Chris Jones
m: 07972 637 569
best: chris@christopherjones.biz
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Northern Ireland is somewhere in Scotland

Clicks on tour

According to the internet I'm in Scotland but actually I'm about 12 miles south of Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Go to Google and type "where am I" and as well as a Google Map you should see various "where am I" websites that tell you where you are.

Whilst I am in my office in County Down, Northern Ireland the various "where am I" websites tell me I'm in a cafe of a rugby club to the south west of Edinburgh.

That's a shame because I was hoping to make the title of this article Northern Ireland is in Glasgow. I see that I have moved from Glasgow which is where I was last week. That's not really what is meant by digital nomad but never mind.

It matters for some PPC Ads

The problem with this is that Google Ads offers location targeting so that you can choose a region where your Ads are seen. Today somebody targeting Greater Edinburgh could be showing their Ads to an unknown number of searchers in NI and paying for clicks that won't convert.

On the other hand if you target your Ads to a region within Northern Ireland many of the people you hope will see your Ads would "digitally" be sat on a table next to me in that far away Sports Club.

However some of those who see your Ads will actually be in the NI region you are targeting, just not quite as many as you think. Being a particluarly Northern Ireland issue I guess it's likely that searchers geniuinely in Scotland, England and Wales are thankfully not going to see the Ads you target on NI. Probably not!

This is an old problem so there's no sign it will go away. It is a quirk of network routing and IP allocation.

The upshot

Just be aware if you are in Northern Ireland that geolocating Ads won't work quite as well as you thought. If you are geo targeting Scotland some Ads will been seen and clicked by searchers in NI.

Note that searchers using mobile devices with location services on will be correctly located and not a problem.

Trying times

I like to experiment. Once I tried targeting ads on the city of Glasgow but made sure those Ads made it clear in the text that it was for NI. It didn't get many clicks so not worth the effort. Also the the poor click though rate would have made Google dislike it and make it uneconomical.

An aside

I searched for "PPC specialist near me" and the first organic link was from somebody in Milton Keynes. I feel a whole new SEO story unfolding.

Screen grab of a Google search
Screen grab of CTR statistic

Care to join me?