How PPC Location Targeting Can Make (or Break) Your Marketing Efforts

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Janet Mobley

Welcome back to another edition of our FatCat Tip of the Week! Over the next four weeks, we’ll be releasing a series of blog posts and videos going over the top tips, tricks, and best practices for how to target your paid advertising campaigns to maximize leads and drive sales. 

So what exactly does “targeting” mean when it comes to paid online ad campaigns?  Basically, targeting allows you to control:

  • who sees your ads (gender, age, household income etc)
  • when they see your ads (time of day, day of week)
  • where they see your ads (where in the world, and where on the internet)
  • what devices use to view your ad (mobile, desktop, or tablet)

Let’s review some ad targeting options.  

Location, Location, Location

You can have the best ad copy, the most enticing call to action, and even the perfect ad score, but if your ads are being shown to someone outside of your service area, or even worse, in the wrong state, guess what? They’re not going to convert and you won’t have a new lead. 

Congrats! You’ve just wasted money.

That’s why location targeting, otherwise known as geo-targeting is so important.  If you’re a contractor that services to the Raleigh-Durham area, showing your ads to people in Charlotte isn’t helpful. 

Location targeting is one of the best things you can do to optimize your Google, Facebook, and Bing ads. And fortunately, it’s pretty simple to set up. But you’ve also got to be careful — there are a couple of settings that can really mess your targeting up if you’re not paying attention. 

How (poor) Ad Targeting can Backfire

Here’s the situation: you’re a homeowner who lives in Atlanta, but you’re originally from Raleigh, NC. Obviously, the easiest way to stay connected with friends and family is by engaging with them on Facebook and Instagram. And since most of your connections still live in the area, you’re constantly on the lookout for affordable airfare. 

After scoring a cheap roundtrip ticket, you go for a weekend visit. Turns out both you and your best friend, who’s a homeowner in Raleigh, are interested in getting a new roof and have each done your fair share of research. 

There’s a roofing contractor that serves the Raleigh metro area, let’s call them Randy’s Roofers. Randy recently started experimenting with Google and Facebook ads and set the location targeting to people “interested in” Raleigh, NC. Unfortunately, instead of Randy’s ad being shown to your friend, the Raleigh homeowner, it gets served to you, the homeowner who lives 400 miles away. 

Interested In vs. Lives In

“Interested In” vs “Lives In” are two distinct options that are so easy to miss if you’re not already familiar with the Google, Facebook, or Bing ad platforms. In fact, “interested in” is the default option for Facebook geo-targeting. 

Selecting “interested in” will show an ad to someone if they have “interest” in a particular location (such as looking up plane tickets or liking something on Facebook) meaning that they may not physically be in that location. While this can be a useful option for some businesses, it leads to issues for home improvement contractors (or any local business for that matter).

Unsure if your ads are set up correctly? We can help.

Here’s a quick tip to cross check your paid ad location targeting.  Log into your Google Analytics account, and look at the location data on your PPC website traffic. If your website gets paid traffic from New York, Charlotte, or Chicago, but you’re based out of Raleigh, that’s not good. 

We understand that digital marketing can be confusing, so if you’ve got any questions or are interested in remodeling your online image, schedule a free consultation with us.

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