How to get your Google Ads in front of the right customers

The whole point of spending money with Google Ads is to get your ads in front of the right people. Yet, many ads are missing out on doing that by not using word-of-mouth as a factor. In this blog, we show you how you can.

Back to basics: what is location targeting?

Adding location targets to your campaign in Google Ads means that your ads will only be served to people in, regularly in or regularly searching for results in a particular location.

If you’re looking to attract customers who work in London,

This means that, for example, someone who commutes to work in central London could receive ads targeted at their workplace both at work and at home, due to their association with the work location.

There are many reasons why targeting by location can improve efficiency and ROI of Google Ad campaigns; we find the three most common are:

Accessibility – targeting ads to the areas where a product or service is available.

For example, a company may only ship a product within a particular country. Or a brick and mortar shop may only advertise to people near enough to visit.

Proxy demographics – targeting ads to locations based on what is there.

Such as, a company with a product aimed at students may focus on cities with a university. While a company selling to tech businesses may target cities with a high number of tech companies.

Copy targeting – targeting ads with copy that focuses on a particular location.

Ads containing location-specific copy, e.g. “We’re helping people in Bristol with their finances…”, can be really effective, but only for those in that location.

Find out how one of our clients increased their monthly subscriptions revenues of between 5% and 26% after six months.

How can word-of-mouth help Google Ads targeting?

As with anything in marketing, without data you’re walking blind. As much as marketing is very much an art, it’s also very much a science

It’s hard because knowing what locations to choose is hard. Without data, it’s akin to throwing a dart at a board.

Which locations can you target?

Google Ads enables a wide range of location targeting options with different levels of specificity. These can be split into two categories:

1 | Named locations

For the UK, the highest level is the whole country, useful for goods and services that are only distributed here. For many people, this option is used without even considering it as location targeting.

Beneath that, there are named locations, such as cities. Then, there are also landmarks, such as airports, around which you can target users.

Finally, you can target using one or many of the circa 2,000 outward postcodes in the UK – only the first bit, such as BN1.

2 | Proximity targets

These allow you to target a circle of radius as small as 1km around any point in the UK. When potential customers are in that area and run a search that expresses interest in your product sector, Google will serve them your ad.

How does the Herdify platform use it?

Herdify recommendations are often for areas smaller than the smallest proximity targets allowed by Google. As a consequence, we built our system that takes a collection of recommended areas and selects the best combination of:

  • Allowable proximity targets
  • Minimising the area outside the original recommendations
  • Ensuring all of the recommendations are covered.
Google Ad targeting graph

There are three main steps in the process:

  1. Combining contiguous areas
  2. Finding the smallest possible proximity targets that enclose each of the combined areas
  3. Combining overlapping proximity targets in an optimal way

The particularities of the geography of the target areas can significantly affect where the increases in efficiency arise.

For one of our customers, over 90% of the increased efficiency comes from using proximity targets over postcodes. While for another, over 95% of the increased efficiency came from optimising proximity targets.

GDlabs targeting - example report for Bristol

This map, generated by the Herdify platform, shows the city of Bristol in an example scenario.

In this scenario, the Herdify platform has identified two major areas – in blue – to target, rather than focusing on the whole of the city.

The blue areas are further broken down with our platform making a recommendation to target just 50% – highlighted in green.

Those green sections show the areas within that location with potential customers who are most likely to purchase – where they work and where they live.

The smaller blue dots show actual purchases – which shows that just targeting CRM data alone without modelling would be fruitless.

This is a great visual indicator of how Herdify can help you focus your campaigns on the areas that matter most. Rather than taking a scattergun approach with GoogleAds, use our platform to supercharge your paid advertising.

For further insight into how to target a small area – which makes you look like a larger brand – consider how to use intent data to grow ROI and sales.

To sum up

Overall, the system enables up to ten times more efficiently than postcodes alone.

Location targeting offers excellent opportunities to increase your campaigns’ efficiency and ROI. Google Ads allows a range of options to make that happen.

Despite these options, maximising efficiency with small target areas requires combining proximity targets programmatically.

Try out our free Google Analytics simulator to find out more about how Herdify can help you.

With it, we’ll model your historic online traffic to indicate offline where clusters of engagement have in the real world. The output is a bespoke heat map for your company.

Friends in conversation | Herdify

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Ignite your brand power: Why your offline community is the real influencer

“Social communities grow more powerfully offline, yet most marketing tactics tap into the online element. 92% of word-of-mouth – the single biggest influence on consumer buying behaviour – happens offline."

~ Ed Barter, Lead data scientist at Herdify

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