcement from Google of Demographics for Search Ads, thanks to Google, your life-demographic targeting has become so much easier.

Now you can let Google help you find the right demographic profile in its search audience and then, and only then, display your search ad. Just let that sink in for a while. No longer are you restricted by the previous targetting metrics of search term, device type, time of day or even geographic location. Now you now can add in the demographics of the actual person keying in the search and say — please Google show my ads only to females between the ages of 18-24.

The slight downside to this approach is that, thankfully, Google doesn’t know everyone’s demographic make-up, so by picking this option you will reduce your overall audience size. However, it does know enough for those situations where there is more traffic than budget — and it’s critical to ensure your advertising attracts the right bias of demographic to give your website enough of a chance of creating a conversion.

And if you are not sure if your website has a conversion demographic bias? Then I suggest you hop across to your Google Analytics account and check out your reporting from this same area. Not sure where to find it? See more about that here. The report is not enabled by default, so once done and your Privacy Statement is updated, all should be revealed. Then if your Analytics account has Goals you can slice the conversions by the demographic metric to see which age or gender is more or less likely to convert. (If all of this last paragraph sounds like gobblydegook, then why not consider one of our half-day training sessions to begin to master this great tool.)

So how does Google know your gender and your age? This link tells part of the story, plus if you are logged into your Google account then there’s more data for them to pick up on. Yep, I know it’s like Big Brother coming to a search term near you — however, this time they may help you save wasting another poorly targeted click.