How to Target your PPC Ads for Locations

Posted on 07/04/2020 by Irina Holliday

It's all too easy to fall into the trap of making your PPC Ads too broad. One way of streamlining and focusing your ads is by targeting them for specific locations.

A surprisingly large number of online advertisers and businesses set the location of their PPC campaigns towards the United Kingdom and then forget about their ads. Using IP addresses and a number of signals, search engines such as Google have a very good idea where each IP address is located within the UK. This allows for a very clever feature in Google Ads which allows you to target your PPC advertising to particular locations.

Google Ads can pin-point ads in many locations from the region, to the country level, to the county level to the city level and even postcode level.  This is done at the campaign level of the account.

To apply this, log into your Google Ads account and select your campaign.

Google Ads Campaigns

Once in your campaign, click Settings along the top menu of options.

Google Ads Campaigns Settings

Click on the Locations section to bring up your current targeted locations for your PPC campaign.

Google Ad location

When you select Enter another location and click Advanced Search, you will have a range of options to edit and set your location targeting for your PPC advertising campaign. There will be Search, Radius Targeting, Location Groups and Bulk Locations tabs as demonstrated below.

Country-level targeting

Simply by entering a particular country into the Search field, you add the option to include or exclude that country from your PPC advertising for that campaign. This will then be added to your criteria. Excluding location is known as negative targeting.

It’s important to know that if one area is included AND excluded the exclusion over-writes the inclusion.

PPC Ads country

County/City/Postcode level targeting

It’s also possible to drill down further to include or exclude counties, cities and postcodes. As per the screenshot above, you can enter specific areas with a country into the Search field and add them to your location targeting criteria. This would be a great tool for businesses such as plumbers that are unable to provide services to locations that are too far away.

PPC Ads county target

Radius targeting

Another particularly useful tool is Radius targeting which will allow you to target your PPC advertising to an area based on distance.

For example, you could set a 10-mile targeting radius around Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. By simply entering a location within the search field under the ‘Radius Targeting’ tab and setting the distance in miles or kilometres, you can be super specific with your location targeting.

PPC Ads radius targeting

Bid Adjustments

It can be established that different areas which your PPC advertising is targeting will convert at different conversion percentages. Also, their average order value may be different if you are running an e-commerce website. Bid adjustments on the locations can be made to ensure that budget isn’t being wasted on the lesser converting areas.

Within Campaign, click on Locations to make Bid Adjustments to the location targeting criteria that you have applied.

PPC Ad bid adjustment

From here you can click on the Bid adj. cell within each of the locations to increase or decrease the percentage of the bid. This will allow you to further monitor your PPC budget by adjusting bids within locations where conversion rates vary.

Bid adjustment

You can see how different areas are performing in Google Analytics if goal tracking or conversion tracking is set up correctly. These reports can be found within Audience – Geo – Location of Google Analytics.

Google Analytics geo-location

Within these reports, you can drill into the locations by region and cities to identify their goal or conversion rates.

Google Analytics report

In conclusion, exploring the location campaign settings of your PPC advertising will ensure that they are shown to the right people.  Google Ads has the tools needed to target your PPC Ads to locations where they are most useful. Using bid adjustments on the locations can increase the number of leads and conversions whilst maintaining your current cost-per-lead/conversion as money won’t be wasted. Essentially, this allows your PPC advertising to be more focused, streamlined and well, targeted!

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