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Why Your Google AdWords Account Needs Geo-Targeting

Claudio Dominguez

8 years ago



AdWords offers a plethora of options to refine your marketing strategy and really hone-in on the audience that you are trying to capture.

Geo-Targeting allows for more sophisticated measurement and personalization than was ever possible with traditional media.

One especially useful setting is Geo-Targeting, which allows you to focus on potential buyers based on the area they live in, the area they search for in their browser and the area they have expressed an interest.

Sound Too Good to Be True?

Well, what if I told you that you can also target areas within a certain income bracket or even locations of interest such as Universities and Airports.

Let’s face it, knowing where your business is getting their customers from and being able to aggressively bid on their location is a great tactic that some advertisers overlook.

The Basics

In layman’s terms, Geo-Targeting is a feature that allows you to show your ads only to users in locations you pick. Whether you are a local restaurant trying to generate more walk-in’s from mobile users or a novelty t-shirt store looking to ship to specific states, this feature allows you to protect your budget from irrelevant clicks.

Don’t just take my word for it, here’s a statement from Google:

“Location targeting helps you focus your advertising on the areas where you’ll find the right customers, and restrict it in areas where you don’t — which, as a result, could help increase your return on investment (ROI).”

How Can I Set up Geo-Targeting on My Account?

Sold yet? In 5 minutes, you can begin applying this feature on your account. Just follow these steps:

1) Sign in to your AdWords account

2) Click the Campaigns tab.

3)Click the name of the campaign that you’d like to edit.

4) Click the Settings tab.

5) Click Edit next to Locations.

6) Enter the name of the country that you’d like to target.

7) Click Add to add the location.

8) Click Save to save your setting.

Advanced Location Options

Let’s take a look at our available targeting options, and examine how they might work with some hypothetical campaigns below.

People in, Searching for or Who Show an Interest in Your Targeted Location

This option is the default and recommended option. It allows you to reach people who are likely to be physically located in your targeted location, as well as people who have shown interest in your targeted location or who have set their home or work location in Google Maps somewhere inside of your targeted location.

People in Your Targeted Location

This option allows you to show your ads only to those who are considered to be physically located within the area that you’ve targeted.

People Searching for or Who Show an Interest in Your Targeted Location

This option allows you to show your ads to anyone who has expressed interest in your targeted location. Either by searching for, viewing content about, or having settings related to the location.

Benefits of Implementing Geo-Targeting

The two most significant benefits of Geo-Targeting are, it allows you to exclude locations that drain your budget and segment your campaigns to show high spending locations. To do this, follow these simple steps:

1) Segment your campaign from the Dimensions tab.

2) Filter it by costs.

3) Set them as excluded locations. (I like using the advanced search view, feel free to edit (add/remove)  directly from the settings tab).

Some Geo-Targeting Pro Tips

Segment Your Campaigns by Locations and Assign Budget Based on Performance

Not all locations behave the same, metrics such as Expected CTR, CPCs, and most important CPA may vary significantly from one location to the other, which is why it’s always a good idea to segment your campaigns by locations (States / County / Regions) so you can control your spend and CPA.

If you create campaigns by locations, you can increase the budget for campaigns with a greater ROI and limit the spend for underperforming locations.

Tailor Ad Extensions to Convey the Message That You Are Right Around the Corner Ready to Help or Ship Some Goods

When separating your campaigns by locations, you can set up your extensions to reflect the areas that you serve, deliver, or work in. This can increase relevance and instill confidence in people that are looking for a local product/service provider.

Segment and Apply Bid Adjustments Based on CPA’s of Specific Locations

Understanding your performance at a granular level will allow you to set a different bid adjustment based on historical performance data.

Take a local Pizza joint. The potential customers that live in a radius near their location may be more important than the ones that live farther than their delivery area.

Here’s a screen capture of how different bid locations look (performance-based) for a venue rental business.

Increase Your Site’s Conversion Rate by Creating a Dedicated Landing Page for Each Location

So, you have already split your account into different campaigns based on your location. Now put yourself in your customer’s shoes…

Wouldn’t you like to be directed to a page that provides relevant, specific information about the location that you searched for?

Creating specific landing pages for each location shows you care about individualizing your customers’ experience. From Google’s perspective, your account will be rewarded with a better quality score because your content will be more relevant to each customer. Even from an SEO perspective, you will be able to create content and optimize your pages to rank for location-based keywords.

It’s a win-win-win-win situation!

It’s All About Location, Location, Location

Sticking to the basic targeting methods without refining your strategy around this audience will set your campaign up for failure and will leave a huge hole in your pocket. As an online marketer, it is essential to know your audience and where they come from. Have a very productive optimization day!