If concentrated visibility in front of a segmented demographic is one of your PPC goals, Demographic Exclusion is the vehicle that can help get you there. Age and gender segment exclusions are just one of the tactics that the top search engines are providing advertisers with to help refine their PPC campaigns. Options for targeting vary by engine. Check out Katherine Bennett’s recent post for more on the details.
Google has been rolling out similar features at a higher rate since their acquisition of DoubleClick was solidified. With more demographic data available form a higher volume of publishers, Google is able to offer smaller advertisers (budget-wise) the opportunity to target their core demographic with a minimal cost of entry. While higher budgets will get you more visibility, it is possible to be effective with modest budgets as well.
Demographic exclusions can be implemented quickly and easily, from a technical perspective. However, it is important to know your audience and even to have solid evidence to support your exclusion choices prior to implementation. Have you profiled your customer base? Reviewed demographics for the websites you are advertising on? Be sure to do your due diligence before testing.
To adjust your demographic settings in AdWords, select the campaign (available for content only at this time) and click “Edit Campaign Settings”. On the Edit Campaign Settings Page, Demographics are located within the Networks and Bidding section. In the example below, we have excluded all known users up through age 34.
After two weeks, we saw Click through Rate increase by 175%. See below for a comparison as shown in AdWords Account Snapshot report.
Although ads within this campaign received fewer impressions, we have eliminated known unqualified users from clicking our ads. From here, we can refine our Click through Rates even further by segmenting into gender-based ad copy. One option is to set up a duplicate campaign, each targeting either Male or Female users. Ad copy should reflect the audience being targeted. For example, an ad targeted toward Males for Mother’s Day gifts could be:
Browse Thoughtful Gifts
Get Your Wife What She Really
Wants For Mother’s Day This Year!
A Similar approach should be taken with display ads. Use male-themed images to attract your male audience and female-themed images to attract your female audience.
If you have not checked it out already, I highly recommend taking Demographic Exclusions for a test drive.