Unlock Peak Performance: Best Practices for Local Targeting in Google Ads

by | Dec 5, 2023 | Google Ads

Imagine being able to control where your ads appear, ensuring they land in front of the eyes of your ideal customers. That’s the power of location targeting in Google Ads at your fingertips. By harnessing this tool and implementing the best practices for local targeting in Google Ads, you can optimize your ad spend, enhance your visibility, and ultimately, boost your return on investment.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand Google Ads Location Targeting and its benefits, such as cost savings & increased user engagement.
  • Utilize Presence or Interest targeting, Presence targeting & Exclusion to refine campaigns for maximum efficiency.
  • Analyze location performance metrics to adjust bids based on ROI and exclude underperforming locations.

Understanding Google Ads Location Targeting

Best Practices For Local Targeting In Google Ads

In advertising, location matters significantly. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a magic wand that could conjure up your ads in front of the right audience, at the right time, and in the right place? That’s exactly what Google Ads location targeting is designed to do. It provides a platform for advertisers to specify the geographic locations where their ads should be displayed.

No matter if you’re running a local enterprise or a global corporation, Google Ads location targeting can lead your ads to your desired audience, optimizing your advertising investment.

What is location targeting?

Location targeting, or proximity targeting, works like a digital compass, directing your ads to the appropriate audience in a targeted location. It involves selecting specific geographic areas, known as location targets, where your ads will be shown, thus crafting personalized messages for local audiences. With location targeting options, you can further refine your ad campaign’s reach.

Google Ads uses the user’s device IP address to determine their geographic location. When a user performs a search, Google Ads examines their location. If it matches any of the areas specified by the advertiser, they qualify for their ad. If there’s a match, voila! Your ad is eligible to be displayed to that user.

Benefits of location targeting

Consider location targeting as a precise archer, making sure your ads meet their mark each time. It offers compelling advantages like cost savings, increased user engagement, and personalized ads, which lead to better ad performance. By targeting specific locations, you ensure your ad budget isn’t wasted on audiences unlikely to convert.

Zip code targeting, for instance, can boost conversion rates by focusing your ads on users likely to be interested in your products or services. Moreover, broad geo targeting has been shown to increase conversions in various sectors, including Travel, Real Estate, and Education.

Essential Google Ads Location Targeting Settings

Presence Or Interest Targeting Settings

Navigating the Google Ads platform can seem like maneuvering through a maze. But fear not! With the right knowledge, you can confidently navigate your way. The key lies in understanding the essential Google Ads location targeting settings: Presence or Interest, Presence, and Exclusion Targeting. These settings allow you to laser-focus your ads on the right audience, ensuring your ad spend is used effectively.

Whether you want to:

  • target people in or interested in your target locations
  • target people physically in your targeted locations
  • exclude certain locations from your campaign by targeting locations you want to focus on

Google Ads has got you covered.

Presence or Interest

Presence or Interest targeting in Google Ads operates like a homing pigeon, taking your ads to those in or interested in your targeted locations. This setting increases your ad impressions, helping to broaden your reach. Presence targeting zooms in on users currently in your specified locations, while Interest targeting focuses on users who have shown interest in your targeted locations.

The result? Your ads reach people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.


Envision owning a billboard that only presents to individuals physically present or frequently visiting your targeted locations. That’s exactly what Presence targeting in Google Ads does. By targeting users based on their physical location, you ensure your ads reach the audience that matters most to your business.

Presence targeting is especially beneficial for local businesses, helping them connect with their target users, enhance their online presence, gain a competitive edge, and optimize ad performance.

Exclusion Targeting

Exclusion targeting works like a sieve in Google Ads, sieving out locations where you don’t want your ads to show up. This setting allows you to exclude specific regions or locations from your campaigns, fine-tuning your targeting strategy.

By excluding underperforming or irrelevant locations, you can focus your ad spend on locations that yield the best results.

Implementing Effective Radius Targeting

Radius Targeting Visualization

Picture spreading a net over your targeted locations. That’s what radius targeting does. It allows you to display ads within a specific radius from your business location. But how do you ensure that your net captures the right audience? The trick lies in selecting the right radius size and using overlapping radii for better coverage.

Selecting the right radius size

Selecting the appropriate radius size resembles finding the perfect fit – it needs meticulous deliberation. The right radius size ensures your ads reach your ideal customers without wasting resources on irrelevant audiences. Factors such as target audience, competition, and location density play a crucial role in determining the appropriate radius size.

By analyzing these factors, you can pinpoint the optimal radius size for your business, ensuring your ads reach a wider audience without blowing your budget.

Overlapping radii for better coverage

Overlapping radii operate like multiple spotlights shining on your targeted areas. By overlapping multiple radii, you ensure better coverage of your target areas, potentially increasing click-through rates and conversions. However, it’s important to manage these overlapping radii judiciously to prevent wasting clicks and impressions.

With the right approach, overlapping radii can lead to more precise targeting and higher conversion rates.

Leveraging Location Extensions and Geo-Specific Keywords

Location Extensions Display

Picture a signpost directing to your business right beside your ad. That’s what location extensions and geo-specific keywords do. Location extensions display business information like your address, encouraging in-store visits and increasing ad visibility. On the other hand, geo-specific keywords help attract more targeted traffic and improve ad relevance.

By leveraging these features, you can ensure your ads reach your target audience more effectively.

