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How to Take Advantage of Google AdWords’ Improved Geotargeting

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Got a business that only services specific areas? Looking to mirror your online investment by heavying up media in paid search in those same areas? Just want to take advantage of competitive advantages in certain regions? Then geotargeting is for you.

Google recently launched their improved geotargeting capabilities. These improved targeted improvements add the ability to:

  • Expand ZIP code targeting to Canada.
  • Match U.S. metro targets to Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA).
  • Increase the number of countries with city level targeting to 43.

These tools are important for any marketer to understand. The simplest and most frequent use of geotargeting is to serve ads to areas where your services are available. While this is a great way to use geotargeting it isn't the only way.

For those brand marketers who purchase DMA advertising on TV you can now add additional spend to service the increased demand in those areas. Google’s recent study on cross-platform usage shows that 77 percent of TV views watch TV while using a connected device (tablet/smartphone). This insight validates the need for incremental attention. It also adds the ability to measure the impact uniquely as a better way to understand offline DMA targeted ads.

Another great way to take advantage of geotargeting is to better leverage the market differences in performance. Below is some data that shows the average CPCs by state:

top-10-dmas

What you see is the difference between a sample of states I chose at random. The data shows the difference between the most expensive state $1.09 per click!

Think about the power of knowing that information when optimizing your campaign. While not accurate, just assume that conversion rates are all the same across regions how would you allocate your media dollars? If you don’t track this information you can’t make decisions that can fundamentally change the business.

Geotargeting is a powerful tool to help target key areas, and avoid others. It's also a great way to take a step deeper into the data available to make smarter optimizations.

Google has done a nice job advancing these capabilities. How to best take advantage of them is up to you.


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