Geo-Targeting AdWords PPC Campaigns : Part 1 - IP Targeting

Localized internet marketing is all about geo-targeting. A business servicing a specific geographic area wants internet traffic from primarily that region. Whether that traffic is organic search traffic, pay-per-click (PPC) search traffic, referral link traffic, or type-in direct navigation traffic you want it to be targeted to your specific area. This series of blog posts will focus on PPC and geo-targeting methods through Google AdWords for businesses that operate in one city or metropolitan area.

Targeting the City By IP

When creating an ad campaign set the “Target Audience” settings to your language and location. Inside location you can click the edit link and use the map feature to get more granular. When the map pop-up appears use the search bar to find your city. You will see something like this;Geo-targeting AdWords PPC by City

Other options include using the Custom tab to set a radius distance around a location (city center) ;Geo-targeting Adwords PPC by Radius

or you can create a custom shape that just includes the portion of the city you want included.Geo-targeting Adwords PPC by Shape

This is great for businesses that can only service a section of the city effectively.

Targeting Communities within the City by IP

So we’ve set some ads to be targeted to the city using the method above, but we can get even more fine scaled than that. Use the same methods and create separate campaigns to target individual communities within the city. You can create separate ads and landing pages for each community (i.e., use that community name as a keyword in ad copy and landing pages).

This works very well in larger Metropolitan cities that are amalgamations of other towns and cities. Targeting an area this way can lead to higher click throughs, than seen in the broader city campaign, when that locations name is in your ads. Landing pages that speak more directly to these people can lead to better conversion rates.

From the Houston example above we have a community called Pasadena. It is it’s own city but is part of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area.

Geo-targeting AdWords PPC by Community

Create a new campaign that is targeted to this area. Use the same ads and landing pages but alter them slightly to include the word Pasadena in them.

Dealing with Geo-Location Overlap

If your going to be targeting separate communities within the city you will have some overlap in the map areas. This overlap may mean you don’t know which set of ads will get displayed inside the overlaped area. There are a couple ways to deal with this.

Inside the bigger city campaign you can add exclusion areas that will coincide with your other campaigns that do target those areas separately.Excluding areas within the city

Or you can use your bidding strategy do determine which ads get displayed in that area. The ad groups that are bidding higher, when there is overlap, should be the ones that get displayed.

Because your community ads are more targeted and likely to get better click through and conversion rates you can comfortably bid higher with these ads. It’s the easiest way to manage overlap. But if you need better control of bidding without having to worry about what your other ads are bidding you should use the exclusion technique. If you are using lost of custom shapes to define your areas then the exclusion method can get difficult to work with.

Limits of Ip Location Targeting

The IP geo-targeting system is not perfect. Not every internet user has their IP address actually targeted to their true locations. Some ISPs aggregate their customers into larger blocks that could reside outside your city boundaries, or in some cases in another city, or state altogether (such as the head office location for that ISP). Sometimes IP data may even be missing for some visitors.

In other words, IP geo-targeting will not capture all your potential local internet users who may be searching for your services in side of Google. Part 2 will cover how to target these visitors.

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2 Comments to “Geo-Targeting AdWords PPC Campaigns : Part 1 - IP Targeting”

Geo-Targeting AdWords PPC by Keyword - Part 2 | on August 21st, 2008 wrote:

[…] my previous post I covered geo-targeting PPC ads by IP but mentioned that the IP tracking system has flaws that let some users fall through the cracks. […]

Geo-Targeting for Search by Domian, Host, and Google Webmaster Tools | on February 12th, 2009 wrote:

[…] Geo-Targeting AdWords PPC Ads by IP […]

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