Business man with dart targeting board on desk with stats

Benefits Of Geo-targeting PPC Ads + [How to Guide]

What is Geo Targeting?

The geo-targeting meaning is the practice of delivering location-appropriate content to visitors online based on their geographic location. 

The benefit of geo-targeting ads is that it allows you to deliver ads in a specific area so you can meet your business goals. Whether that is to build brand awareness, increase sales with location-based offers or drive footfall to your store.  

Using geo-targeting marketers can now target specific audiences in a variety of ways, focusing on attracting a specific type of customer, across several different platforms. Some of these platforms include Facebook, Google Ads and Tik-Tok. 

For this post, we will look more closely at the benefits of using Google Ads geo-targeting in your PPC campaigns, and how you can use geo-targeting strategies to improve your business.

The Benefits Of Geo Targeting in Google Ads

There are several benefits of using geo-targeting in your PPC campaigns. You can configure the targeting settings in Google Ads accordingly which will benefit your business and your PPC campaigns.

  1. Laser Targeting Campaigns
    The key to effective marketing is pinpointing the right audience and delivering the right message. Consumers are more likely to engage with your business if you provide relevant content and with Google Ads geo-targeting you can do just that! From regional targeting to specific postcodes!
  2. Personal Marketing
    Customers usually react more positively to marketing messages when the content is personalised towards them. Moreso customers will especially appreciate businesses that care about local clients. As a result, this can build trust with your brand to show local customers you care about the local area. And all this can deliver marketing messages through geo-targeting.
  3. Data-Driven Growth
    Concentrating on one particular location allows you to make better decisions about your customers. For example, you can identify what location has performed better from your marketing efforts and you can quickly change tact if you’re not seeing results.
  4. Save Money
    Spending money on ads that target the wrong audience wastes your money. By targeting the right audience, you can optimise your budget for a better return on investment (ROI).

How To Create A geo-targeting campaign in Google Ads

To begin you need to create a campaign and after completing first the section ‘budget and bidding’, you move onto Campaign Settings > Network then locations. This is where you get your first go at geo-targeting. You go from countries abroad to your home country and target a radius around a specific location.


Geo-Targeting PPC Campaign

For example, if you would like to target a particular city, for example, Manchester, you can choose this specific location. Also when you type in a particular location Google Ads will give an estimation of how many people you will reach. In the example, if you choose the City Manchester you will reach 2,420 million and if you choose Greater Manchester you would target 6,750 million people.


Geo-Targeting Manchester


In addition, you can target specific post codes which narrow down your reach even further but it’s becoming more targeted. However, you can choose to target the number of specific areas and not just one.


Geo-Targeting Location Settings

So in the screenshot you could target an M28 and an M29 postcode to give you a combined reach of 505,000. As a result, we can be quite specific with what area we want to target.

Another method that can be helpful for businesses is targeting the area around your company using radius targeting. 

To do this you need to click on advanced search.


Geo-Targeting location

Then switch from location to radius. Then you can search specific areas, postcodes or business names and you can choose how far you want to reach by miles or kilometres. So in the example, I am telling you to target my ads to anyone within a 20-mile radius of M28.


Geo-targeting radius targeting

However, if you feel like the 20 mile is too large or too small you can edit it by selecting the pencil icon.


Geo-targeting manchester radius

Another method that you can use if you have businesses in multiple locations is to use the ‘add locations in bulk’ option. In the example below we have targeted Glasgow, Manchester and London. You can also choose to use postcodes or different countries if you have multiple international locations.


Bulk Geo-targeting Google Ads

In addition to adding locations to target users, you can also exclude locations so your ads won’t be shown to users specifically. An example of this is that you might have an eCommerce business that delivers to areas of the UK. However, you might not deliver to the far North of Scotland due to shipping costs.


UK geo-targeting Google Ads

In this example, we excluded The Shetlands and The Orkney Islands.

Another specific thing to consider is to review the location options. By default Google Ads targets people, regularly who’ve shown interest in your targeted locations.


Geo-targeting on Google Ads

Be careful people who have ‘shown interest in a location mean that they have shown interest in the location by the search terms they have used. For example, if they type business in the UK, your ad will appear to them, even if they aren’t in that location. 

