Introduction to AdWords Location Targeting

Targeting users by location is one of the most fundamental features of AdWords. We'll take a look at the basics of setting up location targeting properly, and how to collect and use location-based information.

Transcript: In this video we're going to look at AdWords location targeting. That is: how to narrow down the users that you show you ads to - based on their location. I'll show you exactly how to set up your location targeting, and then how to make it work effectively for your campaigns.

So, first: why would you only want to show your ads to users in certain places? In some cases the answer might be obvious: let's say you're a local business and you only serve customers close to you. Then you are only going to want to try to convert users who are close enough either to get to you, or for you to get to them.

But even when there is no obvious location preference based on your product or service, you will still find location targeting useful, because - as with other AdWords variables - once you start to accumulate data, you will find patterns emerge, showing some areas that work well, and some areas that work less well. Then you can use that data to put your budget towards the places that are profitable for you to target. For that reason, location targeting is a useful feature for all AdWords campaigns.
The first thing to note about setting location targeting is that it is done at the campaign level. Other user-based variables like demographics or devices can be set at the ad group level, but locations are campaign-level, so the first thing we will do is grab the specific campaign that we want to set targeting for. There's only one campaign visible here - that's Loki's Local - and once you've clicked on that, you go down to locations on the left nav. From the locations screen you can see the different locations that are being targeted, so again there's only one here - that's United Kingdom - and you can see that on this row there would be data (if the campaign had any data) and you can see it as the blue area or areas highlighted on the map.

With this icon you can add edit or remove the locations being targeted. So let's try adding a new one. You add your locations here on this line and you can enter them as country name, or as county (or state if you're in America); it will take the first part of a postcode and as you can see the the auto-suggestion is pretty good... or you could add any other significant place name like Isle of Wight.

The other way to add a location is by radius targeting. That is where you set a more specific point and you choose the size of the radius of the circle around it that you want to target so we're going to do that. With this one you can add a specific postcode and then you will see here on the map the circle of targeting, so users within that circle should now see the ads if we save this as a targeted location.

I'm going to add another location to this. For reasons that will become clear later I'm going to add Hertfordshire, which is the county within which that radius lies, and I'm going to remove the wider UK targeting.
Now you can see these two areas that are being targeted: this specific circle around the the point where our fictional company is and the county around it.With a bit adjustments you can choose to up or down weight your bids in the different locations... so in this very tight circle around the area of the company, we're going to bid more. Let's say we think our bids are going to be worth 25% more when we're showing ads to people really close.

In Hertfordshire... it will be worth showing ads to users in that wider field -but they will be less valuable on average so let's down-weight those bids by 10% from whatever we set at the keyword or ad group level.
Then as the campaign runs and we see data on each row so for each location we will get a sense of what's working particularly once we've added conversions as a column so that we can see where people are converting, and that will give us an idea of what locations are are working well; where we should maybe increase bids further; if ads are really not working at all in certain places we'll remove them from the targeting list; if it seems to work very well when we target people close by the business, then we might experiment further in that direction: we might try to even reduce the radius of the circle and target more tightly, but from now on basically we are set up to collect the data that's going to inform our targeting decisions and our bidding against those different location targets.
The last thing to note in this introduction to location targeting, is that you can also, by a very similar method, exclude different locations from having people there see your ads. So if we wanted to target Hertfordshire, but we did not want people in - let's say Stevenage (nothing personal) to see the ads, then you can enter Stevenage there, and it shows in red as an area in which people should not see the ad.

Worth noting there that where you have an area within an area, when you're adjusting your bid for the wider area, that will not affect people in the inner area, so people here will genuinely get just your plus 25%; people outside of that but within Hertfordshire will get your minus 10% reduction. People in Stevenage now should not see the ad at all.