Geo-targeting applications and geo-modified keywords are useful – but very different – tools for the search marketer and brands need to understand how they work to get the best results, according to one expert.

In a “best of” post for the Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog, Jeff Hecox said geo-targeting was first introduced by the search engine through the Panama platform in 2006.

It can boost pay per click marketing campaigns by allowing brands to focus their ads on customers who are either located or interested in a particular area.

This can range from entire countries to specific postal or zip codes, he noted.

In contrast, geo-modified keywords add a location-specific identifier to search terms to link them with a particular place, such as ‘San Diego dentist’.

For the best results, marketers should deploy geo-modification and geo-targeting in separate campaigns using the same core keywords, Mr Hecox said.

Yahoo!’s communications manager for advertiser solutions Kastle Waserman recently said using both geo-targeting and geo-modification in the same campaigns is a common mistake in pay per click marketing, as it causes a “geo-targeting mismatch” that can prevent ads from displaying.

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