Understanding Geotargeting in Google Ads


As you may know, Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is an online advertising service developed and offered by Google where advertisers, like yourself, pay to appear to Internet users in search ads, display ads, video ads, and app ads. Geotargeting in Google Ads makes it possible to target these ads to only appear to customers in a certain location, or set of locations, specified in your Google Ads campaign.

Location, location, location!

When geotargeting is implemented, you ensure your ads are being seen by those customers who are in your geographic area and are therefore more likely to enter your store or rely on your services. With geotargeting, your budget is better accounted for and you can increase your return on investment (ROI) as you're not spending money on "wasted clicks" from people who are outside your target area(s).

Geotargeting by City Name or Zip Code

With Google Ads, your geographic area options include country, region (such as state or province), city and zip code. It is important for you to determine the areas your ads should be geotargeted to and communicate this to your account rep who will work to optimize your campaign. Some Experimac locations have found city names to work best while others have chosen to use zip codes. Knowledge of your local area plays a critical role here. Additionally, you may designate city names or zip codes to exclude.

Geotargeting by Radius

Proximity targeting allows the campaign to be set up with a distance radius around a location, such as your store address. Your store would become the center of the radius and the specified distance around the location would be targeted (i.e., 10 miles). Based on our extensive research and experience, we have not found this to work well for Experimac and generally, do not recommend geotargeting by radius.

Geotargeting Best Practices

  • Target the areas where your customers are. It's important to determine the areas your customers come to you from and focus your geotargeting on those areas. As part of this process, we have found that the distance customers are willing to travel varies by the service they need. For example, in our experience, iPhone® device repair customers typically travel shorter distances so targeting a smaller radius could be beneficial and should be considered.
  • Exclude locations when appropriate. This is often just as important as selecting the locations to include.
  • It's still important to include regional terms in your keywords lists. Even if you implement geotargeting, it's important to include your city name, for example, in your keyword list – Boston computer repair. With geotargeting, you're also able to include more generic terms – computer repair – since geotargeting will ensure your ad is only seen by local searchers.
  • Zip code targeting is not an exact science. There are times when Google is not able to determine the exact zip code the user is searching from so it's important to build layered targeting into your campaign.

That being said, keep in mind that there is not one approach that works for everyone when it comes to geotargeting. Often, testing different settings within the campaign is the best way to know what works best for a given location or business. These geotargeting settings are easily adjusted and tweaked to find the settings that work best.

What's the targeting set to for my current campaign?

You can easily view the targeting settings for your campaign when you log into LocalExperimac. You'll see the targeting on a map when you select Campaign Performance followed by Geo Performance from the menu on the left.

If you have questions about your Google Ads campaign or would like to review your geotargeting settings, contact your DAS Group account representative today. We are ready to help!