When it comes to advertising on AdWords (or other search engines networks), it’s all about “Location, location, location”. It doesn’t matter about how good your advert is, if your advert doesn’t appear in the right places, it won’t perform well.
- AdWords location targeting places your ads in geographic locations that you choose, such as: countries, areas within a country, a radius around a location or postcode, or location groups.
- Location targeting helps you focus your advertising on the areas where you’ll find the right customers, and restrict it in areas where you don’t – which could help increase your return on investment (ROI) as a result.
Target ads to geographic locations
It pays to reach your customers where they are and where your business can serve them by using accurate location targeting. You can set and then adjust your location targeting settings in most advertising systems. I often get asked to identify the best geographic areas for targeting from addresses of previous or existing customers. It’s easy enough to do when the number of customers is small, but when it is in the thousands it can get tricky.
Geocode location data
Geographic data that describes a location must be geocoded in order to place it on a map. In the past, the process of outputting customers to a Google map was time-consuming as it required help from developers to geocode location data via a third party service. This was a common issue for marketers, but thankfully a much quicker and easier option is now available; using Google Fusion Tables.
Visualise hundreds of locations in minutes
Visualising a large table of locations is now much easier thanks to Google Fusion Tables. Similar to pasting a description of a location into Google Maps, Fusion Tables automatically begins geocoding when you visualise the location on a map. Google Fusion Tables also allow you to import data from an Excel spreadsheet and display it on a map. Pictured below is an example of a map created using Google Fusion Tables. The map – created in just a few short minutes – shows hundreds of plotted customer postcodes. Note: Maps with hundreds or thousands of addresses or postcodes will take longer to generate.
Build a map in 5 easy steps
- In Google Drive, start a new Google Fusion Tables document. If you don’t have the Google Fusion Tables app installed, click on New > More > Connect more apps.
- To import a table with postcodes into Google Fusion Tables, browse for a file with postcodes on your computer. (I used a delimited .txt separated file, but you can also upload Excel or Google Drive spreadsheets)
- Press ‘Next’ and Google Fusion Tables will start processing and geocoding your data.It may take a few hours to process thousands of postcode entries.When geocoding finishes, the table will load with a new tab called ‘Map of xxx’.
Advertising on AdWords is extremely expensive, and the market is getting more competitive by the day. The ability to focus your advertising on the areas where your customers really are is critical for running a well performing advertising campaign and to achieve a good ROI as a result. Try this quick and easy technique to visualise locations of your customers. It may take minutes, but it could save thousands!