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A Complete Guide to Setting up Geotargeting in AdWords

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A Complete Guide to Setting up Geotargeting in AdWords

What makes Google AdWords such an effective marketing channel is the level of targeting it offers.

Advertisers control practically all aspects of their campaign from the keywords that trigger their ads to how they are displayed on different devices. Budgets can even be easily adjusted depending on the time of day. So you could increase your spending during those hours that get the most traffic.

But one feature that really shines is geotargeting.

Geotargeting is an advanced AdWords feature that lets advertisers specify the exact locations where they want their ads to appear. Here we look at how to set up a geotargeting campaign in AdWords and best practices to follow.

How to Set Up Locations to Target

Start by logging into your AdWords account. Click on one of your campaigns and click Edit next to where it says Targeting at the top.

campaign1

With these settings, campaigns are targeting all of Australia. But if your customers are primarily local, you want to restrict where your ads are displayed. After clicking on Targeting, scroll down to Locations. Type in a location to target and AdWords will automatically pull up a list of locations you can add or exclude.

campaign-locations

You can even narrow your results down even further with radius targeting. Simply click on Advanced search next to the search box. On the next page, click on Radius targeting then enter in a location. Radius targeting ensures that only searches within the designated radius trigger your ads.

Here you can enter a distance in miles or kilometres that you want to limit your radius to.

location-kilpmetres

The map shows you the exact locations where your ads will be visible. You can easily increase or decrease the radius by adjusting the distance value. Searches that occur outside the radius will not be able to see your ads so make absolute certain that the radius is correct before proceeding. You can also add additional locations to the campaign which will appear highlighted when you view the map.

Click the Add button to add the location and then click on Done at the bottom of the window to return back to the campaign settings.

Remember to click the Save button.

location-save

And that’s it.

The campaign you edited now has geotargeting enabled.

Viewing Location Data

Being able to view conversion data for each location is absolutely key. If one location is performing better than another, you could allocate more of your spending in that region. Likewise you could remove a location entirely from your campaigns if it is performing poorly.

From the Campaign page, click the Settings tab and then click on Locations.

location-all-campaigns

Here you can view additional location data about your campaign.

Geotargeting Best Practices

Geotargeting is an incredibly useful feature, particularly for local businesses. Here are some best practices to follow to make the most out of this feature:

  • Target locations you service: If you wanted you could actually reach every country with your campaign. But doing so doesn’t make much sense if you only ship to one country or provide services to a specific region. Enable geotargeting to make your campaigns more targeted.
  • Use the exclusion option: Excluding certain locations is just as important. Your business might ship to customers worldwide but there might be some countries that you don’t ship to. In this case you would want to exclude these locations from your campaign.
  • Add negative keywords: Browse through the Search Terms Reports to see the keywords that trigger your ads. Exclude any that are not bringing in sales and add them to your negative keywords list.
  • Include target locations in your ad: Even with geotargeting, it is still a good idea to include the location you are targeting in the headline of your ad to make it more relevant for your target audience.
  • Enable location and call extensions: If your business targets local customers, be sure to enable location and call extensions. These are straightforward to set up and make it easy for customers to contact your business directly.

Geotargeting is an advanced feature that lets advertisers specify the exact locations they want their ads to appear in. If your business targets primarily local customers, it makes sense to limit your ads to certain regions. Doing so keeps your campaign highly targeted and makes efficient use of your budget. Follow the steps as detailed above to implement this feature.

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Emily Reiffer is general manager at Digital Monopoly, parent company of Paid Traffic, an Australian based PPC advertising agency. She is a marketing fanatic and entrepreneur with a passion for everything search engine related.

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