When To Use Income Level Geo-Targeting in Adwords

Google Adwords has a multitude of targeting and bidding options. Sometimes it becomes difficult to decide which option is the best for our clients and their goals, so we just have to test them out!

One of the Geographic options we have is to target users by their demographic/income level. You can target these specifically, add to existing targeting, exclude or modify bids by income levels.This is in the advanced setting option for location targeting. Please note, this targeting option is based on publicly available data from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is by geography, not be the individual user.



We have a client that is on the higher end for their product, and they know that their typical buyer is on the higher income scale. Our first instinct was to add the income targeting and increase our bids for the top income levels.

But we took a step back and realized we shouldn’t assume that this targeting feature is accurate and that making these adjustments might not be the best strategy for our campaigns.

Let’s collect some data first!

We decided to go ahead and just add this income levels to our targeting without making any adjustments. This way we can collect the non-modified data and determine if this is a good strategy for our campaigns. We also included the entire United States as well to ensure that we weren’t losing any targeting this way.


Analyzing the data!

We let the campaigns run this way for about 3 months (it is there down season, so search volume was low) and analyzed the data. We found that the conversion rate decreases (while CPA increases) as the income rate does.The Top 10% have a conv rate of 19.41% and Lower than 50% only has a 15.5%. We also see that the lower income levels are also much higher volume. We would expect that the highest income levels to be lower volume so that data doesn’t surprise me.


Not shown - CPCs and Avg Pos varied slightly but there wasn’t much variance.

How this helps you

If you have a client that is on the higher end (or lower...) of the price scale compared to their competitors, we recommend adding this targeting (without bid modifiers!) to your campaigns and see how the data varies for you! Once you have the data collected you can determine if this is a good bidding strategy to look into testing.

Have you run campaigns with income targeting? How were your results?





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