GeoTarget or GeoFence? That is the question.

What is GeoTargeting?

To GeoTarget is to have your ads show only in a defined geography. In Google Adwords, you can target as small an area as a mile. 

What happens if you DON’T GeoTarget in Adwords?

Your ads will run all over the world, and you will spend your advertising budget very quickly. Therefore most people have location or GeoTargeted campaigns already because they only want their ads to show to people in their immediate area. All of the campaigns we run are Geo-Targeted.

What is GeoFencing?

GeoFencing leverages the GPS in cell phones or RFID tags embedded in devices like wristbands. If a person with a cell phone enters a GeoTargeted area, they have passed through the GeoFence. You can decide to target:

  1. People who are regularly in your targeted location (i.e., they work or live in that area)
  2. People searching in that area, or 
  3. People that are just in or show interest in that area.
GeoTarget an area and create a GeoFence
Mobile applications can be triggered when a devices enters and exits a GeoTargeted area. They have passed through virtual GeoFence.

GeoTarget vs. GeoFence, what should I do?

Almost everyone should have Geo-Targeting setup in their campaigns to ensure their advertising budgets are spent in their service areas. For GeoFencing, you have to get good at your mobile advertising and have an excellent mobile-friendly website because you are communicating with someone on a mobile phone.

GeoFencing Example:

Burger King used GeoFencing to target Mcdonald’s customers by offering them a Whopper for only once cent. The objective of the campaign was to get the BK App installed on the phone. Only if you had the app installed could you take advantage of the one-cent deal. The BK app quickly became number one on the app charts. To learn more, click here to read the full story.

What can I GeoTarget in Adwords?

You can Geo-Target: Airports, Autonomous Community, Borough, Canton, City, City Region, Congressional District, Country, County, Department, District, Governorate, Municipality, National Park, Neighborhood, Okrug, Postal Code, Prefecture, Province/State, Region, Territory, TV Region, Union Territory, University.

You can also radius target. You pick a point and then extend out in miles/kilometers from that point.

Can I exclude areas with GeoTargeting in Adwords?

Yes, you can block areas using any of the targeting methods described above to exclude them. Excluding these areas ensures your ads don’t run in them, which is very popular along borders. 

For example, one of our customers owns a Jewelry Store that services the Detroit area. In this case, we do not want people across the border in Canada to see these ads, so we exclude Canada.

Can I combine Demographic targeting, Interest targeting with GeoTargeting?

Absolutely. You can combine any of the other targeting methods with your GeoTargeting and GeoFencing strategies.

Which advertising platforms support GeoTargeting and Geo-Fence?

Google Adwords, Facebook Ads (Instagram Ads), Twitter Ads allow you to GeoTarget and Geo-Fence.

Gary Bernier

Gary Bernier

The Wizard of Digital
Gary’s Internet experience extends back to guestbooks and site visitor counters and version one of the browsers (remember Netscape). He was doing Internet marketing before Adwords was a thing, and you could buy clicks for a penny. Gary’s clients are blown away by their success on mobile.