Few marketing platforms allow a business to fully target their market like Google AdWords does. A billboard is effective for people driving by, but not for people who aren’t in the area yet. Telephone books are seldom used and almost never by tourists. Like billboards, newspaper and radio ads reach locals but not people who are making plans to travel to your location.

Google Adwords allows you to target your most likely prospects at the moment they search for you
Targeted ads follow your best prospects

With Google AdWords and Bing Ads, as well, you can target people down the street or thousands of miles away who will soon be in your town. Or perhaps are researching businesses online in which their family members live, such as hospice care.

Here are some ways in which you can create ads that only those relevant to your local business will see, no matter where they’re logging in.

Target by zip code. Some people use zip codes to ensure they find places in the area they’re interested in. So target the zip codes that your business serves. Just make sure to use phrase match here as broad match could result in the wrong zip codes being targeted.

Incorporate landmarks in your keywords. Another way people search, particularly tourists unfamiliar with an area, is to use nearby landmarks in their search terms and ad text. For example someone might type in restaurants near Wrigley Field or hotels on Broadway.

Use location extensions. This is one of best ways to alert a prospect as to where you’re at. If you have multiple locations then Google will try to show the location nearest to where they’re located. The best way to set this up is to link your AdWords account with your Google My Business page (formerly Google Plus pages).

Run a national campaign that incorporates your city into all search terms. If someone types in just the word restaurant in New York City, they’re probably looking for something nearby. If they type in Chicago and restaurant it means they’re planning something for when they travel. Yet, if your business isn’t something a traveler is looking for, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use geographic modifiers. For example, someone in New York City could be looking for a dentist in Chicago, not for themselves, but perhaps for a relative there.

Use negative match to eliminate the wrong locations. There are a number of communities that have the same name.  If you serve a community that has a name the same as a city in another state, you want to make sure your ads not showing there. So use that states name, as well as its abbreviated form as negative phrases. There are 37 Greenville’s in the United States, 2 in California alone. So if you’re a restaurant in Greenville Illinois you don’t want your ad being clicked on by people in the other 36 Greenville’s.

Radius targeting. To target the people who are just typing in single words like restaurants or hotels in your area, then run ads that only those in your service area can see. Have a radius for your ads that incorporates the area you serve. For some business this might only be a couple of miles, but for others that offer something unique, it could be significantly larger.

The beauty of pay per click is that you can target prospects for your business while they are on their laptop in their home, on their mobile phone as they arrive at the airport, or on their tablet as they research their trip. Just make sure you’ve set your