Is Your Google Ads Location Targeting Already Compromised?

Location Targeting is a useful feature in Google Ads that lets you target your PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign to specific geographical locations. In this way, you’re able to focus your advertising on the areas your ideal customers are likely to be and restrict it in the areas they’re not.

Location Targeting can be a remarkable asset when done right, or a damaging liability when done wrong. Because here’s the thing…

You can have the most persuasive ads in the world with all the perfect keywords, but none of that will matter if your location targeting is compromised.

If your ads are getting scattered clear across the world it not only looks unprofessional, it will also quickly take money out of your pocket.

So, unless you’re planning on getting your product or service to other countries and areas outside your market region, you’ll just be hurting your credibility and paying for a bunch of dead-end clicks.

If you find yourself suddenly getting site visitors from places outside your targeted region, then it’s time to take a closer look at what is going on behind the scenes.

To know for sure if our Google Ads Location Targeting is already compromised, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your AdWords account
  2. Click the specific campaign you would like to manage (or multiple)
  3. Go to Settings then select Locations
  4. From Top Menu, Under Geographic Report, Select User Location Report
  1. Select one or more countries to view smaller geographical locations.
  2. Review the countries, states, and cities listed to see if any are outside your targeted location

What Good & Bad Location Targeting Looks Like

Good Location Targeting

Here is an example of location targeting done correctly for a local Whatcom County business.

Notice how all the cities, states, and countries listed are within their local region.

Poor Location Targeting

Now, let’s contrast that to poor location targeting. Here is what a local company’s location targeting looked like before ClickMonster got involved.

That is a lot of listed countries outside of their region. Unless this company was planning on doing business in Mexico, that was just empty clicks and wasted money. Additionally, any out-of-market sales you might get will either mean processing a whole bunch of refunds or paying a lot more to ship abroad.

Targeting outside your region will also dilute your data. For example, if a gallop poll was set up to see who Americans were planning to vote for, but it accidentally included Australians and Canadians, the resulting data would be polluted and any insights about our true market region would be unreliable.

Are There Locations Listed That Are Outside Your Region? Here’s How To Fix It.

If you’ve discovered areas listed that are outside of your targeted location, don’t worry, because we are going to show you how to fix it with a few simple steps.

  1. Navigate to Campaign Settings
  2. Expand the Locations section
  3. Select Location Options
  1. Under Target, switch from “People in, or show interest in” to “People in or regularly in your targeted locations.”

Who You Want To Target & Why It Matters

To better understand the reasoning behind this choice, let’s break down each of those three target options.

People in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations.

This is the default setting and while it is Google Ads’ recommended option, it may not narrow it down enough. This is because you’re not just targeting people in your targeted location. You’re also targeting every person out there who has ever shown any interest at all in your location, even if they’re nowhere near you!

For example, if you own a landscaping business, are you going to begrudgingly accept those clicks and travel to foreign countries to mow their lawns? Probably not…

People in or regularly in your targeted locations.

This is the ideal option to help you avoid targeting people outside of your region. This setting lets you reach the people who are physically in your targeted locations, without targeting the people just searching about your location.

People searching for your targeted locations.

This option lets your ads show up for anyone who searches on Google for your targeted location. This option is very limited and best used only for travel and tourist-related businesses such as hotels and car rentals.

Setting Up Your Business For Success

There is a myriad of components that go into creating a successful Google Ads campaign. Just one weak link can mean the difference between gaining new leads or paying for empty clicks. If you’re looking for a skillful eye to help spot other areas where your campaign might be compromised, you’ve come to the right place!

ClickMonster is a Google Partner with years of PPC experience and is voted Best of the Northwest. Our Google Ads Manager is certified in analytics and Google Ads and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. For more than three years, he has been using data-driven decisions to build and optimize PPC campaigns for businesses of all sizes.

Ready to get more business from your Google Ads campaign?