Back in 2017, Google introduced a unique option for advertisers to target users based on recent or upcoming life events, including college graduation, marriage, and moving. Recently, Google added even more life events that advertisers can target online, and expanded this option to the Google Display Network (banner ads).
The Google Display Network allows advertisers to appear across millions of websites, news pages, blogs, and Google sites like Gmail and YouTube. As a builder, these types of ads can help you capture a buyer’s attention earlier in the buying cycle, and are often an effective way to drive top-of-the-funnel traffic at a competitive cost.
However, given the wide reach of the Google Display Network (94% of all U.S. internet users), results can vary, and it can be easy to waste your budget on individuals who might not be in your target audience. The most effective approach to avoid this is to strategically define and narrow your audience.
How to Utilize Google Life Event Targeting
Google now has four new major life events for advertisers to target within their campaigns, three of which are ideal for homebuilders.
- Purchasing a new home
- Business creation
- Job change
“Purchasing a new home” is ideal for homebuilders to reach buyers who are further down the funnel. This audience differs from Google’s In-Market Audience “new houses for sale” because it takes into consideration how long they have been searching and their likelihood to purchase in the near future vs. someone who is just starting their search.
“Retirement” is a great new opportunity for 55+ homebuilders. This gives homebuilders a new chance to reach people who have either recently retired or plan on retiring soon based on their online behavior.
“Job change” allows you to target users who are about to change jobs or did so recently. While changing your job does not necessarily mean you are also buying a new home, the two events often coincide. When combined with proper location targeting, you can reach employees looking to relocate to your area.
Like other audiences in Google Ads, Life Events can be layered with additional location, income, and age data, to find your ideal audience.
How Does Google Know This?
Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information,” and while Google is certainly making good on that promise, it is gathering even more information than most of us realize. While most Google services are technically free, you are paying with your information when you use its services:
- Google Search – What you search for and what results you click on (both Paid and Organic) are used by Google to develop your internet profile.
- Google Chrome – Google has access to everything related to web browsing through its massive Chrome base, which accounts for over 60% of desktop web browser usage in the U.S.
- Website Analytics – Google Analytics is by far the most widely used website analytics platform and is installed on the majority of websites you visit. Google uses some of this data for ad targeting.
- Android OS – The world’s most used mobile OS is an immense source of data that Google has access to for ad targeting.
- YouTube – By far the world’s most popular video site, the videos you watch on YouTube also contribute to your Google profile.
- Google Maps – Google likely has a lot of location data on you if you use Google Maps and have not disabled location history.
While some might find Google’s collection and retention of all of this information a bit “Big Brother,” this wealth of data provides incredible opportunities to advertisers who utilize it. In addition to the quantity of data Google has, the quality of this first-party data is very high, considering that it does not depend on unreliable third-party data providers. Take advantage of these new audience targeting options and combine them with personalized ads to elevate your online strategy!