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Campaign Settings, Part 1: Location and Language Targeting Tutorial

Welcome to the fourteenth lesson ‘Campaign Settings, Part 1: Location and Language Targeting’ of PPC Advertising Tutorial which is a part of Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Course offered by Simplilearn.

In this lesson, we're going to look at one of the significant campaign settings, which is Location and Language Targeting. Every single campaign must have a location and language chosen for where you want your ads to be displayed in the language of the users you wish to reach.

Let us look at the objectives of this lesson.


After completing this lesson, you will learn:

  • How to write ads for a local audience

  • What to consider when geographically targeting

  • How to target based on language

  • How to reach the most people within a geographic area

Let us start this lesson with the first topic Location Targeting Technology.

Location Targeting: The Technology

When talking about location, we have to look at how Google determines a user's location. The first thing Google looks at is the domain TLD, the extension being used. So let’s look into how location is determined.

Domain TLD

If someone searches on, Google assumes the United States. If someone searches on, they assume Google France. The domain TLD is the first signal that's used to determine user location.

Search Query

The second one is the query itself. In this instance, we search for a Chicago plumber. Now there are several Chicago's in the United States. However one of them is by far the largest geographically.

So Google's fairly confident when we say the word Chicago, we're talking about Chicago, Illinois.

Therefore Google looks at the query, and if there are geographic modifiers in the query, where they're confident in an area, they may show ads based upon that signal.

However, if we search for Orange County plumber, well there are several Orange Counties in the US. You have one in California with three million users. You have another one in Florida; there's another one in Nebraska.

So Google is not confident when you say something Orange County or Washington, is it Washington state of Washington DC. Therefore, they don't always use the query if they are not confident in the geographic area within this search query.

The primary way they look at the user location is based upon IP address. When you log on to the web, you're the computer's given an IP address. It's sort of like your computer's location on the internet, but it's not your computer's location, it's your host provider location.

Assuming you lived in Falls Church, right outside of Washington D.C., your IP address was McClain who is several miles away. So IP address is not necessarily a physical location for the user. It's based upon their ISP provider's location.

Mobile Users

For mobile users, there are some additional signals that the search engines can use. So for instance, if you have GPS enabled, WiFi, they can use cell phone tower IDs. If you're searching on Google Maps, they look at your location on the map.

There are also things like previous search queries. If you've used the word Chicago on your last 20 queries, and then you search for a plumber, Google may assume you're still in Chicago, and then they'll also look at the IP address of your mobile phone as well.

So, that's how Google determines where a user is located. Thus, the question is where do you want to advertise.

Let’s now look at the Location Targeting Implementation.

Location Targeting: The Implementation

So once you've thought about it, you realize where you want to target, then you need to set up your campaigns to reach users based upon where they are located.

Now before we look at how to set up campaigns, what's important to note is when you do targeting, a smaller than a country level, two things are going to happen:

  1. Someone inside your location will not see your ad.

  2. Someone outside your location will see your ads.

So, it's just important as an advertiser to realize why.

  • At a country level, IP targeting nears 100% accuracy.

  • At a state level, generally 90 to 95% accuracy.

  • At a city level, 80 to 90% accuracy, but there's often some exceptions.

If you look at twin cities, Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Dallas, Fort Worth, it's common if you just targeted Dallas and not Fort Worth. For someone to live in Fort Worth, but their ISP is in Dallas.

So twin cities can mess things up. Area's like Chicago, it's in three different states. It's in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. So if you target Chicago, you reach sections of three different states.

The reason why someone is not going to see your ad who lives in a location or will see it who doesn't live there is best upon how IP targeting works.

So let's say, you have a city region of Chicago as explained in the image below.

chicago-location-targeting-implementationThe hosting provider, their ISP is in the city and the searchers in the same city. This is a perfect match. This happens the majority of times in cities.

However, there will be times when the searcher does not live in a city, but their ISP is in the city. In this case, searcher two will still see Chicago based ads even though they don't live there.

Other times, a searcher will live in a city, if their host provider's outside of the town.

In this instance, searcher three will not see Chicago based ads even though they live there, because their host provider's not in the city.

Then you have things like unknown dial-up. Everyone on AOL dial-up appears to come from Reston, Virginia. So they just don't see, geographic ads for the most part unless they do explicit searches with geographies in them. You have corporate VPNs.

When someone logs into their VPN, they're often displayed at the location of their VPN provider or their home office, not their current location. You have times that Google just cannot determine a location.

