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PPC Fridays: Using Geo targeting To Make the Most Out of Adwords

One of the basic features of Adwords that is often overlooked by new advertisers is the Location targeting setting. Found under the campaign setting in the Adwords Interface, this feature allows for very specific and flexible location targeting. Let’s explore how location targeting works and how it can be used to help a small business to get the most out of Adwords advertising.

Adwords Geo TargetingLocation targeting by its name is self explanatory. By selecting a location, you can display ads only to searches that originate in that location, or are explicitly stated in the search criteria. First lets look at the Targeted Locations which is where the exact locations we want an ad to display are selected.

Depending on the type and scope of a business, the locations that should see ads will vary. A national chain of restaurants would want to show ads nationally, a regional auto dealer might want to show ads in Alberta and British Columbia, a Delivery Service in Calgary might want to target Alberta only and a local contractor would want to target his immediate area such as Edmonton or a specific location within Edmonton.

Generally speaking for international, national, and regional focused campaigns, it’s a fairly straight forward matter of geo-targeting. For more local focused targeting, at the city level and smaller, there are additional options that really allow Adwords to hone in on a specific location.

Real World Examples

Lets use the example of a a car dealership on the North side of Edmonton, a plumber in Red Deer, and a cafe in the Calgary business district to illustrate different examples.

Lets first consider the auto dealership located on the North side of Edmonton. This particular scenario might target a wider area, Edmonton and the surrounding areas is where car buyers are at for this dealership. To ensure that all available searches display an ad in the Edmonton area, Adwords allows for targeting the city of Edmonton, a certain radius around Edmonton, and the specific communities just north of Edmonton. A more specific example would be that the auto dealer knows that most of his sales come from people on the northern side of Edmonton, the individual locations to the north can be targeted, and the locations to the south can be excluded.

For the second scenario of a plumber in Red Deer, being situated between Calgary and Edmonton, this business is looking to be able to target not only all of Red Deer and the surrounding locations but also the South side of Edmonton and the North side of Calgary. His company travels up to 100 km for jobs and wants to keep his crews busy. By combining specific locations, radius targeting, and location exclusion, the plumber in Red Deer can reach relevant searches exactly in the locations he wants.

The final example is of a cafe in Calgary that serves mainly lunch to business clientele from nearby offices. This business can truly hone in on just a few kilometer radius of their location, targeting the exact areas their customers work. In this situation excluding irrelevant areas would be critical to maximizing results. When a nearby office worker searches Google for ideas of where to eat lunch, the cafes ad will be there.

In addition to targeting or excluding specific geographic locations, Adwords also has advanced target and exclude options. The advanced target option is a choice to target people that are only physically located within the target location, people physically outside of the targeted location but explicitly stating the targeted location in their search, or to target both. The same applies for the advanced exclude option. The default is to target both searches originating within the targeted location, and those  searches that are about the targeted location. For many situations the default setting is fine, but in the cafe example they would want to test targeting ads to searches that are located within the specific location.

Adwords has many different options to optimize a campaign, but none more fundamental than Location targeting. Targeting the right geographic locations in the right way is part of the Adwords standard here at Adster.ca and is one of the foundations to getting the most out of any local Adwords marketing campaign