When it comes to targeting specific demographics, sometimes keywords are just not enough of a filter. But there is a hidden option to assist in this endeavor! Within the Adwords location targeting group is a nifty little feature called location groups which allows you to more closely target specific groups, such as places of interest and household income. Although both features are not as robust as one may hope, they do add an extra level of targeting unattainable with just keywords.
Locations by places of interest – airports, central commercial areas and universities
With this category the targeting options available are airports, central commercial areas (includes big malls) and universities. You start by choosing a location such as Chicago and then select one of the above three options. If you were to choose airports, Adwords will target any airport within that location area. You can also choose to go broad by targeting the entire US and in effect target every major US airport. In this particular instance Google suggests, but does not require, targeting Chicago by itself in addition to the airports within Chicago, and then increasing the bid adjustment for the airport locations. The reason given for this method is that getting granular can sometimes have the effect of unintentionally eliminating relevant traffic. The same theory holds true for central commercial areas and universities.
Locations by demographics – select household income tier (top 10% >$146K, 11-20% $102-146K, 21-30% $80-102K, 31-40% $64-80K, 41-50% $50-64K, lower 50% $0-50K)
The second option is locations by demographics which targets tiers of household incomes. Many clients are looking for ways to reach a higher income audience and this allows you some degree of control over the situation. The same caveat as above exists, in that getting granular can have the effect of drying up volume so it is recommended that you use this feature as a layer and increase the bid adjustment. What Google makes clear is that this does not target individual users but instead targets zip codes that fall into the income tiers based on IRS data and is available for the US only.
Each of these options by itself may not be the best solution, but by integrating these groups as layers within your location targeting, you can gain greater control over where you spend your valuable advertising dollars.