About reaching customers with your Local Services ads

Choosing the right ad targeting settings can help you reach the right customers for your business. For effective ad targeting, update your service areas and service types to determine where your Local Services ads can appear and what types of searches can make your ad appear. If you are advertising through a partner affiliate, your service areas and types are provided to us directly by the partner.

Service types

You can define the services that you’d like to advertise by choosing from a list of potential services (such as 'install shower') for each business category. When people search for phrases related to these services, your ads will be eligible to appear. Your ad will also be eligible to appear if someone searches for general categories related to your business (for example, 'plumber'). In some cases, your ad will only appear for general category searches if you offer common services for your category.
 

Tip:

Select services directly related to your business so that your ads can appear when a customer searches for a particular service. For instance, a plumber should select install shower to reach customers looking for that service.

Setting your service areas

You can define your service area by choosing cities and postcodes where you would like your ad to show. When you add a geographic area (for example, the city of Southampton) to your service area, your ads will be targeted to that area in two ways:

Estimated location of person at time of search: Your ads can show to people who are estimated to be located within a particular geographic area (cities or postcodes) at the time of their search. For example, someone in Southampton who searches for 'Repair toilet' can see your ads.

Names of locations in searches: your ads also can show to people who are interested in businesses like yours in your geographic area, even if they’re not currently estimated to be located in that area at the time of their search. For example, someone in Portsmouth who searches for 'repair toilet Southampton' would be able to see your ads because you specifically added 'Southampton' to your service area.

When you add a particular city to your service area, your ad can show to people in both of the categories listed above (people estimated to be located in the city that you added, as well as people who show an interest in that city by their search terms).

Reach users in specific postcodes

You can also exclude postal areas within a city where you provide services by deselecting them from the list of postcodes assigned to that city. For example, if you want to exclude three postcodes in the northernmost section of Southampton from your Southampton service area, you can deselect those three postcodes. If you do, your ads won’t show to people who are estimated to be located within those postcodes. Your ads also won’t show to people who show an interest in those areas based on their search terms.

Note:
  • If you select only some of the postcodes within a city, you'll see the name of that city as an added area for your business, and all other postcodes for the city will be shown as not selected. This means that your ads could show to people who are outside of your selected postcode but still within the city. For example, if a person’s current location is only estimated at the city level at the time of his or her search, he or she may still see your ad regardless of postcode.
  • Some postal areas are within multiple cities. This means that if you add one city to your service area, you may also add other cities that share a postal area with the city that you added. If you add a postal area that's within multiple cities, all of the associated cities will be added to your service area (and all other postcodes in the city will show as not selected areas).

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Examples

Example 1

You create an ad for your plumbing company and add Southampton to your service area. The city of Southampton and all of Southampton’s postcodes become part of your selected areas. When someone estimated to be located in Southampton searches for 'plumber' on Google, your ad is eligible to appear. Another person located in Portsmouth searches for 'Southampton plumber' on Google. She might also see your ad since she included your business's location (Southampton) in her search.

Example 2

You want to add postcode area PO1 (which is part of Portsmouth, a city near Southampton). When you add the postcode PO1 as a service area, you see Portsmouth as a new city in your service area. Other postcode areas for Portsmouth will show as not selected. Your ads can now show to people who are estimated to be located in PO1 and to people who have shown an interest in that area based on their search terms. Your ad may show to people elsewhere in Portsmouth as well (for example, if a person’s location is only estimated at the city level or if he searches for 'plumber, Portsmouth').

Example 3

You want to focus your business on the southern part of Southampton and exclude postcodes in the northern part of the city. You add Southampton to your list of service areas. You then deselect postcodes for the northern part of Southampton. If you do so, your ads won’t show to people who are estimated to be located within these postal areas or to people who express an interest in those areas based on their search terms. However, as noted above, your ad could still show to people who are located in unselected postal areas if their location is only estimated at the city level (for example, somewhere in Southampton) at the time of their search. 

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