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There are tons of business that don’t have option to spend thousands of dollars of budget each month in digital advertising. Companies with large budgets often take the approach of throwing spaghetti at the wall and hope something sticks and performs. But for a local business – or any SMB, for that matter – the cash flow may not be there to test the waters in the digital landscape.

Location targeting is a great way to maximize your ability to target relevant consumers and ensure that your ads show only in relevant locations for your business. Let’s say, for example, you are a Bay Area business and only want your ads to show to San Francisco.

  1. First, you choose the campaign you want to edit and click the settings tab.
  2. Next you want to hit the + Locations button, and type in San Francisco as a target (If you haven’t already done so when you set up the campaign). This will ensure that your ads only show in San Francisco, helping you make sure every dollar spent is in the right area.


  1. Then view location reports by selecting the drop-down and hitting “What triggered your ad.”


  1. Check the box next to San Francisco, hit “Select view for 1 location(s)”, and select Neighborhood.

  1. Now find the neighborhoods where you are seeing the most traffic as well as areas you want to target, and make bid adjustments accordingly. To really maximize each dollar spent, look into underperforming neighborhoods and exclude them as you go.

How granular you get for geo-targeting depends completely on your business, but is an essential way to drive performance and cut down on spending in areas where people are unlikely to convert.

In the next installment of “Take a Small AdWords Budget a Long Way,” I will share a technique for using GDN prospecting campaigns with low CPCs to pool relevant audiences and then remarketing to those audiences in Search, giving you the ability to compete on competitive keywords that otherwise would have prohibitively high CPCs.