Zach Mandelblatt
By Zach Mandelblatt | SEM | July 2, 2014

3 Hidden Management Gems in Google AdWords

Google AdWords gives advertisers an almost endless number of tools, gadgets, and gizmos for how to spend their ad budget.   Some of the brighter lights in the AdWords solar system, such as “Optimize Ad Rotations for Clicks”, the Keyword Planner, many advertising settings of the Google Display Network, and the entire Notification Center found in that omnipresent, bothersome bell-shaped-icon in the upper right hand corner of the AdWords screen…. are not our favorites.  However, hidden a bit deeper in the AdWords platform are some neat and extremely useful customization tools.  I’m going to share three of our favorites with you today, as well as where to find them in the sometimes overwhelming platform.  

1) Radius Targeting

Radius Targeting

An LA Area advertiser selects exactly where he wants to show using a combination of radius targeting and specific city targeting

  Want to advertise in an area smaller than the counties or cities Google has sliced up?  Or perhaps you want to advertise in only specific parts of cities?  Radius targeting lets you select a point on Google Maps and make a particular campaign only show ads to searchers within a specified number of miles of that point.  Here’s how you find it in the platform:

1) Select the Campaign  in which you wish to set up radius targeting

2) Click the “Settings” tab, second from the left

3) Select the “Locations” bar

4) Click the red “+ LOCATIONS” bar below the blue graph.  You’ll be told what locations your ads are currently showing in; you may want to remove that target if you are replacing it with the radius targeting.

5) Click “Advanced Search”.  A map will pop up with your current location targets.

6) Above the location search bar, select “Radius Targeting”.

7)  There are two ways to assign the location that will be the center for your radius targeting: you can search for a place in the location search bar, or you can click on the “Select Radius” button highlighted below, which will allow you to drop exactly on the map you want the center of your circle to be.

Radius t

8)  Choose how long you want your radius to be, and click the red “ADD” button.  Click done, and pat yourself on the back.

You can use the AdWords editor to copy and paste your radius targeting from one campaign to the rest.  For a primer on the Editor, check out Nick Rennard’s great walk through here.


2) Household Income Targeting

Adding Household Income Tiers

Choosing which household income tiers to target within given  location settings

Using publicly available IRS data, Google can target groups of areas based on their approximate household income.  If you are looking for ways to refine your impression share, this is the best way that we’ve come across.  I imagine most of you will be interested in targeting higher income households, but there may be some of you selling a cheaper product looking to target a less affluent subset of the population. Either way, here is how to configure Household Income Targeting:

Follow steps 1-5 from “Radius Targeting” above.  If you just want to advertise to the income tier you are choosing, you’ll have to remove all of your old location settings, as Household Income Targeting doesn’t currently integrate with your current settings like, say, bid modifiers do.

–  Instead of “Radius Targeting”, select “Location Groups” above the search bar.

–  Unfortunately, this feature does not yet integrate with Radius Targeting.  You’ll have to choose  a city, county, country, or any of the other Google-created location groups to target.

–  Select and add individually each of the income tiers you want to target.

If you simply want to bid higher for particular income groups, you can do so by going back to the “Locations” bar after you’ve added your income tiers.

Income bid adjustment

Bidding more for the richest of the rich in San Francisco


3) Google Search vs. Search Network Partners

Better ROI on Search Network  

An Advertiser discovers that he does much better on Google Search than Search Partners

  This one is an oldy but goody, as Google Search and Search Partners have been distinguished from each other for a long time.  However, a lot of advertisers aren’t aware that their text ads are showing on sites other than  In fact, the default settings of an AdWords campaign enables Google to show your ads on hundreds of non-Google websites, as well as Google Maps, Google Video, and other Google sites.  A list of known Google search partners reveals websites such as,,,, and more as places your ads might display if you haven’t disabled the Search partners network.  It is obvious why Google wants to show your ads on as many other websites as possible: they can make more money!  For the advertiser, it is important to discern if the Search partner network is right for you.  Many advertisers, such as the one in the screenshot above, may be better off simply showing on the Google Search network (aka  To determine your ROI via network, you’ll need to have conversion tracking installed.  Assuming you do,

1) Click on the “Campaigns” tab in AdWords

2) Select the “Segment” box above the blue graph

3) Select “Network with Search Partners”.  This will break each campaign into 3 categories: ads that showed on Google search, the Search partners network, and the Google Display Network.  Make sure you set your date range so you are analyzing a proper swath of data!

If you find that you would be better off just showing on Google search, simply:

1) Click on the “Settings” tab, and choose a campaign

2) Under “All Settings”, click “Edit” next to “networks”.

3) Uncheck the box that says “Include search partners”

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to turn off Google search but still advertise with Google partners on the Search network.  If you find that you do better on the Search network, write Google an angry letter about its limitations!

I’ll be back with more AdWords gems in the near future.  In the meantime, what are some of your little known favorites?  Any particular requests for my next batch?  If so, leave them in the comments below!

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