Life Events & Detailed Demographics: Two Little Known Google Ads Audience Options


For a while, it seemed that nobody was ever going to catch up to Facebook from a targeting standpoint. Facebook's ability to pinpoint specific users based on their behavior, demographics, or interests is still unmatched, but with the seemingly constant rollback of Facebook targeting options and advancements in targeting from Google Ads, that gap appears to be closing.

Google's audience targeting has improved exponentially over the past few years. Customizable 'Custom Intent' audiences have been a godsend, affinity audiences have gotten better, and Google Ads' remarketing can't be beaten.

There are two meticulous audience options available in Google Ads that you may not know about:

  • Life events- Available for Tube & Gmail campaigns
  • Detailed demographics- Available in Search, Tube, & Gmail campaigns

So, let's take a look at these lesser-known targeting options found within Google Ads audiences. Everything mentioned below can be found within the Audiences section at the campaign level:

Life Events

When it was initially launched in Summer 2018, life events targeting on Google Ads (then still AdWords) was sparse. There were only three categories of life events to target - college graduation, marriage, and moving. Since then, the Google team has implemented 6 all-new categories and 14 new life events to target.

It should also be noted that either the parent or the child life event can be chosen. Here is the current list in its entirety:

Business Creation

  • Recently Started a Business
  • Starting a Business Soon

College Graduation

  • Graduating Soon
  • Recently Graduated

Home Renovation

  • Recently Renovated Home
  • Renovating Home Soon

Job Change

  • Recently Started New Job
  • Starting New Job Soon


  • Getting Married Soon
  • Recently Married


  • Moving Soon
  • Recently Moved

New Pet

  • Adding Cat to Household Soon
  • Adding Dog to Household Soon
  • Recently Added Cat to Household
  • Recently Added Dog to Household

Purchasing a Home

  • Purchasing a Home Soon
  • Recently Purchased a Home


  • Recently Retired
  • Retiring Soon

That's it, all the current life events that you can use for targeting on YouTube and Gmail ads. Stay tuned for more changes and updates as Google has already greatly expanded targeting opportunities in this area.

Detailed Demographics

Similar to life events targeting but with one key difference, detailed demographics allow you to target users who have already experienced certain milestones. These allow you to leverage more granular demographic data on YouTube, Gmail, and search ads that aren't available with other Google Display products.

Parental Status

  • Parents
    • Parents of Infants (0-1 years)
    • Parents of Toddlers (1-3 years)
    • Parents of Preschoolers (4-5 years)
    • Parents of Grade-schoolers (6-12 years)
    • Parents of Teens (13-17 years)

Marital Status

  • Single
  • In a Relationship
  • Married


  • Current College Students

Highest Level of Educational Attainment

  • High School Graduate
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Advanced Degree

Homeownership Status

  • Homeowners
  • Renters

That's it! If you haven't dipped your toes into detailed demographics or life events before, we hope there is some targeting that may help your campaigns.

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Categories: Paid Search Marketing


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Head of Performance & Innovation / Partner

Greg Finn

Greg is the Head of Performance and Innovation for Cypress North's digital marketing team and one of the founders of our agency. In 2010, he and Matt Mombrea started Cypress North in Buffalo. Greg oversaw the opening of our second office in 2022, located in his hometown of Rochester.

As Head of Performance and Innovation, Greg co-manages our digital marketing department and works closely with our team to ensure all our clients achieve the best possible results. He is always looking for ways to test new digital marketing techniques and technology, and oversees all teaching and training efforts to ensure our agency stays ahead of the curve.

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With nearly two decades of experience, Greg is a known and trusted voice in the digital marketing community. He’s a contributor for Search Engine Land, a member of the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) programming team, and has been a featured speaker at some of the largest search engine conferences, including SMX, eSummit, and Pubcon. 

When he’s not working or staying updated on the latest trends, Greg enjoys watching his kids play sports and coaching their soccer team. He’s been named the runner-up “Greg of the Year” on Marketing O’Clock’s annual Clockscars Awards four years in a row. While the coveted award has evaded him for many years, Keanu Reeves has not. Greg once saw him at Gabriel's Gate tavern in Buffalo (and noted he was very tall.)