Google: Your Geo-Targeting Feature Needs To Geo-Target What I Want Geo-Targeted

Dear Google,
Please geo-target my ads to the areas I geo-target. Thanks a bunch!
Love,
Leah

You may have heard that Google can and will display PPC ads outside of your geo-targeted areas if the search query is deemed relevant to the services your business offers.

For example, let’s say your business offers lawn care services in Dallas, Texas. If someone in Oklahoma City searches “Dallas lawn care services” your ad will be shown to that user in OK City. Makes sense, right? But the search query must contain the geographical location in which you are targeting, in this case Dallas.

From the outset, this seems like a logical idea. This person in Oklahoma City is probably looking for lawn care services in Dallas, TX; call me a control freak, but I want to control where my ads are shown, not Google.

If you own a business that caters to a specific geographical location, it’s best to bid on non-geographical keywords for your services like “lawn care” or “landscaping services” and geo-target your campaigns to your coverage area.

Additionally, you’ll want to set-up nationally targeted campaigns that focus on geographic service keywords, like the above mentioned “Dallas lawn care services” or “Dallas area landscaping” to obtain users who are searching for your services in your coverage area, but are not searching within your geo-targeted location.

However, does it even matter if we bid nationally on geographic terms like “Dallas lawn care” if our ads will be shown outside of the geo-targeted area anyway? How are the non-geographical keywords within the query deemed relevant? For example, will a user in Oklahoma City searching “Dallas lawn mowers” trigger my lawn care service ad?

I have a meeting set-up with my Google representative to ask these questions and more. If you have a question regarding this issue, please leave a comment and I’ll certainly do my best to get it answered.

In the meantime, here’s a link to Google support about this issue.