When taking a look at the Google Ads location targeting at a first glance, it seems pretty simple and straightforward, in that you pick where you want the ads to show, and Google only shows your ads in that location.
This feature is very useful in that when setting up every ad campaign, you have the ability to select the countries and languages. Once you’ve set that up, that ad will appear only to the people in those areas.
That means that for example, local businesses that have specific audiences and ranges will want their PPC campaigns only to appear in front of users who are within a set distance.
In this blog post, we’ll tackle the interesting subject of location targeting, and how you can use it to your advantage.
What Is Location Targeting and Why Is It Important?
As we previously mentioned, if you apply geo-targeting (also known as location targeting), your ads will only be shown to people within that specific location. However, this is not unique to Google Ads, since all PPC platforms allow you to utilize this feature for your ads.
Larger companies with many different locations can also use this to their advantage as well, by running segmented campaigns. Along with that, they can add location-specific copy into each ad for better performance.
How Does Location Targeting in Google Ads Work?
Firstly, there’s a difference in how geo-targeting works on the search network and the content network. We can begin by explaining the search network.
Location Targeting on the Google Ads Search Network
When you specify to Google that you want to target a specific audience on the search network, they may send you any of the following three types of traffic:
- Targeting by Physical Location
The targeting will be based on the keywords you included as well as the IP of the searcher (i.e., how you envisioned this to work).
- Targeting by “Location of Interest”
The targeting will be based on your geo campaign because the people have specified interest in that location.
- Targeting by Session-Based Matches
From Google’s documentation once again:
Google has stated that “When determining which ads to show on a Google search result page, the system considers the user’s current search term as well as some of the user’s previous searches during the same search session. If the system detects a relationship, it’ll show ads related to these other terms, too.”
Simply put, if someone is searching something in the location we are targeting, but then later on in the same search session looks up information for the keyword we are targeting, Google is reserving the right to show them our ad. One thing we can say is, never underestimate the power of Google’s algorithms.
Location Targeting on Content Network Campaigns
The fact of the matter is, Google hasn’t exactly made this targeting option appear all over the place. More granular control doesn’t work on the content network. We might:
- Own a local business that can’t afford to pay for errant clicks and doesn’t want to show up when someone is searching for the keyword but is not in the selected location
- Have a business that laser targets (and focuses on) only specific IP addresses
- Want to segment out locations of interest from physical locations, to measure the effectiveness of these 2 matching types
But none of these options are available to us on the content network.
Using location targeting with Google Ads is a great way for you to create more effective ad campaigns that will drive the desired results. By using location targeting, it will help you exponentially increase your ad’s relevancy, which will give you a boost in both CTR and ROAS.
Once you start to effectively utilize geo-targeting, you can later test out different practices and copywriting strategies to see what drives the most results. By doing that, you will see what your audience responds to most.
We recommend split testing different ads amongst different locations, as it can be very beneficial if you’re targeting a few different areas (since each audience is unique).
Are you using geo-targeting for your business? How do you measure the success of your local campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!