Breaking Down AdWords Demographic Targeting for Search Ads

A few months ago, AdWords demographic targeting for search ads was introduced, including the ability to segment by age and gender. This brought joy to many brands and marketers, because they could better match ads to audiences while gaining more control over who saw their ads.

It was a definitive moment for sure. Yet if your head’s still not in the game, then this quick explanation should help.

Let’s start with an example. Say your software company has a new product and you want to advertise it. In the old days, a user would type in a keyword and, if your keyword matched theirs, it could trigger your ad to appear on the search engine results page. Now, with demographics targeting you can refine who sees the search ad, based on who has the greatest propensity to buy your product. (Careful, your targeting should reflect data on user intent, not who you assume are your buyers.)

Let’s take a look at how AdWords breaks down demographic targets for search ads:


As of now, there are seven groups within the age demographic, including:

  • 18-24

  • 25-34

  • 35-44

  • 45-54

  • 55-64

  • 65 or more

  • Unknown (when AdWords cannot match user data with an age)

This is super helpful when you want to segment your search ads to the most appropriate and relevant age groups. A 39-year-old and a 74-year-old may both be interested in weight loss but for very different reasons. AdWords demographic targeting helps you serve ads to the best audiences and create a more personalized experience.


The gender demographic is a bit simpler, showing just male, female and unknown. Don’t underestimate the power of this targeting, however. Plastic surgery advertisements are often targeted at only women, yet reports suggest that men are increasingly coming in for these procedures. You can easily use the gender demographic in AdWords to reach both audiences with different ads, simply by targeting each gender separately.

AdWords demographic targeting is one of the best features for search ads. Try it within your campaigns and see how they compare with your previous performance.

Reach out with any questions you might have regarding how RSO can help you with your digital marketing.

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