If you are managing a nation-wide campaign, you may not immediately see the benefit of breaking your campaign into many, small, geo-targeted segments. Read on for four very convincing reasons why your AdWords or Bing Ads campaign will perform better if you target to the highly local level.
- Minimize your ad spend
By now you know that cost per click and demand for specific keywords varies wildly between locations. Generally, CPC and competition is lower in small and remote regions, while big cities are more competitive and expensive. Of course, there’s no fixed rule on this. No doubt there are products and services that are in higher demand in rural or remote areas.
By targeting campaigns down to the city level, you will ultimately spend less nationwide. This is because your average cost per click will be lower city by city than they will be if applied to a large area that incorporates cities with high and low costs per click. In other words, it’s an easy way to increase your ROI.
Not only does local targeting enable you to adjust your CPC based on a keyword’s local value, it allows you to pause local campaigns that are underperforming, and allocate budget into campaigns that convert.
- Add keywords and copy that resonate with local markets
The more ways you can add genuine local flavour to your content, the more likely searchers are to respond favourably to your ads. This can dramatically increase your clickthrough and conversion rates. Depending on your strategy and offering, you could use keywords and ad copy to target local neighbourhoods, traditions, events, weather patterns and even turns of phrase. By focusing on local details, you will help your ads stand out from any competitors who are running generic nationwide campaigns.
- Via mobile, you can target mobile users wherever they are
If you are managing SEM for a multi-location business, granular geo-targeting becomes a crucial strategy for bringing foot traffic to your door. Similarly, if your business sells to people who are on the go, we highly recommend granular mobile targeting paired with an increased bid adjustment for mobile users. Pair this with ad copy that speaks directly to commuters or business travellers, if this is your market, and you have a winning combination.
- Learn and optimize by region
Geo-targeting your campaigns will teach you a lot about which keywords, ad copy variations, and products succeed, in which geos. The more you learn, the better you can optimize and craft your campaigns based on granular geographic data. Targeting to the city or even neighbourhood level can result in surprises — for example, a keyword or product group that performs unexpectedly well in a specific region.
It goes without saying that optimizing down to the city or neighbourhood level makes it easy for you to reallocate your budget based on which areas drive the strongest ROI. Allocating your ad spend down to the city level will uncover new seasonal patterns that make it easier for you to plan your budget, year over year.
Not just for large campaigns
Geo-targeting a small paid search campaign brings several key benefits — but primarily, you can make your campaign more economical by focusing on smaller regions. Even if your campaign is focused on one state or region, try breaking it down by city or town. We’ve also seen remarkable success simply breaking down a one-city campaign into key neighbourhoods, then incorporating keywords and content that refer to neighbourhood shopping areas or events.
One of the beautiful things about paid search is how you can make it so specific — for unique products or small market segments. Ditto for geography. Once you start testing and optimizing budgets and creative targeted to a specific location, you become aware of the sheer potential of honing into local markets. If you don’t have the time or budget to focus on multiple smaller geos, start by breaking out one city or area. You will quickly see that what you learn here can be duplicated applied in other local markets, benefiting your business and local searchers alike.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Director of Paid Media @ Bloom