Income Location Targeting AdWords
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Google AdWords

A Guide to AdWords Income Targeting: Set Up & Optimization

One of the most powerful use-cases for online advertising is the use of existing customer data to expand your business’ market share. Your current customers all have one crucial thing in common – they were all willing to pay you. No, this shouldn’t be groundbreaking news. And yet, it gives you the best starting point for who to target for future online advertising campaigns.

There are a number of ways to go about targeting people similar to current customer email lists on AdWords and Facebook or use demographic data to hone in on the right audience: gender, location, past purchasing behavior, device, and much more. You can also segment your target audience based on his or her income bracket in AdWords.

[Click here for an Income Targeting walkthrough for Facebook Ads] 

Why would I want to target income levels in AdWords?

The data doesn’t lie. There are certain common traits among people that make them more or less likely to make decisions. People from Wisconsin are more likely to root for the Packers. People who make over $1,000,000 per year probably have different purchasing behavior than people making median income levels.

Even if you don’t know the income levels of your current or past customers, you can add this type of targeting anyways and follow trends as your campaigns run. You may find key trends that will allow you to allocate 100% rather than 16.7% (1/6th) of your daily budget to the highest performing income bracket. Here’s how to do it.

What Income Brackets can you target in AdWords?

  1. Top 10%
  2. 11-20%
  3. 21-30%
  4. 31-40%
  5. 41-50%
  6. Lower 50%

How to Set Up Income Based Targeting in AdWords

  1. From the  Campaign  tab view, select the campaign that you would like to set up income-based targeting for
  2. Click the  Settings tab
  3. Beneath Settings, click Locations
  4. Click the  +LOCATIONS  button
  5. Click Advanced Search
  6. Above the Search Bar, click on Location Groups
  7. From the Choose location group type dropdown select  Demographics 
  8. Beneath that, you are given 6 income brackets to choose from the  Select household income tier dropdown:
    1. Top 10%
    2. 11-20%
    3. 21-30%
    4. 31-40%
    5. 41-50%
    6. Lower 50%
  9. Then enter the different regions where you would like to hone in on certain income brackets. For example: if you would like to target the Top 10% of people in Western Australia, type Western Australia, Australia.
  10. Click  ADD 
  11. Click  Done  once you’ve added all the locations
  12. Click  Save  


How to Optimize and Make Bid Adjustments for Certain Income Levels

Once you have a statistically significant amount of data in your campaigns, you should be able to see trends across income levels. Go to

  1. From the Locations view in #3 above you should see a  Bid adj.  column
  2. Click next to the location where you would like to increase or decrease bids
  3. Type the percentage increase or increase into the bid entry box
  4. Click   Save  

Making bid adjustments based on income allows you greater control over how you attack different demographics on AdWords.

Questions? Comments? Personal experience? We’d love to hear! Tweet us @AdHawk


4 responses to “A Guide to AdWords Income Targeting: Set Up & Optimization

  1. Quick question…. when you do the income target, you had united states… how about if we only want to target certain cities or zipcodes? will the location data limit the delivery of the campaign only to those ZipCodes? or Cities?

    1. Hey Juan,

      If you select individual zip codes, your ads will only show to users in those Zip Code areas. Same goes with Radius Targeting and specific cities.

      You can also eliminate Zip Codes, Cities, etc. from a larger targeting area like the U.S. or a state.

      Does that help? -Bobby

  2. Hey Bobby!

    Urgent enquiry – you mentioned Western Australia, but it says that income targeting is not available for these locations.

    Is this available for Australia?


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About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.