Targeting the Over 65 With PPC

Justin Freid, January 9, 2013


Marin Software provides the leading online advertising platform for managing search, display and social marketing.

Targeting individuals online who are over the age of 65 is no easy task. For the past 10-15 years, this specific market segment has statistically spent less time online than its counterparts and was also less likely to purchase products online.

Though the above has been somewhat true, we’re now entering into an area of opportunity with the senior crowd. As the baby boomer age continues to grow older, it presents a unique opportunity for online marketers to target those over age 65.

How Big is the Over 65 Market and are They Even Online?

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As of 2010, 13 percent of the U.S. population is over the age of 65. By 2030, more than the number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to grow to 70 million.

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The good news: the group of current seniors is becoming more open to browsing and making purchase decisions on the Internet, with more than 84 percent of seniors browsing the Internet and performing searches on multiple devices, according to a study by Google.

In fact, one-third of the current population over the age of 65 has performed a search on their mobile device within the last 30 days and 78 percent of individuals who were exposed to an online video ad performed a branded search for the advertiser after viewing the advertisement.

Who is Making up the Exponential Growth?

Baby boomers are playing a significant role in the increase of online activity of the over 65 market. The Boomer generation consists of individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964 (current age of 48 to 66). These individuals use smartphones for work, are comfortable shopping online, and will be the driving force of the over 65 market for years to come.

What do These Stats Mean?

The above mentioned statistics show an increase in activity on search engines by the over 65 market and their activity will increase exponentially as the baby boomer generation ages. This presents a unique opportunity to target the over 65 market through paid search on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.

Who is Taking Advantage of This Market?

Few markets are specifically catering directly to the new set of digital savvy 65-year-olds. Industries such as Medicare and life insurance utilize PPC as one of their primary lead generation tactics.

Tips On Targeting The Over 65 Marketing Through PPC

  • Information is key: The over 65 market is used to digesting quite a bit of information before making a purchase decision. According to a recent study done by Google and comScore on the health insurance industry, seniors clicked on an average of seven links per browsing session before making a purchase decision. In order to satisfy these individuals, you will need to make sure you provide them with rich, valuable content about your products and services as soon as they hit your landing page.
  • Tie online and offline advertising together: Those over 65 often are the highest respondents of direct mail. By utilizing a common messaging between your direct mail and search ads you can increase the likelihood of receiving the click that leads to a purchase when searches are made after receiving your mailing.
  • Provide benefits: Seniors can receive discounts on products and services through companies like AARP and at just about every diner and fast food chain. If you have an ad group or campaign created that highlights discounts or benefits for seniors, you’ll likely get the click over your competitors. Highlighting this in your ad text can be a great opportunity.
  • Branded terms are key: While the younger portion of the over 65 market is quite computer savvy, there still is a larger percent of the market with a more limited ability. This specific group of elderly people tend to utilize the Google search bar as a place to enter the URL of the site they would like to visit. Making sure you are bidding on branded terms and navigation terms ( can help you make sure you can control messaging and help drive these individuals to the right place.


As the baby boomer generation ages, the over 65 market will become increasingly lucrative for online advertisers. The market is showing signs of growth and increased trust in purchasing products online. While many companies aren’t catering their online experience to the newly-turned 65-year-olds, now is a great time to take advantage of a low barrier of entry.


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