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

May 9, 2019

By Greg Finn
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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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If you need any help don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help!

Greg Finn

Greg Finn

Greg is the director of marketing at Cypress North. He has been managing internet marketing campaigns for more than seven years and is a certified Google AdWords partner in search advertising. Greg has been both a speaker and moderator at SMX, the world's leading search engine marketing conference, and is also a contributing editor and regular writer at SearchEngineLand and MarketingLand.

See Greg's Most Recent Posts

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