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Google & Microsoft Ads: Location Targeting Options Explained

by Ivan

Hey all!

In this video, I explain in more detail about the different location targeting options in Google Ads and what they mean. Now this also applies to Microsoft Ads as well since they both have the same settings.

I have had a few clients that were a bit confused about some of these settings and so I wanted to clear them up in this video as it could make the difference between some hundreds of dollars of wasted clicks.

So let’s begin: the first option presented to you when you scroll down to the location targeting options when setting up your campaign says “people who are in, or who search for your targeted location”. Because this is the sum of the bottom 2 options, I will save this for last and begin first by explaining the bottom 2 options under the “target” setting.

1. So the first says “target people in or regularly in your targeted location”. This is pretty straightforward and means just that – people that are physically present in your targeted location will have the ads shown to them.

So if you are selling a product that only sells in the US for example and you set this option, then only people that are physically present in the US will see your ad.

Now note that the wording also says “regularly in” – that is something Google recently changed and means that if someone travels every once in a while but is USUALLY found in the targeted country, that person will still see your ad. So if someone lives in the US but occassionally travels to Canada and is currently in Canada, then your ad might still show to that person in Canada since they are usually in the US.

OK, onto the next one now…

2. “People showing interest in your targeted location” – this means that even if someone isn’t physically present in your location but searches for the keyword and the location, your ad might still show up.

So if your keyword is “dog food” and someone from Turkey types in “dog food America”, your ad might show up if you have set US as your target location.

In which circumstance might this be useful?

Well, if you are promoting travel destinations for one. For example if you are promoting the Statue of Liberty and obviously there are people from other countries that want to see the Statue. Rather than setting your location as the entire world, you can narrow your search by just selecting people that show interest in your location to save you some money on useless clicks.

Now going back to the first option I mentioned – that’s just the sum of the two, so if you selected US as your target and you are promoting the statue of liberty, then ANYONE in the United States who types in a search query relevant to your keyword will see the ad, as well as anyone outside the US who types in a query relevant to your keyword, but also with your location. So this expands the reach a little to include the most relevant searches depending on you needs.

Now onto the exclusion list.

It’s pretty much the same as the targeting list, just inverted..

3. So let’s start with the 2nd option – exclude people in your targeted location.

If you are targeting the US, then you are automatically excluding every other country. This option will NOT show the ad to anyone outside the US no matter what they type into their search bar.

4. The first setting – exclude people in or who show interest in your excluded location would make sense if you are promoting something that has a location in several different places at once.

So let’s suppose you are promoting a Universal Studios in California, NOT the Florida location.

In this case, excluding Florida would not be enough, as there might be people in California searching for “Universal Studios in Florida”. Even though you may be targeting people in California and excluding Florida, your ad will still show up to people in California searching for the Florida attraction, so selecting this exclusion option saves you a buck or two since you won’t be paying for irrelevant clicks.

This exclusion recommended option is actually the good recommended option, whereas when you are targeting, the recommended option is to target people IN your targeted location, unless of course your business model says otherwise.

And that’s it!

If you need help with a specific issue and want me to personally take a look at your setup, I can help! Check out the ‘My Services’ section of my blog: https://ivanmana.com/my-services/

Google Ads playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PgkIyKhBjw&list=PLS46f4aLJ2hNH0RJi21DWAXeCdCT1Lhy6

If you are interested in a click tracking course specific to ClickMagick, check out my 4 hour step-by-step course with a $20 discount on Udemy now:

https://www.udemy.com/the-basics-and-essentials-of-conversion-tracking/?couponCode=FORYOUTUBE

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