How Google AdWords Sets You Up to Fail

By Chad DelMain

AdWords is Great, But…

At DelMain Analytics, we’ve looked at lots of Google AdWords accounts. Over the years, we’ve seen it all: the good and the bad.

One of the most common mistakes we see is small businesses who trust that Google has their best interests in mind.

AdWords is great, don’t get us wrong. The ability to bid on the exact keywords your customers are interested in, and only pay when an ad is clicked? Revolutionary. Rewarding businesses for creating great ads by allowing them to bid less and remain in the same position? Genius.

But, in one key way, Google AdWords sets you up to fail. That might sound harsh, but it’s true.

We’ve found a simple setting in your AdWords account that can make your ads more effective and save you money.

The Problem: You’re Aiming at the Dartboard, Not the Bullseye

“Garbage-in, garbage-out.” That’s a saying from the early days of computer science, meaning if your original assumptions and data are flawed, your results will be too.

No matter how powerful or smart the technology, bad data leads to bad results.

It’s no different with Google AdWords. As smart as it might seem, without your help, Google doesn’t know the first thing about your business.

When you create an AdWords campaign, even if you create a list of targeted locations, Google will show your ads to people outside of those locations, unless you specifically tell it not to.

You’re going to be spending money on clicks from customers who aren’t located anywhere near your business and wasting time answering inquiries from clients you can’t help.

The Simple Solution: “People in my targeted location”

Luckily, this is an easy fix. You just have to change a single Setting in each of your Campaigns. When you’re in settings, look for a screen like this:

Instead of using the first option, “People in, searching for, or who show interested in my targeted location (recommended)”, use the second option which simply says, “People in my targeted location”.

What makes this little change so powerful? Now your ads will only be shown to people who are actually located in your targeted geographic area.

Why is Google’s Recommendation So Dangerous?

Who’s more valuable to your business?

  • A potential customer located in the same city as you.

  • Someone located on the other side of the country.

Seems obvious right? Especially if your business relies on local customers.

Google’s recommendation acts as if both have equal value. This simply isn’t true. If you specialize in serving local customers, why advertise to anyone else? By selecting “People in my targeted location” your ads will only be shown to the people who matter to you the most.

Want to know more tricks about Google AdWords? Or have more questions about optimizing your Google AdWords account? Leave a comment below or email me!

Photo Credit: Tim Lewis on Flickr


CHAD DELMAIN - DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIST

Chad DelMain has been with DelMain Analytics for over 2 years. Specializing in Organic SEO, Local SEO and PPC, Chad develops strategy, executes implementation and works closely with clients across all industries. Prior to working at DelMain Analytics, Chad was a junior digital marketer at Chi Evolution, an ecommerce company selling natural health products. A graduate of OSU, Chad can be found playing soccer and basketball, cheering on the trailblazers and hanging out with friends.

Follow Chad on Google+Twitter, and LinkedIn.