Location Targeting - Vine Street Digital

Location Targeting With Google Ads

Location Targeting With Google Ads

Location targeting is an essential part of a Google Ads campaign. Setting the location can help to define the geographical boundaries in which you want to advertise in. For example, if you were a small plumbing business only servicing the south-side of Brisbane, you don’t want to have your ad showing in San Francisco – unless you don’t mind a long commute!

Targeting Specific Locations

There are varying levels of geographically-based targeting options ranging from:

  • countries
  • states/territories
  • cities
  • specific postcodes
  • radius targeting

The first few options are on a larger scale (as large as you like, even worldwide). These can be great if you:

  • sell products online (digital or physical), with shipping perhaps to just one country or to the world,
  • have an information-based or content-based business, such as a blog or online course,
  • are a nonprofit organisation and want to spread your message to a wide audience,
  • have a physical store location and want to target an entire city and perhaps surrounding suburbs,
  • and so on!

Radius targeting allows you to define a specific location and then set a targeting radius around that location. This is an efficient way to target customers around where you operate your business. It’s excellent for small service-based businesses, such as plumbers.

Tool Tip

Google provides a useful tool where you can add locations in bulk. This allows you to keep a list of locations in a separate document, then simply copy and paste them into the location settings. This is especially useful if you have a lot of postcodes or city names.

Location groups can also be an easy way to set up targeting for areas around your business. If you have your business address integrated with Google Ads, Google will automatically pick locations around you. It’s sort of like an automated radius targeting option.

Advanced Options

Under the “advanced options” there are two settings which can be changed. The first is who you want to ‘target’. The second settings are the ‘exclusions’.

Who You Want To Target

The first option here is ‘People in, searching for or who show interest in my targeted location’.

This means your ad will be eligible to show to:

  • a customer who is inside your location targeting parameters,
  • OR someone who is technically located outside the targeted location,
    BUT is searching for information within your targeted location.

A bit confusing, I know, so here’s an example:

Steve has just moved from Brisbane to Sydney. He needs to get a bond clean done on his apartment in Brisbane, so he Googles “bond cleaners Brisbane”. Although his physical location is in Sydney, he will still receive ads from Brisbane-based cleaning companies because he’s specifically searching for Brisbane.

These are the other two options:

  • People in my targeted location
  • People searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location

You can see that the first option combined these all in one go. But, if you need further control, these are available.

Who You Want To Exclude

Exclusions are extremely important – they can stop ads from being shown in locations you don’t want. So, if you’re an Electrician in Sydney, you might want to put Western Australia or Queensland as an exclusion. The options in these ‘exclusions’ settings are the same as the ‘target’ option. However, instead of showing the ads, in these circumstances they will prevent them from being seen.

Location Bid Adjustments

Another useful option relating to location options are bid adjustments. These allow you to bid slightly higher on a specific location or device. This may be useful is one area is performing very well and you want to really capitalise on the performance.

Say you sell items all around Australia, but you notice that Brisbane is performing much better than any other location. You can set a bid adjustment percentage on Brisbane to increase the bids there and try to gain more impression share.


Let us know if you have any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.

We provide audits of Google Ads accounts, as well as campaign setups if you need any help!

Written by Lachlan Ward