What Is Geotargeting? (How To Implement It In Advertising)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 25 October 2022

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Geographical targeting, geotargeting, is an advertising technique that enables marketers and advertising professionals to display highly targeted ads to people within a specific radius of their location. Marketers may use this method as part of a marketing campaign for a product or a service if a company offers region-specific products. Knowing more about geographical targeting can help you learn how to use targeted ad displays in advertising campaigns. In this article, we explain what geotargeting is and describe how you can implement it in an advertising campaign.

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What Is Geotargeting?

Geotargeting uses location-specific data to reach a key customer demographic and desired audience. Search engines may use this technique to display relevant content to consumers based on their estimated location. Local businesses may use geographical targeting to run paid search campaigns by advertising their products to people within a few miles of their stores.

A popular example of a geotargeted ad is one you might see advertising local restaurants or hair salons in your area. The primary goal of geotargeted ads is to increase the conversion rate of a business. It can be an effective way to appeal to a local audience and improve sales from the surrounding neighbourhoods.

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How Does Geographical Targeting Work?

Advertisers or businesses wishing to display ads to potential customers through geographical targeting specify a single location or multiple locations for their ads. They can also select areas they prefer to exclude. This marketing technique detects users' location data, such as country, city, IP address, zip code or device ID, through a global positioning system or mobile tower and displays targeted ads based on pre-defined parameters.

Geotargeted ads can help businesses focus their advertising efforts on customers with greater relevance to a company's services or within a company's service areas. They can also help deliver personalised messages incorporating local references to increase engagement and return on investment (ROI). For example, an e-commerce company may use geotargeted ads to promote local products to a specific city or state.

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Essential Tools For Geotargeted Advertising

Marketers can target customers based on location, age group, profession, consumer behaviour and personal interests. Here are some tools you can use for geotargeted advertising:

Location-based targeting

Location-based targeting offers advertisers insights into customer behaviour and can contribute to developing a good buyer persona. It can also help build a highly customised advertising campaign that displays promotions to people in your chosen location. It is important marketers respect customers' privacy while setting up location-specific ads.

Audience targeting

Audience targeting enables you to send targeted ads to people who have previously visited the company website or app in search of a specific category, brand or location of services. The audience targeting tool can send people updates and reminders about their previous incomplete searches. It also uses behavioural targeting by including detailed data related to demographics and visitation. Audience targeting is a successful tool because it leverages data on consumer shopping habits.

Weather targeting

Marketers postulate that weather has an impact on customer behaviour. Weather targeting focuses on displaying advertisements based on location and the current climatic condition, enabling you to acknowledge the changing weather and offer customisable services accordingly. When the weather changes, you can use in-app ads, which can be effective at attracting more customers and increasing conversions. For instance, a company selling rainwear may start displaying in-app ads to potential customers living in a tropical climate.

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How To Implement Geotargeted Advertising

The primary method for displaying geotargeted ads is smartphones. Billions of people use smartphones globally, and this number is constantly increasing. Consequently, advertisers can break down their potential client base into various demographics and buyer personas to display location-specific ads. Here are some factors to consider while implementing geotargeted advertising:

1. Identify region-specific keywords

Identifying the keywords popular in a specific region can be the first step towards integrating location-based targeting into your advertising strategy. These keywords are search terms that the local audience may use while searching for a business or service. They relate to the advertisement's message and can ensure that your ads reach the desired audience.

For instance, people in an area may search for a restaurant by using their location's name and the word restaurants. In this case, if you have used keywords such as best restaurants on ABC road or restaurants in XYZ city in your ad content, it can help your restaurant reach the relevant target audience. The right combination of keywords and persuasive messaging can boost conversions and revenue for a business.

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2. Prioritise locations

If you are advertising a specific business, you may also have an idea of where it may thrive. A few particular locations can feature most of your target demographic. Focusing on such areas may help you achieve the desired result for your campaign.

For example, a store selling academic books may thrive in a neighbourhood with several schools and colleges. Targeting a location can help an ad campaign become more effective and yield better results. For more detailed targeting and optimum use of the budget, you can exclude unrelated areas, such as residential or commercial neighbourhoods, that may not give an effective ROI.

3. Implement negative keywords

Negative keywords can ensure that you only display your ad to your potential audience. When you assign a particular phrase or term as a negative keyword, people searching for that phrase may not be able to see the ad. This can help you direct the potential of your advertising strategy towards interested users and increase your ROI.

For example, a business that sells eyewear can assign search terms such as wine glasses, water glasses, drinking glasses or cocktail glasses as negative keywords. The primary keyword could be glasses, and although the other keywords are similar, they are not relevant to the product the business offers. You can ensure that only relevant ads reach the audience by adding the correct parameters and establishing a few negative keywords. You can also implement negative location keywords to block irrelevant areas.

4. Avoid irrelevant locations

Advertising software can give insights into the most favourable areas for a business. Similarly, it may display locations that are the most ineffective for the company's services. The location may not contain the target audience or demographic or feature any scope for improvement. To avoid budgetary losses, consider avoiding these locations to display ads.

5. Include the name of the target location

People who see the company's ad may want to use its services. So, it is essential to let them know if the business caters to their particular location. Including the target location's name in the ad copy is a good idea. You can also feature the location name in the headline to achieve better results.

6. Track location metrics

In a marketing campaign, you can keep track of locations that generate more traffic. Location metrics can help you view detailed information about each location where you display the ad, such as clicks, impressions, average position and the average cost per click. Once you understand which areas generate the best results, you can leverage that information to get more ROI.

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7. Include regional search terms

Geotargeted advertising can benefit from including local and regional terms in the keyword list. The technology may already focus on delivering location-based ads but including regional search terms can enhance relevance. It can also help the ad copy better align with an audience's search query.

Keywords like top restaurants and best restaurants can be effective, but companies often overuse them. Many companies and marketing teams have such keywords at the top of their lists. You can increase the relevance of a business by trying out location-based terms. This can include keywords such as restaurants on XYZ road and XYZ road restaurants.

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8. Lower ad costs using bid adjustments

Geographical ads can be costly, especially if your campaign includes posting multiple ads on different platforms. You can implement a smart bidding strategy to lower your cost per action (CPA). If you use a manual bidding strategy, you can apply bid adjustments and adjust the price when your ad displays to a user.

For instance, if you know which location has a better reach from the advertisement data, you can adjust the bid by positive or negative percentages. Bid adjustments can enable you to customise your original keyword bid according to the value generated from a specific location. It can also help you lower your CPA by avoiding costly clicks from areas with less scope for your ads.

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