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How to target the "right" age audience in search ads?

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi People,


This is more than a topic for case sharing than a question asking for urgent help Smiley Happy 


So it's already a solid fact that in search the demographics targeting is not available (definitely a good vision to expect) just like what display ads did. Besides that, any good approachs to recommend?


Apparently to avoid the bad clicks with the wrong person, copy is the only thing that matters - put it into more strict words and try to find a way to attract the one you're looking for. But that's too tricky and not working well usually, because:


1) You get very limited space to claim your business & requirement at the same time;

2) People don't really care about what you says from the lines. They did, most of the time.


Let's say you have a program to sell that only want to attract people from age 25-30 which is very necessary to have to qualify it. However, I learn that age is not allowed to mentioned on the copy anyway (any lots of other attributes of course).


The last thing I can think about is to run some big data: That means to see where our previous qualified leads come from in terms of various dimensions such as locations, days of the week, hours of the day, the search term, etc..But due to the leads amount is not that significant much, those data probably won't tell anything and actually I can't find any common things shared by the right audiences.


If you've ever got the same practices, please do leave your comments and we both might get some more ideas out of it.


Thanks a lot!



1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Jason Zhang
September 2015

Re: How to target the "right" age audience in search ads?

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Jason,


Unlike the GDN, Search network is targeted by users' search intent and hence using the right kind of keywords, with appropriate match types and negatives would help in fetching the right kind of traffic. Irrespective of user demographics, the fact that users search for specific products/services is something to capitalize on.


Have you tried doing keyword research using the Keyword Planner? You can get good keyword suggestions from the tool and then refine further by adding match types. By running the campaign for a while, you'd also be able to identify better performing search terms (to add as keywords) and irrelevant ones (to add as negatives) as well.


Another suggestion would be to run Dynamic Search ads for a couple of weeks with a low budget. This would help you identify better performing search terms, headlines and landing pages. You can then build a standard search campaign based on that learning.


I agree to your point about character limitations in the ad text. I'd suggest using call out extensions to specify your USP, instead of the ad text.


Hope that helps, feel free to write back!


Sumanth Sridhar

How to target the "right" age audience in search ads?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I'd say there's plenty of Adwords advertisers out there with the same problems as the one you outline Jason!


I myself find it terribly frustrating and unfair that Google do not let advertisers target ads over the Search network to specific demographic audiences. 


Customer's age is indeed a relevant factor for most businesses. I currently manage Adwords campaigns for a mortgage lending company, and it would be great if we could filter out traffic from users who are too young or too old to take out a mortgage... but Google only let advertisers do that kind of filtering over the Content network, not the Search Network.


They probably have their good reasons to do so from a financial perspective (broader audiences means more clicks which means more money for them), but it also shows that Google aren't all about "providing the best experience to users" as they claim to be... I mean how useful can it be for someone to see Ads from a company that is not interested in them because of their age/gender/etc...???




How to target the "right" age audience in search ads?

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Marco,


Thanks for your comments!


Looking back at this confusion - I'd say it's just how it works. Later I found out I could use bidding automation rule to keep your ads in a lower position so users can find it at the bottom of the page. It did cut off great traffic but make sure the CTR goes higher. That's always the dilemma for online advertising - you have to sacrifice either traffics, or many useless clicks.


But I also learned that Google did serve ads differently based on user interest for those who had a G account. Hopefully it will get more smarter over time and know what people like to see even without demographics targeting.