Good news! Managing your geo-targeted campaigns in Google just got a lot easier!. Remember the days of concatenating geo-modifiers to long lists of keywords to nab searchers not physically located in your target market? Well, as of this week AdWords will now let you target people geographically in three ways: physical location, search intent or a combination of both, which means your days of long concatenated lists are over (or at least as far as geo-targeting is concerned).

How, you ask? Targeting your selected locations by search intent means the locations selected in your campaign settings will be automatically applied to search queries. For example, your ads would show for anyone who is searching “hotels in Chicago” regardless of their physical location. This alleviates you from having to plug in keywords for all relevant location names. Conversely, you can also exclude traffic by search intent, which could be incredibly useful in large metropolitan areas where services really are borough specific.

Implementing this new method of geo-targeting for your campaigns is easy.  If you’re in Google AdWords, click into one of your campaigns, and then choose the “Settings” Tab. Under “Locations and Languages” click “Advanced location options.”

Next to “Targeting method” you can choose how you want to filter searchers geographically (location, search intent, or both). From there, you’ll just select your locations as you would have previously.

Not only does this change save you time, but it also makes your targeting effort more exact. You won’t have to try to come up with all the different phrase variations people might use in their searches for location-based services to target them. Plus, without having to manually create lists of keywords for this type of targeting, your keyword lists will be easier to manage and track since you’ll only be dealing with your core terms.

All in all, this is a great update that will allow you to more easily target people nationally searching for services within your region. And I’m sure you’ll be able to find something worthwhile to do with all the time you were spending on geo-modified keywords. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!