Everyone from marketing professionals to public speakers will tell you to “know your audience.” But that means a little something different to everyone. When it comes to putting that knowledge to work, there’s a lot more to understand than just who sees your ads.
While demographics should help define whom you target with online advertising, you should also use the data that’s available about your website visitors. If a site has a Google Analytics account, you can learn a ton of information about visitors and apply it to ad targeting.
Google Analytics tracks user demographics based on information stored in third-party cookies and mobile advertising IDs which is compiled using behavior hints from web browsing activity. Be aware that this data is not 100% perfect but reflects the best work of Google’s algorithms to gauge user ages, genders, and interests. The key to targeting is realizing that even if these categories aren’t perfect, the users who show up in a particular “bucket” when visiting your site are the people interested in your brand.
The age subsets and interest categories you see in Google Analytics correlate to targeting options available within Google AdWords. You can choose from these categories when setting up display ad campaigns in order to serve ads to the most relevant people.
First, let’s review how to look at demographic information in Google Analytics and then move on to applying what we learn in AdWords bidding.