Use Demographics To Geographically Target Your PPC Ads

By Joseph Kerschbaum | @@JoeKerschbaum

A number of my PPC campaigns are geographically targeted, as I’m sure many of your PPC campaigns are as well. For these campaigns I adhere to my list of best PPC practices: ad text testing, bid management, keyword research, content optimization, and the list goes on and on. Every month I strive to expand my campaigns’ reach, but within a prescribed geographic radius. Recently, I was reviewing one of my accounts, meditating on what my next step should be, and I decided that I wanted to launch a placement targeted campaign, otherwise known as a site targeting. However, geographic targeting is not available for this type of campaign, but I decided try targeting by demographic, rather than just location.

PPC Display

I meditated on how to display my ads within a targeted location, let’s say Philadelphia, without the use of AdWords’ geographic targeting tools and came up with this solution. Let’s say, for example, that my client is a new luxury apartment complex in Phily and I want to target websites within this metro area. As I said, targeting geographically isn’t an option, so I had to get creative.

First, I created my placement targeted campaign within Adwords. Second, within the Placement Tool I used the “Describe Topics” tab. The topics I used were what I had to offer users: new luxury apartments in Philadelphia so I typed in these topics:

  • Philadelphia apartments
  • Philadelphia real estate
  • Philadelphia rentals
  • Philadelphia living

My thought process was perhaps I could find websites that are geographically targeted by topic, readership and demographics.

The AdWords inventory results were quite good. I decided that I would target websites that residents of Philadelphia would frequent, and I also wanted to target sites that would appeal to users who might be in the market for a new apartment. I chose to target these types of websites that revolve around Philadelphia:

  • Local publications (newspapers, alternative publications)
  • Local real estate websites & apartment guides
  • Local restaurants that serve Google ads
  • Blogs that focus on living/life in Philadelphia

Using this method, I geo-targeted my campaign demographically, rather than by location. And this is how you can use placement targeting within your geographically-focused campaigns.

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