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PPC Optimization: Gender Targeting

Summary: In Google Adwords you can optimize conversion rates using gender targeting. Learn how to squeeze more leads out of your PPC spend by targeting high performing demographics singly or in combination.

Last time we explored optimizing your PPC campaign with age range targeting. We found that middle-aged people tended to convert better, for a particular client. In Google Adwords you can also target demographics by gender. Studies have shown that men and women tend to browse and shop differently on the Internet. Let's look at how you can use differences in gender behavior to optimize bids to boost PPC conversion rates.

Gender Targeting

To target by gender in Google Adwords select Campaigns, and select the Audiences tab (see Figure 1).

Audiences Demographics Gender Conversions

Figure 1: Audiences Tab, Demographics, Gender in Google Adwords

Next select the Demographics button to the right of the +Targeting button, and select the Gender tab next to the Age tab. Note that Google uses self-selected genders, where Google users enter their gender and age into their account profiles. Not everyone enters every demographic requested, thus the "unknown" category.

Impressions versus Conversions

On first glance, one interesting thing about this account is while more females visit than males, more males convert than females. Figure 2 shows that females create 1.5 times more impressions than males (at least the visitors we know the gender of). Figure 1 shows that men convert about 1.5 times more than females. Something is strange here in mudville. We'll see the reason for this later on in this article.

Impressions by Gendere in Google Adwords

Figure 2: Impressions by Gender in Google Adwords

Account View of Gender Performance

After selecting gender in demographics, AdWords lists the performance for each gender in each ad group. To get a better overview of how each age range performs overall, select the Account View tab (see Figure 3). The account view shows the overall performance of each gender in your entire account. Overall men convert about 2.4 times more than women (8.23% vs. 3.47% for women). Men also cost less than half per conversion than women.

Account View of Gender Performance

Figure 3: Account View of Gender Performance

Age Range Bid Adjustments

In the ad group view you can target specific genders for bid adjustments. In this case we bumped up the bids for the male persuasion for both the dentist call only, and the porcelain veneers call only campaigns (see Figure 4). In both campaigns, males converted 2 to nearly 3 times more than females (19.89% for males, 6.67% for females in the dentist campaign for example).

Ad Group View of Gender Performance

Figure 4: Ad Group View of Gender Performance

These tweaks will boost the overall conversion rate of this PPC campaign.

Combining Demographics

Google Adwords allows you to combine demographics to see which combination (gender and age in this case) has the best performance. The "view demographic combinations" slider defaults to off. Setting this feature to on finds the best combination of gender and age ranges (see Figure 5). In the dentist call only campaign, males ages 35-44 had the best conversion rate.

Ad Group View of Gender+Age Performance

Figure 5: Ad Group View of Gender+Age Performance

Account View of Combined Demographics

Like the age and gender demographics do individually, you can select "account view" for a combined demographic performance overview (see Figure 6). The account view for the combined age and gender shows that males in the age range of 35-44 tend to convert the best for this account.

Account View of Gender+Age Performance

Figure 6: Account of Gender+Age Performance


You can target specific genders in Google Adwords to optimize conversion rates. By tweaking the bids on high performing genders, you can tilt your campaigns to those folks more likely to convert. You can also view combinations of demographics to see which combination (males or females in different age ranges) converts the best.

Further Reading
This Manhattan New York cosmetic dentist volunteered his AdWords campaign as the subject of this article.
PPC Optimization: Age Range Targeting
You can target specific age ranges in Google Adwords to optimize conversion rates. By tweaking the bids on high performing age ranges you can tilt your campaigns to those folks more likely to convert.
PPC Optimization: Average Income Targeting
Targeting your desired audience within particular geographic area using income is a powerful tool you can use to improve your conversion rates. Average household income is just the first demographic that Google has rolled out for that purpose. Coming soon are gender, age, and parental status which could be used to further refine your campaigns.
PPC Optimization: ZIP Code Targeting
Learn how to add ZIP code targeting to your PPC campaigns to boost conversion rates. By optimizing the performance of individual demographics and locations, you can improve conversion rates to squeeze more leads out your AdWords spend.
Women vs. Men Gender Differences in Purchase Decision Making
Discusses the different ways men and women shop online.

By website optimization on 16 Dec 2016 PM

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