What is Geotargeting?

Geotargeting is an amazing AdWords feature that has changed not only the way local businesses manage their PPC campaigns but also helped give larger campaign managers another way to optimize and improve on theirs.

Geotargeting allows campaign managers to quickly and easily specify an audience based on either actual geographical location or geographical interest.

Propel Marketing | Internet Marketing Solutions for Your Small Business

Figure above: radius example using Google AdWords Geotargeting  

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION – A search query that triggered an ad based on location would look no different than any other search query. The actual difference being that Google AdWords uses the users IP (Internet Protocol) address to determine location. If the user IP matches the geographical area than voila, quality score is calculated to determine ad rank and if everything checks out, your ad will appear.

GEOGRAPHICAL INTEREST – A search query that triggered an ad based on interest would include what is called a “geographical qualifier”. If a user lives in Texas but is looking for a moving company in Boston, MA, they may enter a search query, “moving companies in Boston Massachusetts”. If Boston, MA is listed in the campaign Geotargeting then once again, quality score is calculated to determine ad rank and if everything checks out, your ad will appear.

How does Geotargeting apply to me?

SMALL BUSINESS – I’m a small scrap metal business! (pretend) Marketing via the internet sounds great and I definitely understand the value in it. With that said, years ago I tried to do a PPC campaign and saw no return on investment. My campaign was running nationally and it seemed that most clicks coming in were well out of my operating area. What questions do I need answered in order to justify attempting another run with Google AdWords?

What services do I offer?

What is my budget for new business?

What is my operating area?

How do I want to be found?

If I could answer these basic questions I am well into the beginning process of creating a successful PPC campaign.

LARGE CAMPAIGN MANAGER – Already have massive amounts of data using Google AdWords and Analytics? Why not add new (replica) campaigns with geotargeting to help optimize current campaigns? A current campaign may be performing great, bidding strategy is spot on, quality score is up and cost per conversion is down. You can still optimize this campaign to do better. You may be able to break out certain campaigns to add in geotargeting. By this I mean leaving the current campaign intact, but adding a new campaign with geotargeting using previous data to decide where the “hot” areas are. If you know that your product sells big in Maine during the cold months, then having a separate campaign targeting only Maine with a much more aggressive bidding strategy would probably work. I can promise you that it is definitely worth testing (the thing online marketers are always doing).

The thought process behind this article is to remember that online marketing is ever changing and always evolving. Using an easy to integrate tool like Google AdWords Geotargeting is a no brainer when developing new campaigns or optimizing old ones.