Two Methods of Location Targeting

There are two ways of targeting customers by location:

  • Geo-targeting at the campaign level
  • Choosing location-specific keywords at the ad group level.

The first part of this tutorial discussed the three criteria that search engines use to determine audience location targeting: IP address, domain and query terms. You can take advantage of all three of these criteria with campaign-level geo-targeting, but you are limited to a pre-selected set of locations. On the other hand, you can target any location in the world with ad group-level keyword selection, but this will only be relevant to users who include the location name in their query.

Campaign-Level Geo-Targeting

In Clickable, you set campaign-level geo-targeting when creating a new campaign or modifying an existing one. You can do this at two levels: by country or by region/city.

Country Targeting

In Clickable, you can target your ads to nearly every country in the world. You can either select the countries you want to target one by one, or add every country with the Add All feature. If you want your ads to show up to everybody in the world, simply target them to all countries.

Along with language targeting (the topic of another tutorial), country targeting is the only way to target users of country-specific domains. If you target your ads to “Germany,” for example, you will reach users of the Google.de domain, as well as users with IP addresses in Germany, and users who indicate “Germany” in their query terms.

Regional/City Targeting

The other campaign-level option for geo-targeting is at the regional/city level. Here, your options are somewhat more limited. Each country has a specific set of regions and cities that you can target. Some, like the United States, have a variety of options: states, cities, metropolitan regions and counties. Others, like Australia, have fewer: usually only states or provinces.

When you use regional targeting, you reach users with IP addresses in the regions you’ve selected, and users whose query terms include the regions you’ve selected. Search engine domain isn’t relevant at this level.

Ad Group-Level Keyword Selection

If you want to target a specific region that is not included in the campaign-level options, you should include the name (or names) of that region in the relevant ad group’s keywords. For instance, you can target ads to “New York City” at the campaign level, but not to the Westchester suburb of New York, because “Westchester, NY” isn’t one of the regional options. So, if you want to advertise a bookstore to users in Westchester, you should include “Westchester” in the keywords for your ad group, along with “books,” “bookstore,” “bookshop,” etc.

While this allows you to be extremely specific, only users who include the name of the region in their query are targeted. Including the keyword “Westchester” does not result in an SEM tool automatically targeting ads to users with IP addresses in that town. In future versions of Clickable, however, you will be able to draw custom maps and target ads to users in those areas. This upcoming feature is the topic of the third part of this tutorial.