Say for an example, when you travel and use a MeFi, one of the cell cards. Usually, your location's completely incorrect when you use a cell provider not a phone, but one of the MeFi cards or one of the cell cards to connect. So that's why it's important to note.

There are times when you reach a location, where the searcher will not see your ads even though they live in the city or will look at your ads even though they do not live in the city.

Next, we will talk about Location Targeting Options: Advanced and Country.

Location Targeting Options: Advanced and Country

We need to determine where we want to show our ads. This is a campaign level setting, so it governs all the ads, ad groups keywords, so forth, in that campaign. Remember, you can have multiple campaigns.

So you can make one campaign that targets one region with a specific set of ads, and another campaign that might even use the same keywords as the first campaign but targets a different region with different ads or a different budget.

Now there are several options for where you wish to have your ads displayed.

Searching for Location

So first navigate to the campaign settings and then find the location settings section. From there, you can search for a region. A screenshot for the same is given below.

searching-for-locations-in-regionAs we search will see match search queries to whatever we're searching for. So these matches could include zip codes, countries, states, cities, airports, DMA, congressional districts and so forth.

Now if you search for a location and it matches a larger location, then the approximate population of that region will also be displayed.

For regions with very small reaches or unknown populations which are pretty rare, then you may not see the range of that particular location. Right from the search results, you can add a region, or you can exclude regions using the exclude button.

We'll discuss a little bit more about excluded regions, and then you can also see nearby areas by clicking on the nearby area button.

Adding locations is simple from the search box. The one issue with the search box is that you can't visualize the areas where you're advertising.

So, to see maps that overlie with your locations, you can go into the advanced search feature, which shows you map options with your searches.

Advanced Search

When we go to the advanced search feature, it works just the same as a typical search. You search; you'll see matching areas. But now, when you add or exclude a region, you'll be able to see that region in a map, so it's much easier to visualize a specific region.

An advanced search for Chicago is shown in the given below screenshot.

advanced-search-location-targeting-optionSo choosing states, and cities, and neighborhoods are straightforward. It's where you want to show your apps. But you do want to make a note on country targeting.

Country Targeting

It's pretty common for advertisers to say, well, the United States, Canada, Australia, sometimes the UK, they all speak English. So, going to run ads to all of these countries.

country-targeting-location-targeting-optionNow one of the issues here is that while the countries use a base language of English, they have different words they use to describe the same items and they have different ways they spell words.

So if you have a word like color or optimize in your ads, one of the regions you advertise, if you pick all four of those regions, will think you can't spell correctly. Is it a cell phone? Is it a mobile phone?

It is the same overall idea; different countries consider the same idea of a mobile phone or a cell phone different in how they look at apps.

So in the US, it's generally referred to as a cell or cell phone. In the UK it's only referred to as a mobile phone. So you'll see different click their rates, even for a phone provider based upon whether you call a cell phone or a mobile phone.

So it is the best case scenario to limit yourself to one country per campaign. The main exception to this rule is if you're a real international company, you're advertising in 300 different countries; you have a small search team.

Then you may need to do some groupings of countries, or maybe gatherings by common languages, as well, for a lot of Europe to make sure that users still see something related to their query in their natural language, that they are familiar with.

Now, country targeting is still part of the search. But there are other options for showing your ads beyond country targeting.

Let’s look at the Location Targeting Options: Radius, Extension, Bulk Additions, and Excluding.

Location Targeting Options: Radius, Extension, Bulk Additions, and Excluding

There are many Location Targeting Options such as:

  • Radius

  • Extension

  • Bulk Additions

  • Excluding

Let us now look at each of them in detail.

Radius Targeting

So with radius targeting, you could input a zip code or some map points and then choose how far around that point you wish to show your ads.

In the Search area, what you'll see are locations that are within the region where you are advertising.

Now, by default, you usually see a 10 or 20-mile radius picked by default, and maps use miles or kilometers as their basis for geometry. Except users often think regarding time as opposed to a measure of distance.

So 20 miles in rush hour in Chicago could be a two and a half hour drive. Therefore 20 miles in rush hour is way too large of a radius. Now, if you go to, say, Fargo, North Dakota during rush hour, 20 miles may only be 30 or 40 minutes.

Radius targeting can be explained with a given in the screenshot below.

radius-targeting-in-location-targetingIn a non-rush hour, 20 hours maybe 20 miles; you can use a larger radius. Instead of thinking about peer distance, think about how far users will travel to your location.

When you think of radius targeting or your overall locations, believe just as much about how far a user will drive as opposed to a pure map distance.

Location Extension

Now if you are using location extensions, by default your location extensions is generally shown two miles or five kilometers around your base location. You can adjust this in the extension targeting section in the advanced location search section.

Say instead of we want to be two miles or a five-kilometer radius; you could show your extension just to one mile or to ten miles away. The screenshot image shows targeted locations in 2 miles extension.

extension-targeting-in-location-targetingThink about how far people go to reach your business. For advertising in a lot of regions, maybe 1,000 different zip codes, you can use the bulk location and input up to 1,000 locations at once.

Bulk Additions

Instead of having to do 1,000 individual searches, pick a location, add it, do another search, and continue for way too long of a time, you can do a simple paste of large location areas.

bulk-additions-location-targetingNow, all of these so far, radius, targeting, search and extensions, are where you want to show your ads.

Excluding Regions

You can exclude regions as well; you don't have to show an ad in a certain region.

For instance, let's say you're an insurance company and you're only licensed to sell insurance in the state of Illinois, and you're going to run some TV commercials on the DMA of Chicago.

Now, the issue here is that the DMA of Chicago reaches three different states. Chicago's in the state of Illinois, but the DMA includes parts of Indiana and parts of Wisconsin. But if you're only licensed in Illinois, you wouldn't want to bolster out of region searches.

So, then, you can include the DMA of Chicago as you're targeting and then exclude Wisconsin and Indiana's regions you don't want to target. A screenshot image explaining the same is shown below.

excluding-regions-location-targetingSo when you start including regions and excluding regions, you can pick exactly where you want a user to be located when they do see your ads.

Let us look at how we can reach out to most people in geography.

Reaching Most People in Geography

So if you want to reach most users in a location, not everybody the majority of users, you can create one campaign. In your geography, choose your state or your city, your province so forth.

As shown in the table given below, call these IP campaigns, because the technology used, because you're just showing your ads in one location.

Target Geography

United States



GEO Campaign

IP campaign

Example keywords

Chicago plumber



Chicago Plumbing services

Plumbing services


Chicago Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipes

Your keywords do not need geographical modifiers. You can use words like frozen pipes, plumbing service, electrician services. However, certain people will not see your IP ads, because Google can't determine their location.

If you want to reach every person in geography, you're going to want to use two campaigns. Start with your IP campaign, target your geography. You don't need geographic keywords. Make a second campaign.

Target the entire country, whether it's the US, Canada, so forth. This is a geo campaign because all of your keywords will have geographic modifiers on them. Your keywords will be Chicago plumbing services, Chicago electrician so forth and then this will reach everybody.

Geographic Keywords

If you are setting up multiple campaigns and using geographic keywords, then here are some keyword inspiration ideas.


California, Arkansas, Louisiana, so forth.

Abbreviations (CA, MD, NJ.)

Be careful of the abbreviations. A lot of people search with abbreviations, but you will see ads a lot for plumber doctors.

There might be a doctor of plumbing. Also, Maryland's abbreviation MD. Google does not look at MD and think Maryland. They think the doctor. Oregon's abbreviation, it's OR. It's a word Google ignores as a stop word. So be careful of abbreviations.


San Jose, Neighborhoods

A lot of larger cities have huge associations and neighborhoods. So Lincoln Park, Rogers Park, so forth are good words to use if you're reaching people in neighborhoods.

Zip codes and area codes

There is some search volume for zip codes and area codes.

Never use them in a broad match keyword. Google doesn't look at things like 773 and 60606 and thinks, oh, that's this area code or this zip code.


Use phrase match, use exact match but don't use a broad match if you have counties. Certain states, like Ohio, have huge county search volume.

Now you need to be careful with counties, though. In this case, Orange County. It's in California; it's in Nebraska, it's in Texas, it's in Florida. So has multiple Orange Counties.

Now the Orange County electrician in California is competing with the Orange County electrician in Nebraska for impressions; they're not competing for clicks. So in front of Nebraska's not going to go to California or Florida for an electrician job for the most part.

In cases where your geographic keyword is in multiple places, call it out in ad copy. You're the Orange County comma CA plumber. Or better yet, you're the Los Angeles plumber, or you're the Orlando plumber.

So when there are ambiguous geographic terms, make sure your ad copy is a little more specific to your actual region.

Airport codes and Regional Lingo

You have airport codes as well and regional lingo. Regional lingo's fantastic. There's search volume for it, and when you ad regional lingo to ad copy, it tells someone you're local.

