If you are either a small, local business or a multinational conglomerate, it will always be necessary to organise your marketing, including digital marketing, by geography. However, with digital marketing, you can nuance and refine this essential plank of marketing strategy to an enormous degree. In basic terms, location targeting helps advertisers focus efforts on the physical location where they can find the most profitable customers, and restrict their ads in areas where they don’t. This helps advertisers grow and reach where it matters to them and in turn helps them increase their ROI.
You can use the varying geo-targeting features in the likes of Google AdWords and Bing Ads to do one of two main things:
- Bid different percentages of your default bids for certain locations (lower or higher bids)
- Target certain locations exclusively, which normally involves dedicated ad creativity.
In addition, when planning how you want to geo-target your campaigns, you will want to ask yourself what your intended audience is doing in a certain location (at home? Commuting to work?) and on what device. You’ll also want to relate this to your advertised offering – pizzas or insurance, for instance.
A user on a mobile device is less likely to be seeking delivery of shoes than a shoe store near them, for example, whilst a PC user searching for shoes is probably in the market for delivery.
Unmistakably, “local search” is becoming a hot trending marketing topic mainly because of the continuing rise of mobile device use and better mobile network reach.
Also, local searchers are more likely to take action. Here’s proof (advertise.bing.com):
- Four in five consumers conduct local searches on search engines across PC, tablet and mobile devices.
- Three out of four mobile, and two out of three PC/tablet searches, result in a purchase by customers coming into brick-and-mortar stores.
- Sixty-seven percent of smartphone users and 72% of PC/tablet users want ads customized to their location such as city or zip code.
Search Engines offer the following ways to target users by location:
ZIP code targeting: Conveniently specify your target region by ZIP code (U.S. only) and see a clear map of the targeting area.
Radius targeting: Target by radius and set range in miles or kilometres. Recent upgrades allow radius targeting from 1 to 500 miles or 1 to 800 km in increments of 1 mile/km.
Intent or interest targeting: Target those searching for or viewing your ads in regions that you select. For example, an advertiser may want to serve ads only to San Francisco searchers who are looking for Seattle hotel information, rather than those who live in Seattle.
Location Extensions: Display your store address, phone number and directions directly in your ads. It’s proven to have increased user engagement and ad click-through rate by up to 33 percent.
Geographic location report: This newly redesigned report show you exactly which location type — like Physical Location or Location of Interest — was used to serve your ad, giving you a more detailed view of how your location targeting is performing.
Don’t forget, you can always capture location intent of a user with their search term (“tire shops in San Antonio”) in addition to the above.
So the takeaway is that you can target users wherever you want and give them an ad that messages to them based on their location. They will then know what to do next in order to become a customer of yours.