Reach Your Nonprofit’s Goals With Google Analytics Demographics Data

The Demographics and Interests feature in Google Analytics can provide powerful insights to help reach your nonprofit’s digital marketing goals. By analyzing the Demographics and Interests data, you can better understand how to increase donations, grow your email list, or find leads. This guide outlines the steps of viewing the data, using the data as a KPI, and applying your analysis to increase conversions.

What Is The Demographics and Interests Data In Google Analytics?

The Demographics and Interests data gives you the age, gender, and interests of your website’s visitors. This data comes from the third-party DoubleClick cookie (for web traffic) and from anonymous identifiers for mobile apps (i.e., Advertising ID for Android and IDFA for iOS), which Google uses to predict your age, gender, and interests. The image above is the Google Analytics Interests dashboard for one of our clients.

How to Enable Demographics and Interests Data

Demographics and Interests are not enabled by default in Google Analytics. You must enable this feature to start capturing demographic data. Go to > Select your property > Audience > Demographics > Enable.

Use Google Analytics Demographics Data as a KPI

For Unity College, we used the Demographics data to tell us if our persona marketing campaigns were successful. While Unity College is well-known and well-loved in the state of Maine, we wanted to increase brand awareness for potential applicants in California, Florida and Texas. As we launched our campaign, we kept a close eye on traffic coming in and converting onsite. Through community management on Facebook and Twitter, paired with paid display, SEM and Facebook advertising, we captured 103,396 new website visits, 203% higher than our goal of 34K. Through a targeted content strategy, we were able to keep engaging our audience. We had 54.3% returning visitors, 6.5% higher than industry average.

While those numbers are great, they don’t tell us whether we were capturing the right traffic. Looking at Demographics info, we saw that we had successfully captured our target. Targeted campaigns increased total traffic by 33% (237,148 vs. 178,373) with out of state traffic increasing by 52% and our key states increasing as well. California was up by 277%, Texas by 399%, and Florida by 200% compared to the year before.

WEBSITE TRAFFIC Maine % of Traffic Non-Maine % of Traffic Non-Maine Site Sessions Total Site Sessions
Mar 15 – July 31, 2014 58% 42% 70,480 178,373
Mar 15 – July 31, 2015 36% 64% 145,209 237,148
+106% +33%


WEBSITE TRAFFIC California Texas Florida
Mar 15 – July 31, 2014 2,881 1,682 1,989
Mar 15 – July 31, 2015 10,877 8,396 5,963
%  Increase +277% +399% +200%


Increase Conversions by Leveraging Demographics Data in Facebook Ads

Once enabled, use Google Analytics Demographics data to identify who is converting on your website. You can then replicate those demographics and interests in your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram advertising campaigns to lower your overall cost per acquisition (CPA).

Lower Cost per Acquisition

For our client Water4, examining this Demographics data shows us people under the age of 45 make up the majority of our donors. Therefore, when it comes to Facebook advertising, it makes sense to dedicate a larger percentage of our fundraising ad budget to folks under 45 years old. To compare the cost efficiency of different age groups, we set up a different set of ads to target users 45+ to test our hypothesis that people 44 and under are more likely to end up donating to Water4.

This approach also applies to marketing goals like increasing members or growing email acquisitions. For our client CreakyJoints, we found that the most popular demographic was women age 45-54. By targeting female Facebook fans between the ages of 45 and 54, we were able to reduce the overall CPA by 20%.

By pairing Demographics information in Google Analytics with social media advertising, you can determine which audiences are a) most cost-efficient, and b) most likely to convert. As you continue to optimize, you can then tweak your messaging accordingly.

How to Do it

To find out the age, gender, and interests of the people converting on your website, such as subscribing to your newsletter, registering to become a member, or donating, follow these steps:

  • If your conversion is set up as a Goal in analytics, go to Audience > Demographics > Age > Select your goal under Conversions.
  • If your conversions are not set up as goals, but as events only, go to Behavior > Events > Top Events > Select your event. Add Gender or Age as your secondary dimension.

Need help?

If your organization would like to lower acquisition costs through data-driven strategies – like leveraging Google Analytics data to inform your digital marketing – Media Cause can help.


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