So we recommend that you select the second option: ‘People in our regularly in your targeted locations. So Google determines this in a few ways:

  • It could be the IP address of the location 
  • A specific Wi-fi network
  • User device location settings

This way you can be more sure that your ads are being shown in this location to people who live in the area. However, it’s still not 100% because a few years ago Google changed this to include people regularly in your location. But this is more accurate.

When it comes to excluding people from your locations we recommend to use Google defaults method which excludes ‘people in your excluded locations’.


Geo-Targeting Location Options Google Ads

Location Groups

Location Groups Google Ads

You also have another option called location groups which can be found in the menu under tools and settings, then shared library.


Bulk Location groups Google Ads

You will find a location group in your library usually when you have created a location extension. Location groups are good if you have multiple locations that you want to group because they are the same business but in different locations. Therefore when someone searches for your business, your ad can appear in the different locations underneath your search ad. As a result, it will show the customers which location is closest to them. This is a good example especially if they ordered via a click-and-collect method.


Location groups extensions

Once you have created your geo-targeting after a while you can go to the location report and see each location is performing. In addition, you can set bid adjustments by each location to increase or decrease the percentage of the budget. This will impact the visibility of your ads depending on how much you have increased or decreased the percentage.


Geo-targeting location groups stats

In addition, you can set bid adjustments by each location to increase or decrease the percentage of the budget. This will impact the visibility of your ads depending on how much you have increased or decreased the percentage.


Location Group Bidding Google Ads

If you want to drill down on the performance of each location, for example, one of the targeted locations is Manchester.


Location group targeting ppc campaign

So if we click on this location we can narrow down the area more closely by cities, postcodes or local areas.


Location Filter Google Ads

And this will show the stats from each postcode within the Greater Manchester area. So you can analyse each postcode to see how they are doing. So you can pause or increase the percentage of the budget to suit your goals.


Geo Location Settings

You can change options too so you can choose the cities/towns in the Greater Manchester area. In the example below you can see Altrincham, Sale, Salford & more. This gives you more of an overview of how well each location is performing and so you adjust your bids or pause locations accordingly.


Group Location Settings

Geo-Targeting Tips

Keep these pointers in mind when designing your next geo-targeted advertising campaign

There are certain groups of people that need to be targeted

When deciding where to target, take into account the needs of your target audience. Universities are a good choice if you mostly sell to students, and airports if you mostly sell to tourists.

Your target audience won’t be at the locations you exclude, so don’t exclude those locations

You can save money by excluding cities or areas that are not likely to generate a positive return on investment.

Based on search history, discover location intent

Looking at the search history of your users, you can create more targeted ads for people who have previously been searching for solutions in the areas you operate in.

You can use data from prior locations visited to analyse consumer behaviour

By tracking their location history, you can gain valuable insights into your audience’s preferences. Where do they like to shop? How often do they visit? What do they buy? These questions can be answered by examining their location history, and this information can then be used to deliver location-specific ads to them, even if they aren’t in the area.

Concentrate on the area around the store

Advertisements can be served to users near your physical stores by using geofencing. The ad copy and offers can be relevant to the people in that area.

Bid on each area individually

You may want to reconsider your bids if you have some low-performing locations. This reduces costs and boosts exposure in low-return locations, resulting in an overall campaign benefit and good brand awareness at a lower cost.

It is best to start small and then build up

Rather than concentrating on a single location, spread your bids across a variety of locations, to begin with. After you have enough information, you can eliminate the locations that produce the least results and focus on those that do.

Make sure to include location-specific keywords in your post

Consumers often use location-specific keywords to narrow search results. By using these in your ads, you can draw a more targeted audience.

It’s critical to perform consistent testing if you want geo-targeting to succeed

Everything in digital marketing is subject to frequent change in terms of geo-targeting. What works now might not in six months. If you want to stay ahead of the pack, you must keep abreast of the latest geo-targeting tactics and continue to optimise and test your campaigns regularly.

Final words

At Pixel8 we can help you build geo-targeting ads that drive traffic to your business locations. We’ll do an initial analysis and we will lead you through the process to build each PPC campaign accordingly. We will also provide the creative if there is an opportunity to use display PPC campaigns. Most importantly, we want to meet your business goals using our expertise in geo-targeted ads.