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How to exclude searches made from inside my target location for locations outside my target location

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I have Advanced Location settings enabled and I am targeting a 15 mile radius around the town my business is located (in the UK, Harpenden).
It is set for people who are in the location, or who have an interest in my business in that location (the default). This works very well for me.
 
However, I have an issue where my Ads are triggered for people who are searching for the same type of business as mine but in locations outside the 15 mile radius I have set. For example, they have added a town name to the search phrase. Sometimes the searches include towns in the search term that are hundreds of miles away. These type of searches are wasting money, and will also negatively impact my quality score.
 
Originally I started adding a large list compiled of all the major towns in the UK, and adding them as negative keywords to all my campaigns. This is a bit clunky and pretty inelegant. It doesn't work very well as I can't include every single place.
 
My next idea was to exclude the entire UK in the location settings, but include the 15 mile radius around my town. If the inclusion term takes precedence, then this should do exactly what I need. However, form the help section it's not clear how the logic works on overlapping included and exclude locations. I don't want to try it and find my Ads haven't been showing.
 
Does anyone know the answer to this. And, if using the overlapping exclusions and inclusions won't work the way I want, does anyone have an elegant solution to what I am trying to achieve?
 
I would think this must be quite a common requirement for businesses where people have to go to their physical address.
 
Thank you for your time in advance.
Kind regards, Ben.
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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
May 2017

Re: How to exclude searches made from inside my target location for locations outside my target loca

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi @Ben S as others have said, precise location targeting is always tricky and often more so in the UK because of our infrastructure that has a tendency to show a location (based upon IP lookup) sometimes a very long way from the physical location of the user.  I'd approach this in a multi-layered way.

 

Run one Campaign using business related terms only (not location specific).  Add your primary target - a radius around Harpenden.  I'd say that 15 miles is not only quite small to target effectively with AdWords, but also quite restrictive in terms of actual customer locations - I'd have no problem driving as far as necessary to get the service I want, so I'd suggest at least a 20 mile radius.  Use the advanced settings to make this people in your location - the default that includes "interest" effectively means anyone in the world could see your Ad, not just people in the UK.  I'd then create a second radius target around Harpenden of, say, 40 or 50 miles, again setting this to people in the location.  With these settings you don't need any exclusions, because the setting of "in" defines only the target radii.  Use bid adjustments to decrease the bids for people in the outer radius (how much you decrease them will need experimental data).  AdWords will use the setting for the most restrictive location setting for a user, so someone who appears to be within 10 miles of Harpenden will take the settings for the 20 mile radius, even though they are also in the 50 mile radius.

 

Run a second Campaign using location specific terms (Harpenden, St Albans, Luton maybe, etc.) and set your location targets to a much wider area.  Personally I like to target by county, so I'd probably add Herts, Bucks, Beds, Berks, probably London, and maybe Oxon, Essex, etc.  Again, set the advanced settings to "in" - we don't want anyone outside of these areas seeing your Ads.  This Campaign will catch specific location based queries, not only from people close to you, but also from people not that far away who may be enquiring because they're thinking of moving, or are looking for someone else, etc.  Using individual counties allows you to set bid adjustments to suit the performance data you gather over time.

 

I've long argued that AdWords really needs a way to combine the interest setting with another location target, e.g. people interested in Harpenden and who are in the UK, but to no avail.  The interest setting is very dangerous in my opinion, as it tends to be far too broad with it's reach, so I always use the more restrictive option.

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How to exclude searches made from inside my target location for locations outside my target location

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Ben,

 

Using advanced location options with exclusions should handle it. I do believe your idea will work. If it did not, you would need to reverse the thinking and include your country and then exclude all the cities/regions you do not want to serve ads to, so that only your region (Harpenden) was included.

 

Aside from this, you could change "people who are in the location, or who have an interest in my business in that location (the default)" to "reach people in your targeted location." That might cut down on your impressions so you would want to run it and see how it does for you. 

