Country Exclusions for Google Ads in the Geo Feature:
There are many ways to indicate location within Google Ads, and other digital and social media advertising platforms. The default on Google Ads for instance is “People in or interested in” as a location. You may even want to go as far as excluding states in your Google Ads campaign.
If that geography just happened to be Seattle Washington, then people within Seattle would see the ads, but so would someone from Pittsburgh researching Seattle, as would someone in Russia or India researching about that area. If your business is unable to generate revenue from these far-off areas, you’ll need to do better with targeting. There is the ability to target based on “People who are in or regularly in” the targeted geography which would help cut down on a lot of that.
The only problem becomes, what if that person from Pittsburgh researching Seattle was a legitimate prospective buyer but those international visitors were not – using the second location targeting won’t work. Rather, you’ll have to go with the default location targeting and then exclude other countries around the world. Please see the list below that makes it easy to copy/paste these countries and exclude them from targeting.
Nearly all international locations are included except Syria, Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. Additionally, Hong Kong and Taiwan must be entered independently of China for those to show up as exclusions.
Why is Important to Exclude Certain Countries:
One of the biggest reasons to exclude certain countries, besides serving ads to people who aren’t in your target audience, is it’s more cost-effective. By using exclusions you are less likely to waste budget if your ad is shown in areas where people are not going to convert to customers. For example, someone in Russia is not going to be a customer for someone selling services in Pittsburgh, so we would exclude Russia so that Google doesn’t waste ad spend showing an ad to someone there. Someone from Russia might happen to search for a keyword that would naturally trigger our ad showing, but using exclusion it prevents Google from wasting resources on someone who will never convert.
Here is a list of all countries outside of the US for a quick exclusion list:
You can copy the list below, or download the Location Exclusion Doc file (just simply select all, copy and paste then)
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Central African Republic
Federated States of Micronesia
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
São Tomé and Príncipe
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Trinidad and Tobago
Wallis and Futuna Islands
Always Use International Location Exclusions When Applicable
Regardless of the fact that you can explicitly target people in certain areas, as a safety redundancy, you should also be utilizing international location exclusions. This just further removes the possibility of unnecessary international spending on your ads campaigns.
When you are not utilizing explicit “Presence” and are allowing search traffic from outside of the physical geo, International Location Exclusions are even that much more beneficial. Make sure that you’re using them!
Still, seeing too much spending that looks faulty? Consider Fraudulent Click Protection – see how Corkboard Concepts can help! Corkboard Concepts has a Google Advertising Specialist team that is ready to help you build campaigns that grow your company. Feel to contact us today!