Powerful small geo targeting facebook
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Carissa Noromor

A quick 3 step guide to setup Geo Targeting in Facebook

Are you targeting ads to serve Facebook users in a very specific location?

Do you feel that Facebook is exhausting your city-specific audience and getting high CPCs?

Maybe you need a new approach.

Generally, we select more than one locations to get larger audiences but cheap traffic and scalability. However, it’s not always the case. Some clients prefer to stick in one city because they feel that their target Facebook are living there and get the most benefit out of their business.

Imagine a spa business near you, do you think the business owner will target the people living 25 miles away from its location? I doubt it.

In this article, I’m going to show you ways on how to keep your CPCs lower and get the best possible results from your Facebook ads without sacrificing city-specific geo-targeting.

How To Use Powerful Small Geo-Targeting on Facebook

What is Geo-targeting?

Geo-targeting is the practice of delivering different ads to a Facebook user based on their location. That location can be a city, ZIP Code, IP address, or other location specific criteria.

In the image below, Facebook gives you an option to select your preferred location.

geo targeting facebook ad

Ways to give your city-specific geo-targeting a boost

In our experience, when an audience size is 1M or up, it will down to under 100K when you apply city-specific geo-targeting. For one client, our audience sizing went from 1 million (with all geos in one ad set) down to under 310k when separating out for geo-targeting.

The comparison below shows you the difference in potential reach when you apply layers of locations and city-specific geo-targeting.

layers locations geo targeting facebook ads
Potential reach is more than 1M
city geo targeting fb ads
Potential reach is 310K

If you have smaller size audiences, CPC bidding is ideal than CPM because the latter can increase your costs and drop conversion rates by 50%. Here are few ways to get the conversion rates back without casting a wide net to all the cities in one ad set:

1. Test higher Lookalikes to increase audience size and bid with oCPM

Expand those winning 1% Lookalikes with higher percentages like 3% or even 5%. The similarities between users in your seed audience become more general and the similar audience becomes more general, and less valuable in turn, it’s still close enough to drive higher conversion rates, especially with oCPM bidding.

For this, try to get the audience size to at least 500,000 and a budget high enough for each ad set to generate 15-25 conversions per week.

2. Test interest-based targeting

While interest targeting is your least priority in ad testing stage, this is the time to test it out. You can layer interests to obtain your goal audience size.

3. Incorporate city-targeting in your copy or image

Let’s say you want to target people who live in New York City. You can create ads for New York city, maybe with an image that is highly relevant to that city and copy that focuses on that city. Calling out the name of the city or making it obvious that it’s highly relevant to the people in New York will give you a boost in conversion rates. .


By using these tips, you can build larger audience for your city-specific targeting in minutes. Facebook can give you many ways to do that but you need to be creative. Each of your campaigns can drive more foot traffic without increasing your ad spend and sticking to what your client wants.

Have you tested out advertising with small geo audiences on Facebook?

What was your experience?

Let us know in the comments!

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