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Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Which is more effective, targeting by specific zip codes or cities/30 mile radius around your business? 

 

Thanks 

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

[ Edited ]
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆

When you target a radius, you'll have a list of location in this radius and your ads will show for all the locations in this radius. You also have the ability to refine this radius by select only specific locations in the radius and not the whole radius location list.

When you target a place using its ZIP code, your ads will only show in this specific place ( you can add multiple ZIP codes if you want to add multiple areas).

The key is to choose your business's locations whatever using a radius or zip code.

Re: Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
And all this depends upon where you are targeting. There is an understandable misconception that Google is able to actually locate most people.

Whilst this may be true in the US, it is less so in other countries. I, for example, am located(correctly) when I am online in my office. And yet, here at home Google believes me to be 600km away in the capital city - why? - well because it is using my IP address...

Where Google is more accurate is with mobile devices - since they connect via towers, and Google knows where the towers are, you can be located relatively accurately - although I've never investigated to see where Google thinks I am if I am online on my mobile phone, but connected through my home WIFI to my router with the IP address 600km away - something to do in a moment.....

What does this mean? In many of my accounts - in Australia, for example, where the broadband hubs are in the major cities, I've found that tight location targeting tends to mean that I get mostly mobile traffic - because very few people on desktops are correctly identified as being in the target area.

This means I often have to have one tight geo area for one campaign with my selected keywords, and then another with a much wider target area and with the same keywords, but appending the town name - so, where my first campaign might have emergency dentist as a keyword, the latter will have emergency dentist +"my town" - this latter will also have the mobile bid adjusted down to -100%

Geo targeting is a very tricky thing to configure.

Re: Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner
Ivanna,

Understanding that people work in one area, and live in another, and searches are IP based, that may not be totally accurate, I suggest you go with a wider Radius target, unless your business or product/service can only cater to a specific zip code(s).

If there are no restrictions I suggest you Test.
In my experience unless it is a hugely populated city, zip code targeting is more restrictive, and you may not get a lot of impressions. So you may want to test out first with Zip Codes, to see if that is the case, and then switch to Radius ( Or radius first then zip)

Re: Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

The fundamental question here is:"what country are you targeting"?

 

The last time I checked - targeting by zip code is available only  in the US 

If you target by radius, keep in mind (as already mentioned) that Geo-targeting is tricky, and certainly not perfect

.

Not in all countries IP addresses are mapped "to the last mile". For that, Google provides a list of "location targeting types", which you need to check.

For example, if in a given country the smallest area to target is a "region" - drawing a circle (by radius)  within that region, will not reduce the area targeted,  since the circle  is smaller that the minimum area to target. (And in many countries this is the case.)

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks everyone!

Re: Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 7
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
Also, don't target too tightly. "Where am I" in Google puts me in Vermont, about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where I am in NH. Bing at least gets me within 20 miles, but I worry about my clients that want to target my city.

Re: Is it better to target by zip codes or cities?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
When I target a place using its ZIP code, your ads will only show in this specific place. Then I can assume that my ads have limited visibility.