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Reach and Restrict: Using your Advanced Location Settings


As a troubleshooter, I often hear concerns about clicks originating from outside of advertisers’ targeted geographic region.  Advertisers using location-based targeting or radius-based targeting notice clicks and impressions from geographic areas outside their chosen targets, and think that something is broken on Google’s side, or that these clicks stem from invalid traffic.


However, that is not always the case!


Hidden right below the targeted locations in the Settings tab lurks a very important section -- Advanced Location Settings. These settings further dictate  restrictions and allowances on who can see your ads. Not many advertisers open this blue drop-down menu, but it can be the difference between reaching and not reaching your desired audience. Before starting a campaign, it is extremely important to fine-tune the Advanced Locations Settings section.


By default, each of the Advanced Location Settings (Target/Exclude) is set to “People in, searching for, or may show interest in your targeted/excluded location.” This means viewers do not necessarily have to be physically present in your location settings to see your ad. They may have been searching for your location, had previously passed through your area, or have expressed interest in your area via their recent search history. So, even though you may have chosen one or two locations to target in your campaign, you may see clicks from other locations in your Geographic Dimensions report.


If you’re looking to solely target individuals who are physically located in your targeted areas, you can switch the Advanced Location Settings to “People in my targeted/excluded locations.” This will restrict your targeting to only those who are physically present and searching from your located areas.


Here’s an example. Imagine you’re the owner of a pet shop in London. Because your business is small, you’re  interested in reaching only customers who can physically visit your business to purchase their newest lifelong fuzzy friend. Therefore, in your AdWords campaign, you specify “London” as your sole location target for your AdWords campaign. You don’t open the Advanced Locations Settings at all while setting up your campaign.


You let the campaign run for a month and you check the Dimensions tab to evaluate performance. In the Geographic report, you notice some clicks coming from Scotland, France, and even the United States! Oh no! Clearly, these visitors can’t visit your shop, and you don’t want individuals thousands of miles away to see your ad.

Therefore, you open up your Advanced Location Settings and change your Target settings to target only “People in my targeted location.” This setting will remove anybody in other geographic areas who may be doing research on London or have recently passed through London. Now, only consumers within the London city limits will see your ad.


Always be sure to check these Advanced Location Settings to ensure that they meet your business and advertising objectives!

Ajay M
July 2016
Don't warry hear the way.