Pay Per Click Advertising Tip #9 – Google AdWords Geo Targeting Basics

By jameszol
Published on November 26, 2007

Geo-targeting is a good buzz word for local businesses. In fact, we run into local businesses every day that completely dismissed the idea of marketing on the Internet because they didn’t realize the power they had to target their products to the local market!

You can advertise to people within 1 mile of your business with Google by targeting a physical location and radius around that location:

1. Log in to Google AdWords and find your campaign settings. The settings can be found by visiting your campaign summary page, putting a check mark in the box next to the campaign you want to edit, then simply click the button above the campaign name that says “edit settings”.

2. Scroll down to the mid-right side of the Campaign Settings page and find your Target Audience section. In this section you will see two subsections – languages and locations. Click on the “edit” button next to the locations subsection:


AdWords Campaign Settings Locations

3. A warning pops up – read it carefully and decide if you need to save anything before continuing, then click OK and you should be viewing a page that gives you Locations Targeting Options at the top.

4. Click on “Change Option”, read a warning and decide if you want to click ok to continue – you can hit cancel on the next screen if you don’t want to change anything…

5. Choose Regions and Cities if you want to target any city or choose Customized if you need to target a specific zip code or radius around a physical location (we’re going to choose Regions and Cities):


Geo Targeting Options in Google AdWords

6. After you hit continue, you will see a list of Regions and Cities to choose from OR you can write in a city by choosing the radio button labeled “Cities” if you do not see it in the pre-populated list:


Regions and Cities you can target in Google AdWords

7. Clicking continue will take you back to “Edit Settings” where you will want to scroll to the bottom and click “Save Settings”.

It’s that simple! :)

Here is what your ads will look like to your local audience when they search for your product or service and you geo targeted the campaign – remember, NO ONE else can see your ads unless they have an IP address in your geo targeted area…for example, I am in East Idaho but my IP is from West Idaho or Boise so I see ads targeted to the Boise locale:


Geo Targeted Ad for Boise Area


Geo Targeted Ad for the State of Idaho

I simply searched for “Toyota Camry” and “car insurance” respectively and these ads were displayed with an extra line stating the location of my IP dependent upon the advertisers targeting method…the extra line that lists the city or State adds relevancy to a searcher and they are more likely to click on your ad – I like to say that you get more Google search results real estate when you use geo targeting!

Improving your Click Through Rate (CTR) will improve your Quality Score which will lower your costs – AND you typically stand out among your competitors! Try it, go search for your product and see how many competitors are geo targeting your audience!

Start taking customers from your competitors by geo targeting today!

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