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A Guide To Google Ads Geotargeting and Time-Limiting

January 18, 2019
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written by Danielle Strouther
Copywriter

Increase your ROI with Google Ads geotargeting. Read our guide to find out how to use geotargeting and time-limiting.

TL;DR

  • Geotargeting and time-limiting ads are a way of targeting your ads in a speficic time frame or location.
  • They will help improve your results, by targeting your exact customers during the right time and location.
  • Just be wary that you don’t cut off the rest of your audience by making your targets too narrow.

89% of purchases start through a search engine.

As your customer’s starting point, search engines are your opportunity to get more sales. With PPC ads, you can bring visitors to your website, to encourage them to buy and increase your profits.

The key to this is making sure that your ads are ultra-targeted to your customers, by time and geolocation. That will only run when your customers are online. When they’re likely to see them. With geotargeting and time-limiting in Google Ads, you can do this.

So, let’s find out exactly what they are and how you can use this to your advantage.

What is geotargeting?

An image about geotargeting, showing a world map with pin points and the Google Ads logo

Geotargeting is a form of geomarketing where ads are only shown to people within a certain geographical location.

This location can be as big or little as you want it. You can restrict it down to a small district or village, or open it up to a whole region, country or even continent.

Geotargeting is not to be confused with geofencing, which involves creating a radius (or geofence) around a point location or set of boundaries.

What is time-limiting?

Time-limited ads are ads scheduled to only run in certain hours. For example, these could be ads that only appear on Google between 8pm-2am Friday to Sunday.

Time-limiting allows you to target your ads around the times that work for your business. So, you can stop throwing money away on times that your customers can’t visit or contact you.

The benefits of geotargeting

The greatest benefit of geotargeting is that the ads allow you to run specific ads aimed at the right audience. If your business is limited by location – your ads should be too.

Think about it. If you only work within a 10-mile radius, why on earth are you advertising to people outside of it?

Your customers are going to be looking for someone that’s close to them. Someone that can come now. What’s the point of them clicking an ad for a locksmith in Scotland, if they live in London?

Besides that, there are other benefits to using geotargeting, including:

  • Allows for localisation of your business or brand (which can also help your local SEO efforts)
  • Provide focus to your PPC efforts through ROAS optimisation
  • Research into specific geolocations can help with improving your business or brand for that area
  • The potential of offers and discounts for certain locations
  • Promotion of local events
  • Profit from locations that your competitors haven’t considered
  • Improve speed and serviceability

The benefits of time-limited ads

The image shows two computer screens on the left hand side it is showing just a plain advert. The right hand side shows that Google Ads and ROI need to be considered as well as using a standout headline and only having your ads on during business hours.

Here are a few of the top benefits of using time-limited ads

  1. Increase Your ROI

If your customers are only online during certain hours, then limit your ads to those hours.

For example, if you’ve got a B2B service, your ideal customers are more likely to convert between 8am-6pm Monday to Friday. This makes a pretty safe time-limited campaign. After all, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a boom in sales at 3 am on Saturday night.

Keeping your ads scheduled in those hours will reduce wasted spend when your customers aren’t going to buy. So, you’ll improve your ROI.

  1. Showcase Your Advantage

Offer an emergency out of hours service? Great!

Use this to your advantage and schedule your ads for this exact time. After all, that’s when your customers will be looking for your service.

For this tactic, make sure your ads are also targetted around this specific service for the best results. Let’s say people are searching for an emergency plumber at 2am and see both of these ads:

  • “24/7 Emergency Plumbing – We’ll Be There In Half An Hour”
  • “Excellent Plumbers In The London Area”

The first one will win every time. This is because it’s more specific and tells the user that they offer emergency services, which is the exact product they’re searching for.

Never make your audience work for information. Lay it out, as clear and obvious as you can.

  1. Work To Your Opening Hours

Unless you’ve got an e-commerce store that can take orders 24/7, your business might be limited by your opening times.

So, it makes sense to limit your ads to when you’re open and available to help. For example, if there’s no one around to answer the phone in the middle of the night, there’s little point advertising at this time.

This will prevent any customers being turned away and ensure that you get your visitors in at the right time for your business.

  1. Help Struggling Areas Of Your Business

Let’s say you’ve got a restaurant. You’re doing really well during the evening, but are struggling to pull in the lunchtime crowd. So, there’s little point running your ads in the evening. After all, you’re already doing well and the last thing you want is to turn customers away.

But, if you limit your ads to the daytime, you’ll target the people that you need to up your lunchtime attendance – at the time that your business needs it.

The disadvantages of geotargeting and time-limiting

Geotargeting and time-limiting, by definition, limit the searches that your ad appears in.

This is great if you want to increase ROI with ultra-targeted ads. But if raising awareness is more important than bringing these customers in, you’ll want your ad seen by as many eyes as possible. So, this is not the tactic you should be taking.

There’s also a danger with time-limited and geotargeted ads that you’ll accidentally cut off a key area of your business.

Before you make any decision, you need to do the research.

Look at the data. Find out exactly when your customers are online and where they’re based. Use this to guide your time schedule and location radius – otherwise, you could be missing out on potential customers and sales.

Ad extensions for geotargeting and time-limited ads

Given the specificity of these ads, you’ll need to use relevant ad extensions to make them work. They include:

  • Location extensions
  • Affiliate location extensions
  • Call extensions (including automated call extensions)
  • Message extensions (including automated message extensions)

There are optional extensions that’ll help with things like special local offers, such as:

  • Callout extensions
  • Promotion extensions

For more information on ad extensions, read our article on 15 Google Ad Extensions To Improve Your Ads.

The golden rules to follow

Which brings us nicely onto the most important bit to remember and follow: our golden rules for time-limited and geotargeting ads.

“Only advertise when your customers are online and where they are located.”

Makes sense right? Because if your customers aren’t online, who are you actually advertising to?

The same applies to geotargeted ads. Everything revolves around your customers (and their location in this case). Absolutely everything.

Put customers at the heart of your ads. Make sure they’re the audience you’re attracting and you’re on your way for PPC success.

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Author
Danielle Strouther

As Adzooma’s Technical and Product Copywriter, I’m used to writing all the nitty-gritty details about PPC and marketing. You might have seen my work on Search Engine Journal, PPC Hero, Techopedia & more. Away from a screen, you’ll find me drawing all manner of strange monsters and dancing around a pole.
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