 

Kind Regards,

 

James

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How to exclude searches made from inside my target location for locations outside my target location

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

 

 

Hi @Ben S;

Location targeting -  based on IP addresses (i.e. from a desktop) -  in Europe in far from perfect.(Outdated telecom infrastructure....).
15 miles radius (30km) are within the margin of error of assigning an IP to a location, in Europe.

So, my recommendation would be  to include your area / region of service in the ad-text. (e.g "served the Harpenden region...") This  should eliminate  some undesired clicks, but not all of them.

Let also ping one of our UK based Top Contributors,  @Jon_Gritton , who is more familiar with the UK location targeting.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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How to exclude searches made from inside my target location for locations outside my target location

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi MosheTVL,

 

Thanks for that answer. I do already include my location (Harpenden) in the title of the Ads, but I get clicks anyway. This is probably because I am always in the top position, people see the category of business in the title (dance classes), and also ignore the town name and click anyway.

 

The only real way to prevent these unwanted clicks is to prevent the Ad being served to people who have searched for my business with reference to a location outside my target area.

 

It can be pretty bad: some days it has accounted for more than 50% of the cost of the Ads. I have to find a solution, or stop using AdWords. I do appreciate it won't be possible to eliminate 100% of unwanted clicks, but I can't afford to pay that much for unwanted clicks.

 

Clicks for search terms with the location Hyderabad is simply not going to work for me!

 

I am trying an experiment of adding hundreds of counties and cities, and countries as excluded regions. It's time consuming, and the disadvantage of this method is that I am also excluding people outside my target area that are seaching for my business with reference to my town name.

 

Anyway, I am grateful for any suggestions. I have to work out a solution.
Kind regards, Ben.

How to exclude searches made from inside my target location for locations outside my target location

Badged Google Partner
# 5
Badged Google Partner

Target: "People in my targeted location"

Exclude: "People in, searching for, or who show interest in my excluded location"

 

If the issue is that location is difficult if not impossible to determine in the UK, then your targeting settings alone may not be enough. Mine the search query report, then isolate and optimize the best performing exact match queries into their own campaign. That should help to eliminate irrelevant queries and improve ROAS.

Tom

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
May 2017

Re: How to exclude searches made from inside my target location for locations outside my target loca

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi @Ben S as others have said, precise location targeting is always tricky and often more so in the UK because of our infrastructure that has a tendency to show a location (based upon IP lookup) sometimes a very long way from the physical location of the user.  I'd approach this in a multi-layered way.

 

Run one Campaign using business related terms only (not location specific).  Add your primary target - a radius around Harpenden.  I'd say that 15 miles is not only quite small to target effectively with AdWords, but also quite restrictive in terms of actual customer locations - I'd have no problem driving as far as necessary to get the service I want, so I'd suggest at least a 20 mile radius.  Use the advanced settings to make this people in your location - the default that includes "interest" effectively means anyone in the world could see your Ad, not just people in the UK.  I'd then create a second radius target around Harpenden of, say, 40 or 50 miles, again setting this to people in the location.  With these settings you don't need any exclusions, because the setting of "in" defines only the target radii.  Use bid adjustments to decrease the bids for people in the outer radius (how much you decrease them will need experimental data).  AdWords will use the setting for the most restrictive location setting for a user, so someone who appears to be within 10 miles of Harpenden will take the settings for the 20 mile radius, even though they are also in the 50 mile radius.

 

Run a second Campaign using location specific terms (Harpenden, St Albans, Luton maybe, etc.) and set your location targets to a much wider area.  Personally I like to target by county, so I'd probably add Herts, Bucks, Beds, Berks, probably London, and maybe Oxon, Essex, etc.  Again, set the advanced settings to "in" - we don't want anyone outside of these areas seeing your Ads.  This Campaign will catch specific location based queries, not only from people close to you, but also from people not that far away who may be enquiring because they're thinking of moving, or are looking for someone else, etc.  Using individual counties allows you to set bid adjustments to suit the performance data you gather over time.

 

I've long argued that AdWords really needs a way to combine the interest setting with another location target, e.g. people interested in Harpenden and who are in the UK, but to no avail.  The interest setting is very dangerous in my opinion, as it tends to be far too broad with it's reach, so I always use the more restrictive option.

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits