How to Set Up Geo-Targeting to Boost Ad Performance

Next to the usage of a pure broad match for one-word keywords, botched geotargeting is the second biggest waste of your money in an AdWords campaign. If you are detail-oriented (and if you’re doing…

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How to Set Up Geo-Targeting to Boost Ad Performance

Next to the usage of a pure broad match for one-word keywords, botched geotargeting is the second biggest waste of your money in an AdWords campaign.
If you are detail-oriented (and if you’re doing PPC advertising you definitely should be), a careful setup of campaign’s location targeting will not only optimize your budget but will also give you insights that you only dreamed of before.

Which location settings to use in your campaign

The choice of settings depends on the answer to what seems to be a fairly simple question:
Where are the people who are searching for what I offer?

The answer depends on the type of a campaign.

General rule

Let’s imagine you want to advertise a local business in a city. It’s logical that the targeted area in a search campaign would be that city, but actually, the targeting depends a lot on your business type.

For example, a consulting company or first-class hairdresser can easily attract people to come from another city or even a nearby state, which means that these areas should be targeted as well. For other companies, however, the option “People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location (recommended)” would cover all the interest.

Some companies can benefit greatly from radius targeting. Let’s take a veterinarian on call service as an example. Targeting the main city is great, but is not enough because many searches will be missed; on the other hand, targeting the state would be too broad. In such cases, radius geo-targeting identifies only those potential clients within an hour’s drive away.

Since radius targeting can focus down to distances as small as one mile, it can be very specific – for example focusing on pizza delivery in just one part of a city.

Special cases

When it comes to more advanced campaigns, however, geo-targeting may need to be approached from another angle.

Suppose you are targeting searches by people from State A; then for remarketing, you might as well include states around State A, since some of the searches will have been done by people in other states who will be coming to State A on business trips. If your type of business has the potential to attract clientele from a larger area (for example, if you can deliver your product to any state in the country), then including these extra regions can only benefit you.

There’s also an amazing option for some companies to target directly a specific type of location, such as airports or universities. A local taxi company, for instance, can benefit from this option by setting up two campaigns, one focused on the city and another on the airport.

How to obtain more data from detailed geo-targeting

Adwords location targeting can take a variety of forms. One is adjusting bids for a specific location. In practice, this means that you could target France in general with one bid and Paris with twice as high a bid, or have a different bid for every state while targeting the US.

However, this option provides less data in the end that it could.
The answer? If you have enough traffic, create separate campaigns targeting each location.

What this approach offers:

1. Control over the budget

    If your budget is limited and allocation of resources is problematic, you can prioritize locations by focusing on the geographical area that is most important to you.

2. Getting a look at the competition

    The competitor report that is available on the keyword level does not provide geographical segmentation, so it is difficult to determine what the competition is like in each state if, for example, you are targeting more than one.

3. Choosing the best bidding strategy

    Bidding strategies are available also at the level of the individual campaign; by having multiple campaigns, you have the possibility for manual bidding in a specific location where you think a more detailed control is called for, and for a target CPA strategy in another location that might be a lesser priority at the moment and where your aim is just to keep within the stated CPA limit.

4. Control Quality Score by improving the chain Keyword-Ad-Landing page

    When you have everything in one campaign, you’ll most likely end up with general keywords and keywords with a name of a location in combination with the general ad text and general landing page content. The best possible way to improve your Quality Score, in this case, is keyword insertion in text ads. Having separate campaigns, you can test properly the ad text related to the local keywords and can adjust landing page content efficiently.

The precision afforded by dividing campaigns according to location will give you more control, which will lead in turn to better reporting options and better results. Isn’t this the whole point?

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