Here at JumpFly, we’ve been doing a lot with regional clients in tightening up the areas they want to target for their Google AdWords accounts. Google has some pretty sophisticated geographic targeting (Geo Targeting) levels – well ahead of Yahoo Sponsored Search and MSN. (Quick note: we did get an email from our Yahoo rep that there are new targeting options coming out in March, but I don’t know what they are yet). Here’s a quick peek at the Google AdWords geo targeting levels.Google AdWords Geo Targeting

  1. Country Geo Targeting: target a specific country or countries. Please note the default for US accounts was changed recently to US AND Canada. If you only want to target the US, you’ll need to remove Canada.
  2. State or Territory Geo Targeting: select a specific state, like California, or states.
  3. Metro Area Geo Targeting: target a metropolitan area like Los Angeles or Chicago. Metro areas are “geographical areas defined by Arbitron that generally correspond to the United States Federal Government’s Metropolitan Areas.”
  4. City Geo Targeting: just want to target a specific city like Portland or Houston? Google doesn’t list all cities for a geographic area but it lists a decent amount.
  5. Radius Geo Targeting: pick a point on a map and specify a radius around that point. You can do any mileage you like, but Google recommends a minimum of 20 miles or 35 kilometers.
  6. Custom Area Geo Targeting: if have an odd shaped target area, like along a major highway corridor, you can select specific points on a map to create your own custom shape.

You can also exclude specific areas from your geo targeting at AdWords. Maybe you have multiple locations in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area but not in Dallas itself, and you’ve found that people who live in Dallas won’t travel to your location. You can exclude the city of Dallas, but still target the rest of the metro area.

That covers the different options on Google AdWords Geo Targeting. In another blog I’ll cover the factors that Google uses to determine when and to whom to show your ad.

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