Location Extensions

Location extensions act like breadcrumbs guiding potential customers to your doorstep. They display your business information such as address, phone number, and a map preview below your ads. This not only encourages in-store visits but also increases ad visibility.

By connecting your Google Business profile to your Google Ads account, you provide useful information directly in your ads. As a result, potential customers can easily locate and connect with your business, enhancing the visibility and performance of your ads.

Geo-Specific Keywords

Geo-specific keywords function like magnets, drawing more targeted traffic to your ads. They include a specific location or geographic area, making your ads more relevant to users in a certain geographic area. This not only increases the likelihood of your ads being displayed to the right audience but also leads to higher click-through rates and conversions.

By incorporating geo-specific keywords into your ad copy, you can improve your local SEO efforts, making your website and content more likely to appear in search results for users in a particular location.

Analyzing and Optimizing Location Performance

Analyzing Location-Specific Metrics

Assessing and optimizing location performance resemble tuning a musical instrument – it guarantees your ads strike the correct note every time. By monitoring location-specific metrics and adjusting bids based on performance, you can optimize your ad spend and focus on areas with better results.

This helps improve your overall campaign performance and ensures you get the most out of your advertising budget.

Monitoring location-specific metrics

Monitoring location-specific metrics is similar to using a compass – it aids in guiding your path to success. By analyzing metrics like geographic location targeting, Click-Through Rate (CTR) by location, and Conversion Rate by location, you can identify high-performing areas and optimize your ad spend.

Regular monitoring of these metrics can ensure your progress and help you make the necessary adjustments for optimal performance.

Adjusting bids based on location performance

Modifying bids according to location performance resembles adjusting the sails of your ship based on the wind – it assists you in reaching your destination more efficiently. By modifying bids according to location performance, you can allocate more budget to areas that are performing well and reduce spending in areas that are not.

This allows you to optimize your return on investment by focusing your resources on the most profitable geographic regions.

Excluding Underperforming Locations

Removing underperforming locations resembles pruning a tree – it supports the healthy branches to grow more robust. By eliminating locations that have shown poor performance or are irrelevant to your business, you can optimize your ad spend and focus on areas that yield the best results.

This not only helps improve your overall campaign performance but also ensures you get the most out of your advertising budget.

Utilizing Google Trends for Location Insights

Google Trends acts like a crystal ball, offering insights into consumer interests and behaviors. By utilizing Google Trends for location insights, you can identify new locations for your business and make informed decisions about your ad spend.

This can help optimize your ad performance and ensure you reach your target audience more effectively.

Tips for Managing Multiple Locations in Google Ads

Handling multiple locations in Google Ads can resemble juggling, but with the appropriate tips, you can keep everything under control. By creating separate campaigns or ad groups for each location type and using bulk location targeting, you can streamline your ad management process and ensure your ads reach the right audience at the right time.

Creating separate campaigns or ad groups

Establishing separate campaigns or ad groups for each location type is akin to arranging your wardrobe – it simplifies the task of finding what you’re seeking. By dividing your ad groups into separate location groups for each desired location, you can have greater control and improved campaign efficiency. This not only simplifies account management but also increases performance insights and refines targeting and relevance.

Bulk location targeting

Bulk location targeting resembles dispatching a batch of invitations at once – it conserves time and effort. This feature allows you to target or exclude multiple locations at once, making it easier to manage your ads. However, it’s important to be aware of the limitations and challenges associated with bulk location targeting to ensure you get the most out of this feature.


Mastering location targeting in Google Ads can give your business a significant competitive edge. By harnessing the power of geo-targeting, you can ensure your ads appear in front of the right audience, increase your visibility, and ultimately, boost your return on investment. Remember, the key lies in understanding your audience, selecting the right targeting settings, and regularly analyzing and optimizing your performance. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to unlocking peak performance in your Google Ads campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use Google Ads for local marketing?

In order to use Google Ads for local marketing, you need to enable location assets for your Google Ads account, set up or update your Business Profile listing, use location targeting and bid by location, and optimize your keywords.

How do I optimize local search ads?

Optimize your Local Services Ads performance, expand your job types and service areas, encourage past customers to review your business, maximize leads with bidding, use high-quality photos in your advertisement and opt in to new features for optimal local search ads.

What is location targeting in Google Ads?

Location targeting in Google Ads is a feature that allows advertisers to specify the regions where their ads should be seen, providing greater control over the reach of an ad campaign.

What are the benefits of location targeting?

Location targeting can help businesses save costs, engage users with personalized ads, and improve ad performance.

How can I implement effective radius targeting?

To effectively implement radius targeting, select an appropriate size and layer multiple radii to cover the target area.

About Preston Toor
Preston, the founder and co-owner of Results Digital, brings nearly a decade of rich experience in the digital marketing realm. His journey began in the world of WordPress web design, swiftly transitioning into the intricacies of SEO and Google Ads. His tenure at two prominent digital marketing agencies equipped him with invaluable insights and expertise in website design, SEO, and Google Ads management. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep-seated passion for elevating businesses, Preston ventured to establish Results Digital. His commitment is rooted in guiding businesses to achieve unprecedented growth and success. On a lighter note, Preston’s admiration for Obi-Wan Kenobi, his favorite Jedi, mirrors his approach to digital marketing – wise, strategic, and always focused on the greater good. This is subtly reflected in his bio picture, a nod to his personal interests and character.