After creating your Google Ads strategy and continuously optimizing performance, your clinic has become a huge success! Naturally, you begin to think that opening a second location sounds like a bright idea. But, how will your Google Ads work cohesively across your multiple locations? Will you waste money competing for the same terms in the same area?

The good news is that the size of your target advertising location is flexible. You can choose to target a relatively expansive location—like a state, region, or country—or a location as narrow as the ten-mile radius surrounding your clinic. For local businesses—like physical therapy clinics—choosing the right geo-targeting option can help ensure that you only advertise to potential clients who are local to any one business location.

With that in mind, let’s review the different geo-targeting options available to you. That way, you can make sure you’re spending your Google Ads budget as effectively as possible.

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Keyword Updates

You should always use term-specific keywords for the towns or cities that your clinics are located in (refer to our PPC strategy blog post for more on term-specific keywords). So, you’ll want to create a new campaign to include keywords specific to the city where your new clinic is located.

“Near Me” Keywords

According to Google, “near me” searches have grown more than 500% since 2016. Leveraging keywords such as “physical therapist near me” will help drive qualified traffic from potential patients who want your services right then and there.

Negative Keyword Additions

When opening a new clinic and expanding your Google Ads campaigns, negative keyword additions are a must. You’ll want to add each clinic’s town as a negative keyword for all of the other clinics’ campaigns. For example, if you have have a clinic in Phoenix and a clinic in Scottsdale, make sure you add “Scottsdale” as a negative in the “Phoenix” campaign and vice versa. This will eliminate the possibility of your Phoenix ads displaying to people in Scottsdale.

Pro tip: If your town name is common, be sure to add extra negatives for all of the states and state abbreviations of the other towns. For example, if your clinic is located in Columbus, Georgia—not Columbus, Ohio—then you’ll want to add “Ohio” and “OH” as negative keywords.

Targeting

Deciding how you’ll target searchers is crucial to the success of your campaign—whether you have one location or many. Targeting helps you focus your advertising on the areas where you'll find the right customers—and restrict it in areas where you won't. This is fairly intuitive for single clinics. But when it comes to targeting for multiple clinic locations, you’ll want to avoid targeting the same area for more than one clinic. Targeting overlap can result in increased click costs, a lower quality score, and unnecessary competition with yourself.

To update your targeting:

  1. Click the campaign tab.
  2. Click the name of the campaign you wish to edit.
  3. Click the Settings tab on the left; then choose “Edit” (next to “Locations”); and finally, choose “Advanced search.”

The targeting option you choose for your campaign will depend on the location of your clinic(s). It can vary based on whether you’re located in an urban, suburban, or rural area, because patients in less populated areas may be willing to travel farther to obtain your services. Targeting will also change if you’re a traveling therapist, as you’ll be willing to go to where your clients are located. On the flipside, if you work out of a brick-and-mortar clinic, you’ll want to cover a smaller area.

Once you’re in the advanced targeting section, you’ll have the option to target for location or radius, as shown below. (We’ll get into the benefits of each option in a bit.) After you make that decision, you’ll be prompted to enter the associated town name, city, state, or zip code. Keep in mind that you can provide multiple zip codes, cities, and states.

Google Ads Targeting Options

Town/City Targeting

If your clinic(s) are located in smaller neighboring cities, this would be a great option. City targeting allows you to target the whole town in which your clinic is located, limiting overlap into other towns.

If you have multiple clinics, be sure to exclude the towns where the other clinics are located. Again, this is to avoid any ad overlap or competition.

Zip Code Targeting

Zip code targeting allows you to narrow your scope even further. This option may be useful if your clinic is located in the suburb of a city, and you’re looking to target only a few specific zip codes—while avoiding others. This will allow you to target the zip code that your clinic is located in as well as the surrounding zip codes, thus giving you better control over your budget, allowing you to better segment searchers, and ensuring you provide more relevant ads.

Zip code targeting is also good for businesses located in larger, more spread-out cities (e.g., Phoenix, which is 517 square miles). You can target specific zip codes around each location, while ignoring the areas in between, as shown in the screenshot below.

Radius Targeting

If you are only one of a few clinics in your metro area, you could decide to use radius targeting. This allows you to target a larger area and encompass all of your locations within one campaign. The great thing about a radius is that you don’t have to individually select multiple cities or counties because the radius can span city and county lines.

You can set your radius targeting in increments as small as one mile. This allows you to become very strategic with your targeting. For example, if you specialize in sports physical therapy and you’re in the area of a high school or university, you could target around that area with ads geared toward therapy for athletes.

Targeting Exclusions

Because Google’s targeting may not always be exact, it’s recommended that you exclude neighboring cities. After all, you don’t want to bring in unwanted clicks; that would be a waste of money on your end, and it most likely would not bring in any new clients.


To figure out which targeting route is best for you clinic—or clinics—consider your current database of clients at each location. Where do they live—and how broad of an area do they cover? If you’re still struggling to decide which option is right for you, drop us a line in the comment section below, and we’ll do our best to help.

And if you’re looking for some extra help with marketing—including tons of PT-specific automation options—be sure to check out WebPT Reach.

Josh Golden is WebPT’s Senior Paid Digital Strategist and Analyst. A proud Rhode Island native and avid New England sports fan—go Patriots!—Josh uses his eight-plus years of online marketing experience to keep WebPT’s digital marketing game in tip-top shape. When he’s not optimizing WebPT’s online presence, Josh spends his free time with his wife, Emily, and their puppy, Eleanor (a.k.a. Ellie). Josh also enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and riding his bike to local breweries.

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