We have noticed some problems with targeting audiences in Internet Advertising.
Targeting audiences in certain cities can be difficult due to inaccurate geographical information. For example, a customer may be based in Brisbane, but Google thinks they are in Sydney or Melbourne as that is where the customer’s IP address appears to be located. This seems to be based on the ISP of the customer – most ISPs appear to be based in Sydney.
The following passage is from a Google help file:
Interested in how we target locations in AdWords?
We detemine where a customer might be located using the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the customer’s computer. An IP address is a publicly available signal that indicates where the computer is probably located, but it doesn’t provide an exact location.
For Geo-targeting, Google uses:
- The search domain e.g. google.com.au, which indicates an Australia user
- Any geographic clues in the search phrase e.g. Melbourne gym
- The reported location for the user’s IP address. Apparently this is about 67% accurate for Australia cities
Here are some ideas for possible solutions:
- Have a campaign that is geo-targeted to all of Australia or to whole states (e.g. target QLD and NSW and possible VIC if the company is in Brisbane, and then specificy the company’s actual location (Brisbane) in the ad text and/or in search term keywords.
This opens the campaign to the viewers who are in the desired area (Brisbane), but whose computers say they are in Sydney. This does mean that the ad could possibly be displayed to people who are actually in Sydney, but because we can have the ad text display ‘Brisbane’, people in Sydney should not click on the ad and incur cost (unless they do actually want to do business in Brisbane).
- Have a campaign that is geo-targeted to the specific area that the company wishes to service (e.g. 10k radius centered around Brisbane).
This has the possibility of losing potential customers who are physically located within the correct area, but will not see the search results because their computers think that they are in Melbourne (due to inaccurate targeting by Google).
- Campaign 1 – ‘Location Targeted’ – where you target ‘Melbourne CBD’ as the geographic region with keywords like ‘electrician’.
- Campaign 2 – ‘Location Keywords’ – where you target ‘Australia’ as the geographic region, but use keywords like ‘electrician melbourne’.
“This works really well. Otherwise if you have a larger budget to work with you can create a Melbourne CBD targeted campaign and then also run a victoria targeted campaign as a fall-back.”
We believe it could be more beneficial to have the geo-targeting kept open to a wider area rather than narrow it down to small areas. That way, you have the potential to access the customers who are in locations that Google is not accurately reporting. You can then cater the ads to customers in desired locations by including the location within search term keywords and also in the text of the ads themselves.
Some futher reading material:
- this information can be helpful, but might not be entirely appropriate for some campaigns in Australia due to the inaccuracies in Google’s geo-targeting service