Say you're the Bay Area for San Francisco, the loops the Middle of Chicago frontier land for Denver, the triangles middle Pittsburgh. So if you have locally based lingo, try them out as keywords and especially in ad copy.

Let’s now look at the writing geographic-based local ads.

Writing Local Ads

Now when you're writing geographic based ad copy, there are certain things to keep in mind. The overall rule is the more someone knows about the location; the more specific your ad should be. The less that they know about a location, the more reassuring your ad should be. So you can help them out.

For instance, look at some local ad copies given below in the screenshot.


Top ad copy - Wicker Park Real Estate, Northern Chicago Specialists, Find Your Dream Condo.

If you're just assigned to Chicago, this is not a great ad copy. North Chicago, South Chicago, doesn't help someone out.

Now the user's done some research, and they're past just the awareness and interest phase. And they're starting to compare neighborhoods. Their search criteria were Wicker Park or Roger's Park, some neighborhood.

That suddenly becomes a good ad copy because they know enough to understand the ad.

Second Ad copy - Downtown Chicago Hotel, located in the shopping district, easy access to all of downtown.

This is a good non-local ad copy. Non-locals don't know the area very well. They want to know are you by shopping? Are you at the airport? Are you by an amusement park? Can you help them out?

It's not good for a local because of the shopping district in Chicago's pretty significant. A local once know what street is Michigan Avenue. So, think about how much your user knows about the location and running those ads.

The bottom ad copy - Chicago Bluetooth headset. Touch the earphones before you buy. Located in the Water Tower.

It's a terrible non-local ad copy because most non-locals don't know where the Water Tower is. However, it's a landmark in the city of Chicago. Most locals do know where it is.

So the more someone knows about your location, the more precise your ad should be. The less they know about your site, the more reassuring your ad should be.

Remember, if you are reaching an individual city, Use location extensions. If you're not reaching entire country, you're reaching smaller areas, and you have to have a physical location, use location extensions.

Next, we will look at the Advanced Configuration for Location Targeting.

Location Targeting: Advanced Configuration

There are some advantage configurations you can use in location targeting. So the first one looks at how you want Google to trigger your local based ads. So, for instance, by default, Google uses the physical location or the search intents and is shown in given below screenshot.

advanced-configuration-for-location-targetingWe looked at earlier how Google determines location. They look at it by IP address, or someone puts in an actual location, such as Google Maps, that's physical location. If someone searches for Chicago Plumber, it's by search intent. So that's default.

But if you're a hotel, you don't want to advertise locally. You instead want none locals to see your ad who are using geographic modifiers, which is search intent, not by physical location.

So the third option here, target using search intent only, location terms in user queries, is good for a hotel.

So if you want to target non-locals, but you're using geographic modifiers, then you use target versus search intent.

Now, another way is the second option, target using physical location. In this case, Google only is going to show ads if they know a user's location and not by the search query.

Say we have a restaurant in Chicago called Chicago Pizza. Now, there's a lot of search volume for Chicago pizza. So if they were to use the default settings, they would end up with a lot of impressions for people who don't want their restaurants.

They're looking at just what is Chicago pizza, how to make it, how to get it delivered out of state and so forth. Instead, they want to use the target using physical location.

So when someone searches for Chicago pizza, but they're not in the area of Chicago, they would not see the ad. They would only see the ad if Google's satisfied the user's in the location.

You can also exclude based upon physical location, or based upon location and search intent.

When you combine specific locations and negative locations, especially with advanced options, you can be pretty sure how your ads will be triggered on a geographic basis.


Once you choose your location, these are still campaign settings affect every ad group in the campaign; you also need to select the languages you're being displayed for.

Now it's important to note if you put all of your keywords in English, and you choose Spanish, Google will not translate your ads.

What the language setting is for is it looks at the interface language being used. So if someone's on, Google assumes French.

If you have all English keywords and you're on and Google by default says French, you're going to have a big problem having your ads displayed.

So it's useful to pick the default language of the countries your targeting even if your ads are only in English or just in French.

Let’s now look at Geographic Targeting.

Geographic Targeting: Think Locally

When targeting geographically, it's important to think locally, to think about the user base. It's amazing how many search queries have local intent. Google estimates that of searches on, 20% of all the queries have local intent. That's on a desktop computer.

For mobile devices, it's about three times higher. And of course, on Google Maps it nears a 100%. You have three types of geographic advertisers:

Local businesses

  • Restaurants

  • Plumbers, so forth.

National, local companies

  • Best Buy

  • State Farm

  • Starbucks

However, the users think about them locally. So the not national companies they're a conglomeration of local companies.

