There is no end to the number of keywords you can add, ads you test, or extensions you can utilize in your Google Adwords campaigns. Yes, having a strong keyword set is important. Speaking to your audience through ad copy, and highlighting your benefits through extensions plays a crucial role to your campaign’s success. But your campaign settings may decide its overall effectiveness.

Most experienced Google Adwords managers will take the time to properly segment and manage campaign location, schedule and device settings. Of course you want to target the areas you service, optimize for day of week and hour of day, while optimizing by device if applicable to your business — and you’re likely already doing that.

But have you optimized your campaigns using the demographics settings in Adwords? Perhaps the single most important setting in Google Adwords is your bid adjustment on Age and Gender.

Do You Really Sell to All Ages and Genders?

While the importance may vary by company, we’ve found that very few clients have campaigns where they really sell to all ages and genders at the same rate. For example, not many 18-24 year olds are in the market to buy a luxury home. It’s unlikely that you want to advertise a womens’ day spa to males the same way you do to females. Age and gender bid adjustments are the most important settings in Google Adwords campaigns for many different types of accounts, yet many advertisers don’t optimize this key element.

This doesn’t mean that you need to entirely shut off certain ages or genders — but you can adjust bids to increase or decrease the groupings that will bring the most value to your business. Start with “common sense” settings, and then optimize from data once you have collected a few hundred clicks with conversion data. Then the real fun begins.

The Real Advantage You Gain

The age and gender of your customers isn’t likely to change much, so by limiting your spend to only those that are likely to go from lead to sale, you can be more aggressive with other areas of your Adwords campaigns. By increasing effectiveness via demographic bid adjustments, you can be more broad with your keyword selection, more lenient with desktop vs. mobile device spend, etc. With proper management, analysis, and continued campaign optimization, this approach will allow you to scale campaign impact over time.

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