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How to… make the most of Google Adwords Location Targeting

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mapGoogle Adwords is an incredibly effective tool for marketing a local business, with a little bit of planning and tweaking you can get some fantastic results.

Used in its default state, Adwords serves a very wide audience. You pick some key phrases, set budgets and Google will show your ads to a selection of users who search for terms which are relevant. This is great if you are selling laptops with worldwide delivery but not if you are selling handmade cakes with delivery to a ten mile radius of your home town. In that case, you don’t really want your ads to be seen by somebody hundreds of miles away. They’re unlikely to be able to make much use of your service and you’ve spent a money telling them about it.

This is where location targeting comes to the rescue.

First, you have to select the locations you want to target. For postal region simply type the name of the town or region into the search box and you’ll be presented with a list of possible results, each with an indication of how many people you can expect to reach. For radius you need to click on the ‘Advanced Search’ link followed by the ‘Radius’ tab. This will give you the option to select a distance from the central point of the search result to include (10 miles, 20 miles, etc).

  1. Optionally include nearby regions

To make life a little easier you are also offered a list of ‘Nearby’ regions which you may also want to include in your location list. Depending on the product or service you are offering it’s often worth pushing your ads to an area a little outside your actual reach. As well as the option to add regions to your location list, you have the ability to exclude them as well.

  1. Set options for targeting and exclusion

Once you’ve built your list of locations you need to set the options for targeting and exclusion. You can generally leave these at their defaults but it’s always sensible to check they are set to values appropriate to your campaign.

For those you want to target you can select if the ads should be shown to:
– “People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location (recommended)”
– “People in my targeted location”
– “People searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location”

For those you don’t want to see your ads:
– “People in, searching for, or who show interest in my excluded location (recommended)”
– “People in my excluded location”

If you follow these steps, you can rest assured that you are not being billed for ads clicked on by someone 1,000 miles outside of your delivery area.