Geographic Targeting

What is Geographic Targeting?

Geographic targeting lets you choose where your ads can be shown for your targeted keywords. You set it up to target an area as large as entire country or as narrow as a specific neighborhood.

Purpose of Geographic Targeting

As mentioned above, the focus of location targeting is to put your ads in front of the people in your service area. For instance, if you have a brick and mortar shop inside of a large shopping center, setting up an AdWords campaign that targets the local area will increase your visibility in local search. Or if your company is looking to expand into a a new country, you could set up a targeted AdWords campaign to test the waters.

However, geographic targeting can be leveraged for much more than just that.

Exclude Non-Performing Geographics

One of the biggest budget sinks that’s causes wasted ad spend in your AdWords account is targeting non-performing geographics. Your business isn’t going to be all things to all people. There will be areas where your ads just don’t do well. As such, there’s no reason for you to keep spending money to show ads to people who just don’t care when you could be putting it to better use.

By excluding poor performing locations, your budget will be freed up for campaigns that produce results. This in turn will generate more leads and sales as well as lowering your cost per conversion.

Visibility for Your Local Business

Local businesses live and die on the amount of foot traffic they get. And the best way to drive more foot traffic to your store is to advertise in your local area. After all, your potential customers can’t stop by your store if they don’t know you exist.

Moreover, 72% of local searches visit your store when they find you through local search. That’s because people looking for something locally are looking for something right now. By being present for local searches, you drastically increase the likelihood of getting more foot traffic.

Stay Compliant With Local Legislation

There are certain businesses that need to be licensed to operate in a particular state. There are even laws preventing them operating at all. Advertising in areas you aren’t allowed to operate in can have serious legal consequences. For instance, marijuana (recreational & medicinal), certain types of loans, and lawyers are examples of businesses that can operate in specific areas.

Geographic targeting lets you advertise in only the areas you are licensed, or legally allowed, to operate in. As a result, this guarantees that you won’t violate any local laws and keeps you safe from legal action. And by specifically setting where you ads can be shown, you are shifting liability from yourself to the platform you’re using.

geographic targeting google adwords example

Setting up Geographic Targeting in Google AdWords

Google will prompt you to select a specific location to be targeted when you create a campaign. So, if you already have an active campaign running, your location targeting should already be set up. However, you can fine tune your location targeting by following the steps below.

  1. Log into your Google AdWords account.
  2. Go to your desired Campaign.
  3. Click on Locations in the left navigation menu.
  4. Find Geographic Report in the horizontal menu bar above the map.
  5. Click to open the drop down menu and click on Geographic Report to see which locations triggered your ad.
  6. Click on the listed Location.
  7. Select your desired View from the following menu, i.e. state, city, etc.
  8. Review the table and add bid adjustments or exclude under-performing locations.

Stop Targeting Specific Locations

To exclude specific geographics to keep your ads from being shown for search queries:

  • Follow the previous process up to Step 3.
  • Go to Excluded.
  • Click on Edit Locations.
  • Type the desired location into the text field and click Exclude.
  • Add any additional locations
  • Click Save.

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