Help! My Location Exclusion Settings Killed My Account [Video]

Erin Sagin
Last Updated: November 22, 2021 | Paid Search Marketing
HomeBlogHelp! My Location Exclusion Settings Killed My Account [Video]

Earlier this month, one of our viewers asked for our help with a troubling predicament. She was a chocolatier who was attempting to expand her locally-based, boutique shop into a global, e-commerce business. Knowing that AdWords advertising was one of the best ways to drum up new online customers, she created a search campaign and expected to see an influx in new customers within days. Unfortunately, it was a total flop.

Twitter question location exclusion settings

Let’s explore what went wrong:

The Rundown

The chocolatier in question specialized in Belgian chocolates and she created a campaign with highly targeted keywords, based on her offerings. Although she wanted to sell them globally, she excluded searchers physically located in Belgium, predicting that they’d produce a high volume of searches, but very few clicks and conversions, given that they were in the chocolate capital of the world. Probably not a bad decision, given that there’s no shortage of chocolate shops in Belgium. Unfortunately, this plan backfired. After running the account for a few days, she discovered that it had zero traffic and an alert message from Google saying that her ads weren’t being shown due to a keyword conflict.

editing location exclusions

So where did this advertiser go wrong? Although her strategy to exclude searchers in Belgium was wise, she didn’t read the fine print. She’d excluded Belgium without considering her exclusion targeting settings. At the time, they were set to the default, which is to exclude “people in, or show interest in, my excluded location”. This caused a direct conflict with her keywords, which all included the term “Belgian”. Google recognized this and, as a result, never displayed her ads.

advanced location exclusion settings

The Solution

Luckily, this issue was super easy to resolve. All she needed to do was edit her exclusionary settings to solely eliminate people physically in the selected location (within the campaign settings tab, under the location options (advanced) section). This is an important lesson that many advertisers learn the hard way. Keep in mind, location targeting options work similar. While the default is to show ads to “people in, or who show interest in my targeted location”, there are also options to only target people physically in your target location or solely people who demonstrate interest in that specific location.

advanced location targeting settings

 Video Version

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Meet The Author

Erin Sagin

Erin Sagin worked at WordStream for five years with roles in Customer Success and Marketing. She lives in California.

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