So you're running an AdWords campaign for your business, but you only want to target specific locations. How can you do that? Easy. You just go into your campaign settings and set the location to the area you want to target. But what options do you have? Well, Google recently updated their interface to catch up with Yahoo Search Marketing's panama release in December 2006. This new release nicely integrates maps into the existing targeting system. In fact, the new features not only help them catch up with Yahoo!, they've moved them way ahead of Yahoo!.

So how granular is the targeting on Adwords?

Continent level? Country bundling is a new feature, and allows you to quickly select a group of geographically similar countries, which you can add to and subtract from as needed.


Country level? Most companies will go with the default of US, but consider your audience. If your products are targeted towards armed forces personnel you may want to add countries like Germany, Afghanistan and Iraq.


State level? Even apart from state-wide business possibilities there are interesting options here. Consider a politician aiming to influence people in certain states during the primary season.


Metro level? In the old system you had no idea whether metro level encompassed a specific suburb. Now with the map you can see for certain. (Note: The zoom capability gives you much more visibility than that in Yahoo!.)


City level? You can add as many cities as you want from to the list, not necessarily contiguous.


Radius around a point? Just don't try to go down to a 3 mile delivery radius for your pizza place.


Custom shape? - In case you wanted to target those 'inside the beltway' politicians.


So what else is new? You can now exclude areas within your target. So say you want to target the entire US except for Tennessee, you just select the entire US, then select Tennessee as an exception. Here's an example with bits of New Jersey taken out of the Philly Metro area.


Of course, you still have all of the existing issues with geotargeting, in that the ads will be shown to users based on where their IP address resolves to, which may or may not be where they're physically located, or based on the content of their search (if someone is in Peoria searching for Atlanta Restaurants, then it makes sense to show an ad for a restaurant that geotargets to Atlanta). However, these features do make the process of setting up geotargeting for your campaigns much easier.

Hey Yahoo!, Google's made the move; it's your turn to try to jump over them in this game of leapfrog.

January 29, 2008

Simon Heseltine is the Director of Search at Serengeti Communications a McLean, Virginia based digital marketing agency specializing in search engines, social media, word of mouth, Blogs and RSS, digital PR, and online media & advertising for a wide range of clients in both the nonprofit and commercial sectors.


Thank you for taking the time to grab the screen captures, do the research, and blog it. I distributed the post to our staff.

Geo-Targeting is a great idea, but for destination specific keyword choices, you are best off not utilizing this feature.

www.linux-girl - for an excerpt from Google regarding this.

Using your example: If you do not wish to target Tennessee but you want to be found for Tennessee Real Estate in New York. You will not be shown, as Google filters "Tennessee" as if you were searching from Tennessee. Not to throw more confusion, but IP's are also filtered. So geo-targeting is filtering twice. Fun Stuff.

Thanks for taking the time to help out those of us that are trying to learn but find Googles Tutorials very confusing. I really appreciate each and every one of them and have learned more from them in a short period of time from them than I have in over a year of attempting to read and understand Googles Tutorials.

Google recently changed it's Quality Score calculation. The most troublesome change for the Quality Score calculated per search is geo-targeting. Adwords will boost Quality Scores for ads in the same geographic region as the consumer. Better Quality Scores mean higher ad positions.

As a consumer, I would imagine the appeal of the internet is being able to view products and services from outside your local area. Now Google is going to shut that down, and show ads only from your local area.

Thanks for taking the time to run though this. It is a quality presentation, and at the correct length - short. You really did your research.

At least the very minimal targeting one should do, is the country you are targeting. Very few people target the whole world with one ad, and those that do are not very successful using english ads in germany.

I work for Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock, NC. We have another property not owned by us that is less than 1/2 mile away (within the same property). However, when you do a search for Highland Lake, it shows a link for the street address and ours does not. Why does this happen?


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Search Engine Guide > Simon Heseltine > Google AdWords: Geotargeting Options