Exclude certain countries from Adwords Targeting and increase your ROI

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Exclude certain countries from Adwords Targeting and increase your ROI

If you've started your journey with PPC advertising and just put up your first campaign, you may not know how to do it correctly.  It's effortless to set up a campaign, let it run, get a few sales, and be as happy as possible but you're leaving yourself open to something called chargebacks.  Yes, there are plenty of people out there who file chargebacks, and these individuals usually know what they're buying, but they also know they can get their money back and keep the products.

I've written this discussion because I've noticed a trend with various countries and chargebacks.  I wrote down my hypothesis, took notes of where my chargebacks were coming from and started to churn the data that was coming in. 

These were my results...

Worldwide Targeting
When it comes to worldwide targeting, you're going to show to every person interested in your keywords or whatever you're targeting them for.  This means you will be shown to people who make $1 a week and others who make $1,000,000+ a week.  Your targeting isn't that specific, which is why you will notice chargebacks along with a decent amount of sales, but wouldn't you want to increase the sales and decrease the chargebacks?

If I'm doing a worldwide campaign and not targeting a specific country or countries, I will always exclude the list below.  I exclude them for one reason only; they have a high chargeback rate.  Think of the saying "One bad apple ruins the bunch," and that's how you have to think about it.  There are plenty of great buyers from the countries below, but from my experience, this list of countries has a higher chargeback rate than most, so I exclude them from my targeting to decrease my risks of sending out products or performing services than having to refund someone their money.

Here's a list you should exclude:

Now, I'm not saying you can't find some great clients from countries that have higher chargeback rates, but I am saying you'll have fewer headaches if you exclude them.  Over the past 15 years of selling online, I've gathered plenty of information, and these 24 countries tend to have much higher fraud rates than the rest of the world.  Yes, you'll exclude a lot of people, but you'll be getting fewer chargebacks and fraudulent purchases if you were to exclude this list. 

Specific Country Targeting
When you start to break everything down, you will realize that your campaigns need to be as specific as possible.  Having a "Broad" targeted campaign will bring in clicks and sales, but you won't be hitting the exact people you want to.  Imaging only showing to those people that were purchasing from you?  How much do you think that would increase your ROI?  It would shoot it up immensely when you had a 20% conversion rate because you took the time to set up your campaigns lol.

There are 195 countries in the world that you can target.  If you're removing the list of countries I mentioned above, that leaves 171 countries you can focus on, which is still a lot of places to show your ads. 

You can take this one step further and break it down by exchange rates, which could take a while, but it will be worth it if you're only showing your ads to the countries that can purchase your $100 service or product. 

When the dust settled
After I excluded the list of 24 countries, targeted 5-15 specific countries, and got specific about the keywords or interests I wanted to target, I saw a huge drop in my clicks.  That was to be expected since I'm not showing to nearly as many people, but that's a good thing because now I'm sure people who are viewing my ads will likely be interested in them. 

After about a week of running my ads, I noticed that I was not getting any chargebacks.  I had fewer sales, but the quality of the leads was much higher, and I'm even getting repeat orders, which is pretty awesome.

I've successfully reduced my chargebacks by excluding specific countries that have a higher risk of filing a chargeback, getting super-specific with my targeting of keywords and interests, and only showing my ads to the top 8 countries where they are more likely to purchase my products and services.

Here's a list of the countries I targeted:
1. United States
2. Canada
3. United Kingdom
4. Germany
5. Australia
6. Italy
7. Ireland
8. New Zealand

In the end
You won't be able to avoid all fraudulent charges out there because every country has people looking to get a free product or service, but you can have a better success rate at getting a payment to go through and staying that way Exclude certain countries from Adwords Targeting and increase your ROI  Get specific about your targeting and don't be afraid to exclude countries.  It would be horrible if you got 100 sales today, sent out a product, and then noticed 95 chargebacks that could have been avoided if you excluded 24 countries from your targeting.  Play it safe, exclude and target, then you'll have a better chance of being successful online Exclude certain countries from Adwords Targeting and increase your ROI

Thanks for reading!

- Tommy


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