Being able to target and exclude locations in Google Ads is a powerful feature that helps you target your ads and your budget to the users you want to reach. Simply targeting a specific country may still result in unwanted traffic from other sources. This is especially if you’re using location targeting options that allow it. This handy list of all the countries available for targeting in Google Ads can help you quickly set up targeting or exclusion of countries in bulk to make sure you’re maximizing the performance and ROI of your investment in PPC paid search.
Advanced Location Options in Google Ads
Within the Google Ads console, you have access to advanced location options to help you target your ads to the cities, towns, countries, and even post codes you want. Alongside specifically targeting areas, there is additional flexibility to define how this targeting should work, as well as the ability to exclude locations from seeing your ads as well.
Geographic and User Location Reports
How can you see where your ads are being served? Simply select locations on the left hand menu of the Google Ads console and choose the geographic report you want from the drop-down menu above the world map. You have three geographic reports to choose from:
- Geographic Report
- User Location Report
- Per Store Report
The user location report is the one of most interest to us here, as it will show the location where users were located. This is opposed to showing the locations that the users were searching about. As you can see, different locations have different performance. In the example above, the UK is being targeted and receiving the majority of traffic/clicks. Choosing how to set up location targeting and exclusions is just one step in setting up a successful PPC campaign.
Location Targeting Options
There are three different targeting options to choose from, each with different effects. These are:
- Reach people in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations
- Reach people in or who are regularly in your targeted locations
- Reach people who are searching for your targeted locations
Luckily Google keeps their naming conventions straightforward and self-explanatory as they do with their Core Updates. Which targeting option you choose depends on the goals of your campaign. Those looking for traditional geographic targeting, whereby ads are served to those people in the targeted areas, should choose the second option.
Location Exclusion Options
Whichever option you choose, there will be imprecision built in by default. What does showing interest in your targeted location mean? Or how regular is “regularly in”? Even after setting up location targeting the way you want, you will still likely see users from outside your chosen area(s).
If your location targeting settings are sufficiently broad, you may be pulling in traffic from all over the world. This is not ideal, considering not just countries, but regions, have different cost-per-click values. Just like search match targeting has been diluted, so have location targeting options. No worries, just like with negative search match types, location exclusions remain precise.
Add or Exclude Locations in Bulk
Manually entering locations by postcode, city, or even country, can be tedious. This is especially true if you have multiple campaigns that need geographic targeting. You can easily add locations in bulk, both for targeting and exclusion. To add or exclude locations in bulk through the Google Ads console:
- Select locations from the left-hand menu
- Select targeted or excluded
- Select the pencil icon to add locations
- Select the campaign you want to edit (if you haven’t already)
- Select add locations in bulk
- Paste your locations into the text box
- Click search to match locations
Once you select the add locations in bulk option, a text box will appear where you can copy/paste locations that you have prepared. Click search, and Google will show you their results for each entry you added. You can then accept them individually by clicking target, or simply choose target all.
List of All World Countries for Bulk Use in Google Ads
Are you looking for a complete list of all the countries available in Google Ads for targeting? So did we, and surprisingly, an easy to copy/paste list is hard to come by. So, we made our own. Note that not all countries are available for targeting (and therefore exclusion) in Google Ads. These include Iran, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, North Korea, Crimea and Cuba, which are restricted by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. Other considerations to take into mind are whether using Google for search is prevalent in any given country, in particular Russia and China.
List in Google Sheets
We use Google’s G-Suite extensively, for everything from building campaigns to reporting results to clients. The ability to share links and collaborate is particularly useful. Our complete list of countries in Google Ads is available for free to anyone who clicks the link!
Copy/Paste List Directly
Alternatively, you can simply copy/paste directly from here. Why not add a bookmark to keep this page for future use?
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
United Arab Emirates
Trinidad and Tobago
Wallis and Futuna Islands
Is there anything that we’ve missed? Let us know!
Google Ads Location Targeting Best Practices
Now that you’re ready to start using location targeting and exclusion, what are the best practices to follow? Well, it depends. Every business will have different budgets, expectations and industry. In practice, we see the poorest quality leads and most click fraud from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Unless we have a clear business case for targeting ads here, these countries are avoided.
Remember that broad targeting, like broad match types, can quickly spend your budget on irrelevant clicks. Make sure you’re vigilant and monitoring where your users are clicking from, and which locations perform the best.
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I was able to add Sudan (but not south Sudan) and Puerto Rico as a region.