Geofencing and Radius Location Targeting

Me and my colleagues Justin (Social Media Manager) and Mitch (Account Manager) sat down and had a discussion about geofencing. Businesses seem to have a growing interest in this digital marketing tactic, and at the time we didn’t feel like we could accommodate them completely.

The closest thing we could get to it was radius targeting…Then we thought, wait a minute, we can do radius targeting and still meet many of the goals that these clients are looking to achieve. If someone wants to show ads to folks that visit certain places, we could just create a very narrow radius target to do so. For example, if a company wants to target men that belong to country clubs, we could radius target on those country clubs and a couple miles around them. We wouldn’t be pushing notifications to them by any means, but that target alone is very specific. Add some levels to it with demographic targeting, placements, interest groups, audience types, etc. You can send ads to the perfect prospects.

And now we’re here. At webFEAT Complete, we don’t run geofencing campaigns per the definition below (sorry!), but we can run highly targeted radius targeting campaigns in Google Ads, or Social Media Platforms like Facebook.

What’s the difference?

Geofencing: The use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.

Example: You have a flight. You go to the airport and get through security. When you turn your phone back on, you have a push notification from your airline offering priority boarding, in-flight amenities, or helpful information. The airline geofenced the airport and pushed an ad or notification to you. It essentially connects your phone to a location and triggers a notification, or advertisement.

Radius Targeting: Putting a radius around a certain address, zip code, city or state to specify the location that your ads will be triggered.

Example: You have a business in Cincinnati and will service anyone within 50 miles. Radius targeting could be setup to only show your ads to users within that radius.

Google Ads Radius Targeting Example

Examples of how radius targeting can work for your business

Let’s say you’re promoting an event. It doesn’t matter if the event is small or large. If you have a target audience that is clustered in a certain location, radius targeting can be helfpul. Let’s say that you’re planning a music festival. If it’s in Cincinnati, it might be down at Sawyer Point Park on the water in front of the city. It’s late at night, a lot of the artists are new, and the target is clearly younger. One of the best places to target, could be universities. You could enter the University of Cincinnati, NKU, Xavier, Cincinnati State, etc. And from there set a small radius around the school to capture the campus and those living off of it. You could setup display ads, and folks in those areas would see the ads while browsing the web where ad space is available. Or if you recognize there is volume around “music festival” and “concerts Cincinnati” you can run some text ads that will appear in those search results. These ads would show exclusively to those within your radius targets. (Tip: Set your location target to “people in your targeted locations” instead of “people in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations”. This will get rid of some irrelevant users and reduce wasted ad spend. This is especially helpful with display ads. It’s also worth testing the utilization of Google display network and search partner settings.)

Google Ads Network Targeting Settings

Google Ads Location Target Settings

Maybe you’re a company that sells luxury cars. In this case, you’re targeting people with higher incomes. In Cincinnati, you could target things like country clubs, and affluent neighborhoods like Indian Hill. This could also be done with search or display. If you perform research and find that there are a lot of searches for “luxury car dealer cincinnati”, you could run a search text campaign targeting that and similar phrases. People on the golf courses performing those searches would see them. In the case of a display campaign, if you adjust settings to target audiences interested in cars, or even specific types like sports cars, your ads will show to them as they browse the internet.

Google Ads Audiences Example-Cars

You provide a service and you only want to serve in a certain area. Let’s say you’re a plumber, or an HVAC tech. If you only want to serve people within a radius of your office, radius targeting can make sure you’re only serving ads to those within the radius. This avoids calls, and wasted spend from people outside of your service area.

The results you can expect

What you can expect with radius targeting in your ads and all of the research and planning associated with it, is:

  • Less competition
  • Lower CPC (cost per click)
  • Qualified site visits and traffic
  • Increased conversion rate
  • Increased CTR
  • The right exposure
  • More leads

And if you want to convert more, set up some remarketing ads that will show to folks who have visited your website, to keep you top-of-mind. Those ads may be annoying, but we can cap the frequency on how often they show and they often fare well in attempts to increase conversions.

We’re focused on meeting and exceeding your specific digital advertising goals

Some businesses serve all people, others serve a very targeted audience. The more targeted your audience, the more effective your campaigns can be. At webFEAT Complete, we setup specific conversions (purchases, form submissions, newsletter subscribes, downloads, etc.) that can be attributed back to the traffic source. With any Ad campaign (Google Ads or Social Media) or SEO work, we show you that what we’re doing is working with these conversions. These conversions may guide digital investments in the future too, if you find that one traffic source is more valuable than another based on conversion data.

If you’re spending a certain amount per month, we can use conversions to show you a specific return on your investment. We establish goals from the start, and do our best to meet and exceed those goals. Keeping you informed every step of the way with data, and detailed explanations.

Interested in radius targeting for your business? Have experience with radius targeting and would like to share something? Please leave a comment below, or contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this! Thank you!


If you’d like to explore more, you may find these posts interesting:

Google Ads Express vs. Expert Mode

Why Your Google Ads Are Disapproved and How to Fix Them

Facebook Ads: Worth it or Worthless


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