National/international advertisers with local messaging

  • Coke

  • Nike

It's important to think where you fit in this classification. If you advertise in more than one city, you write ads based upon that city's performance.

The big mistake a lot of people make is they say, you know what we're just going to be everywhere in the country, and we're not going to look at any locally based information, one ad for everybody.

What you're assuming then is that the farmer in Nebraska, the politician in Washington DC and the Hollywood actress all want to see the same items, speak the same language.

Rarely does that happen so even if you're a national company it's very useful to think about your users at a location setting, not just one national message?

In fact, if you've only lived in the US and you haven't traveled a lot, you've probably never seen Coca-Cola lights. You see diet coke. If you live in a lot of parts of Europe or parts of Africa, you mostly see Coke light.

The word diet and the word might have different connotations by country. So it's important to look to see what's the connotation of the words you're using for each country.

AdWords Geographic Report

A sample AdWords Geographic Report can be shown in the below-given image.

sample-adwords-geographic-reportThe way to do this is in the dimensions tab, there's a geographic report. You can see your click-through rates, your conversion rates, all your metrics. By countries, by regions, by cities, by metros.

So on a regular basis, even if it's just once a month or once a quarter, take a look through your statistics, and see if there are significant differences in your metrics by location. If there is, then you might want to change how you're reaching users, the message to those users.

Now you're not going to write a different ad copy for every single city or every single state. It's not going to happen, it's way too much work for the most part, and Google does only allow 25 active campaigns for new accounts.

Examining the Outliers

So what you want to find are the outliers. You could take that report, layer overpopulation data and then look at conversion information. A sample report is shown below.


In this case, San Francisco, California is the third best converting city, it's not the third largest city in the country by any means, but it's the third most converting.

Miami was the sixth best city regarding conversions; it's not the sixth largest. Houston, which is one of the top ten largest cities was not in the top ten for conversions.

So here, just by looking at outliers, we see two cities with much better performance than usual. One town with lower than usual. Now, we can make adjustments. In fact, you can also use Google Analytics as shown below.

examining-the-outliers-in-google-analyticsIf you're using Google Analytics, you can quickly see your visits and your conversions by geographic area as well. In fact, an excellent way to look at this is to sort by per visit value and look for outliers.

Per visit, the value is how much you make every time someone comes to your site. It's a per visit value, so it's a significant average of here's our total revenue. Here's how many users came there and  What's the amount of each visitor?

In this case, San Francisco was 46 cents per visitor. Considering the rest of the site, it is $0.16, $0.19, $0.10. Los Angeles only $0.07 per visitor. They have a big problem in L.A.; in fact, they have a problem in Brooklyn too at only $0.08.

So, in this case, San Francisco is a city they want to get more traffic from, and they need to change their messaging in Los Angeles.

Let’s look at the google trends.

Google Trends

A good starting place is either Google Trends or Google Insights for search. They'll show you the interest level for your words by geography.

Both of these tools, Google Trends, and Google Insights, when they show the regions, it's an interest level by population size. It's not an absolute level.

Let us look at the screenshot below-showing google trends for chocolate.

google-trends-or-google-insights-for-searchIn other words, for chocolate, Utah does not have more search volume for chocolate then Pennsylvania, or New York City, and New Hampshire doesn't have more search volume than California for chocolate. However, on a per user in those locations, they have a higher interest level.

In cases like this if you are advertising say for chocolates, and you don't have a huge budget, or you only have a thousand dollars a month to spend. Advertising on a chocolate or chocolate gifts or flowers on a $1,000 a month doesn't get you very far.

So instead of trying to be everything to everyone, use Google Trends or Google insights, find the regions with the highest interest level in your products. Then start advertising just the higher interest levels.


Now to summarize what we covered in this lesson:

  • Don't try to find a different ad copy for every place, find the out wires and, when you find the outliers that are below normal write ads for those areas.

  • Find the outliers that are much higher than normal you might want to even make dedicated campaigns for those areas.

  • Keyword advertising and paid search are keywords based advertising all starts from the keyword in the search query.

  • Take those social accounts into mind when you're writing your geographic ads. So when you're thinking about your advertising think first about who you want to reach and where you want to achieve them.

  • Keywords are one; location is another one. So make sure that you're taking as much advantage as possible, putting those local connections with individuals in your marketing efforts.


This brings us to the end of this lesson. In the next lesson, we will look into Campaign Settings, Part 2: Types, Budget, & Reach

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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