How to Track Demographic Data on Google Analytics for Better Ad Targeting

How to Track Demographic Data on Google Analytics for Better Ad Targeting

Google Analytics is one (if not, the most) favorite tool of most web specialists because of its power to deliver data-driven insights and its high-level of tracking customization. The fourth quarter of 2013, it has introduced yet another brilliant feature to fully understand the user and its behavior – the Demographics and Interest Report.

The bottom-line for publishers:

The Demographics and Interest report enable you to determine which of your pages or sections of your site are more suitable for a specific demographic group (age, gender, interest categories). Given this powerful data, you can customize the type of ads that you want showing on these pages. Imagine how that can take your ad revenue strategy a notch higher.

Related Read: DFP Cheat Sheet for Beginners: Targeting Line Items

Now, here are the steps to get started:

Step 1: Modify your tracking code to support display advertising

The first step requires just a simple one-line change in your Analytics tracking code to support display advertising. This will allow the Doubleclick cookie to collect information when the cookie is present. This change will not affect any customization you’ve made in your tracking code.

But you have to make sure the implementation is proper based on the collection method you are using: Classic or Universal Analytics. See this article to find out how you should update your code.

If you’re using the Google Tag Manager instead, here’s a different implementation.

Step 2: Update your privacy policy to adhere to our Policy requirements for Display Advertising.

After making the code changes, you will be required to update your site’s privacy policy page because this modification in the tracking code is actually a Google advertising feature. It will merge personally-identifiable and non-identifiable information about your users.

Your privacy page should disclose:

  • The Google Analytics Advertising Features you’ve implemented.
  • How you and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together.
  • How visitors can opt-out of the Google Analytics Advertising Features you use, including through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or any other available means (for example, the NAI’s consumer opt-out).

You also need to provide a way for users to opt-out of this type of information-collection system by pointing them here – https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/

Step 3: Enable Demographics reports in the Analytics interface (Edit permission required).

There are two ways by which you can enable this report in your Analytics interface.

First option: Open the Demographics Overview report, then click Enable above the introductory text.

Second Option: Click Admin, select the property you want, click Property Settings, then under Display Advertiser Features, enable the option for Demographics and Interests Reports. Once you have made the changes to your code (see Step 1), you will have to return to the ‘Overview’ report’ to validate your code modification.

Click on “Validate tracking code” to check if the code has been properly implemented. If the implementation is wrong, you will see this page again.
If there is no error in the code update, data will be available in 24 hours.

MonetizeMore is an industry leader in website monetization. If you need to consult us about your site to discuss how to properly target audience to ads, feel free to contact us here.

You may also sign-up for a FREE application to Google AdExchange – the best alternative to Adsense.


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Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean is the resident expert in Ad Optimization covering areas like AdSense Optimization, DFP Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.

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