A really easy mistake to make in AdWords is not properly controlling your location targeting settings.
When you’re targeting locations there are a few different options you will see. One of them is to target people in, searching for, or who show interest in your targeted location. Another one is just to target people in your targeted location. And the third option is to target people searching for or who show interest in your targeted location. Each of these options has a right time to use it.
The first one – targeting people in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location – is the broadest setting that you can select.
So if you are in New York City and you’re a locksmith and your location target is New York City…if you target people in, searching for, or who show interest in your targeted location, this could really bring you traffic from anywhere. It could be someone in Australia who for some reason is searching locksmiths in New York City and they will see your ad potentially click on it, and that will cost you money. And if they don’t click on it, well now your click through rate goes down as a result.
So really the only time you want to use this setting is if you have a service where you think there can potentially be people from all over the country or all over the world who might be interested in your service.
You should never use this setting if you’re selling any kind of a product. When you’re selling products you should always use the second setting – people in my targeted location. What the setting does is restrict your ads so they are only shown to people physically in the location you are targeting. So if you’re locksmith in New York City, and you’re targeting New York City, then only someone who is in New York City is going to see your ad.
That’s why it’s really important if you’re selling products. Because you’re likely only shipping those products to a specific country or specific set of countries, so there would really be no reason for someone in a different country to see your ad. This is going to give you the most control over who sees your ad and it’s generally what I would recommend for any product or service. There are definitely exceptions, but most of the time you’re going to want to select people in my target location.
Now, the last option – people searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location – this is an instance where you don’t necessarily want people who are physically located right by you to be finding you unless they are actually searching for your location. This might be a common setting if you have a hotel. So if you’re in New York City and someone in New York City just types in “hotels” or they type in a hotel for different city they wouldn’t see your ad. The only time they would see your ad is if they type in “hotel New York City”.
Similarly, someone who is in a different city searching for hotels in New York City – which obviously happens a lot – they would also be able to see your ad. So this third setting is something you would only use usually if you’re trying to target out-of-towners.
Knowing these location settings and targeting your campaign properly based on your needs is going to help you find the right customers and avoid the wrong customers.