How to Successfully Use Geographic Targeting for a PPC Campaign

There are many ways to develop and launch a successful PPC advertising campaign. The common thread between all of them, though, is targeting. If you don’t successfully identify your audience and target them with built in AdWords filters, you will waste a tremendous amount of money on non-targeted advertising.

Here are some tips to help you get it right and maximize your ROI.

Identify Geographic Targets

Your business may not necessarily be geographically limited, but consider what geographic long tails are available to you. For example, if you sell social media consulting services, you could avoid the logjam of competition for those keywords and instead focus on location specific terms like “New York city social media marketing” or “Chicago Facebook marketing”.

Of course, you should research every prospective market in advance and determine if there is a strong demand for your services or products in that region. If so, however, create a dedicated ad group for that region and start gathering long tail keywords. More often than not, this will reduce your ad spend and improve your quality score (assuming your landing page has been optimized for that region).

Targeting within Google AdWords

Once you identify your geographic target, it is time to create targeted advertisements within Google AdWords that will help you create simple and straightforward ad groups that work for a smaller set of people.

Instead of creating one or two ad groups, you should have twenty or thirty that each target a specific geographic region with specific long tail variations. Within that ad group you can then target that region accordingly.

For example, instead of one campaign for “social media marketing” keywords, you could have 10 for the following cities:

* New York
* Chicago
* Los Angeles
* Seattle
* Houston
* Boston
* Philadelphia
* Atlanta
* Portland
* Detroit

Then in the geographic targeting settings for each group, you would select those cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas. It takes twice as long to setup your AdWords campaign doing it this way, but the return on investment is almost certain to be much higher as a result.

Testing Made Simple

Another major benefit of geographic targeting is that you can easily test your ad copy across multiple geographic regions and decide what works best for each demographic. You might find that a direct approach works better in NYC while a more creative style is effective in Los Angeles or Seattle. Or you might learn that Houston doesn’t convert at all so you can drop it from your ad spend.

Use geographic targeting properly and you will save a tremendous amount of time and money by getting the best possible click through from each ad shown.