Whether you’re new to PPC or not, geo-targeting is an essential tactic to know and understand.  In the next five days, we’re going to dive into the why, how, where and when of geo-targeting best practices.

Google and Yahoo have updated their geo- targeting tools recently, which make it easer to target local areas or certain parts of the world.  So, start thinking about your business specifically and where your audience is, and ask if you have set up your geo-targeting settings correctly?  You may be surprised to find out you’re targeting to the wrong audience in the wrong area of the country or world even.

If you are unsure of when or where to geo-target or even why you should set up geo-targeting for your PPC campaigns, read on…

Why to Geo-Target:  The beginning process of marketing in any facet is to understand your target audience.  When it comes to PPC advertising and marketing online in general, you have the option of casting a wide net across the world, or as small a net as your own neighborhood.

If you leave it up to Google, Yahoo and MSN to set your PPC campaigns to the default geo-targeting settings, you could be spending a lot of cash advertising to people who are #1, not your target audience, and #2, not even in your target area.  The default settings in Google target all new PPC accounts to the US and Canada.  Well, if you own a plumbing service company in Marion, Kentucky, do you really want to advertise to people in Canada? I think not!

When to Geo-Target:  Think about your business and where your target audience is located mainly.  It can be different for every industry. If you own the plumbing service company in Marion Kentucky then you know you should only target to people in the surrounding cities.  However, if you own a large ecommerce store and can ship anywhere in the USA or Europe, then you can cast that wider net and target to everyone living in the USA or Europe.

How to Geo-Target:  The “how” is simple, once you figure out where you want to geo-target, you can simply login to your Google Adwords or Yahoo or MSN PPC accounts and under the settings tab you can select specific areas of a city, state, region, country, etc. You can literally geo-target to as small as an area like a city or as large as the entire world if you wish.

Now, I’ve only given you a primer on geo-targeting in this post. To learn more specific instructions on how, when, why and where to geo-target you’ll have to come back next week for the full series. See you then!