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Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello

 

Apologies in advance for the long post, but I wanted to give as much detail as possible. I'm pretty sure I can't be the only one having this problem.

 

I recently set up an Adwords account for my brother's (local) locksmith business, based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Having used Adwords for many years very successfully for our own local business, to me it's a no-brainer. My brother's campaign is set up as mostly Call-only adverts to catch the emergency locksmith/24hr lock out market.

 

However, from day one we have received conversions from non-Christchurch locations, despite geo-targeting being set to just Christchurch. Having spoken to Google reps they suggested narrowing the geo-targeting, so on March 9th we reset it to the following:


- Targeted locations: radius targeting, 20 miles around Christchurch
- Target: Set correctly to just “People in my targeted location" (prior to 9 March it included people interested in my location)
- Exclude: Set to “People in my excluded location” (as per recommendation from Google rep)

 

But, even with geo-targeting set as tightly as possible we get clicks from across NZ every day.

 

We don't appear in natural search results or Google Business yet (& we're not advertising anywhere else) so traffic isn't coming from anywhere other than Adwords.

 

But here is the odd thing - Google reports all our clicks as coming from Christchurch. This is the most frustrating part as they then won't refund any of these non-ChCh clicks so it just chews through our small budget every day.

 

What I noticed is that if I'm on Wifi and search 'locksmith' I'll get Christchurch-based results (I live in Christchurch) but if I put my phone onto 3G and search 'locksmith' I'll get Auckland results (650 miles away). I tested a click and if I am on my phone on 3G Google analytics Real-Time shows me as being in Auckland, but the click is reported incorrectly as coming from Christchurch.

 

I've spoken to about 6 Google reps about this now, all are adamant that the clicks are coming from Christchurch (as the report shows) yet we KNOW we are getting 2-3 search calls from outside our area every day. Google have asked us to provide a call report from my brother’s mobile (which we can do) but the nature of these calls (83% of clicks coming from mobile) it means they will just get a list of mobile phone numbers which could be (and are!) located all over NZ. The bottom line for us, is that a mobile/Call only campaign is a waste of money and time. 

 

The last call I had with a Google rep yesterday morning ended with him saying that they had never encountered this issue before ie: "that if you move from WiFi to 3g it moves location".

 

I found another thread in here that sounds similar so I'm sure I'm not the only one with this issue: https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/AdWords-Tracking-and-Reporting/Geo-targeting-Issues-amp-Co... (it's possibly that other advertisers have natural search and more text-based adverts in the mix so the results aren't as clear cut)

 

Also, I rang one of the Auckland-based locksmith advertisers and he wasn't aware that his adverts were showing up in Christchurch, but yes, he did get 3-4 calls a week from outside his geo-targeted area of Auckland. Essentially we are bidding against each other for business that we can't possibly convert (I know NZ is small but Christchurch and Auckland are 650 miles apart!).

 

What I have had to do as an interim measure is remove the mobile number (just use an 03 number that people know is Christchurch/South Island) and add 'Christchurch' or ChCh to every advert. Of course this means our CTR will be affected and, as a flow on, our CPC.

 

If anyone has any thoughts/suggestions I would be very interested. Again, just to reiterate, our campaign geo-targeting is set correctly and our website does not receive natural search yet, or appear in Google Business/Places so the only calls we are getting are from Adwords.

 

Thanks for reading this far!

PS: Google doesn't offer Zip code targeting in NZ for now, so that's not an option.

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Hey there,

Sounds like a tricky situation. If you aren't able to make any progress on the location targeting perhaps you could you try incorporating language into the ad copy that would filter out unwanted clicks and calls? You could try something like "24/7 Lockout Service: Christchurch's Most Reliable Lockout Service." or something similar that makes it very clear that your service is only for Christchurch.
Jim Vaillancourt, AdWords Rising Star, LinkedIn
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Re: Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Jim,
Thank you for taking the time to read (LOL) & reply. It's a very odd situation because Google just don't seem to see that it's a problem.
I've have changed our adverts as you have suggested (which gets past the non-ChCh calls mostly) but if they are still being shown across New Zealand then our CTR will be a lot lower, so of course our CPC will go up. Frustrating, but the bigger issue is how many other advertisers is this happening to that don't pick up on it (like the locksmith in Auckland) because their conversions are coming from a range of sources?

Re: Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi @Puppalini;

This is an interesting case....

 

Ads targeting Christchurch should not  be shown in Auckland and vice versa. (These towns are too far away, and in 2 different islands - if I recall the map... Smiley Surprised )

Now, as for the 3G, WiFi. Unless the country was fully mapped to assign an IP to a specific location, Wifi location is based on the ISP's hosting  location. So,  location targeting  based on IP is not perfect, even in countries with modern telecom infrastructure.... 

If mobile users do not have their GPS active, the system reports their  location based on the cellular provider nearest cell. Cellular cells cannot cover that far distance (between Auckland and Christchurch)  by a single cell set in Auckland. ... Smiley Surprised

It is clear that the issue here is with the location reported either by the ISP or the cellular provider. 

Now: I would change the targeting to target by city (not by radius): target Christchurst only,  technically there is no need to exclude any region, so for now use the default.

 

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi
@MosheTLV;
Thank you for your reply. Well done on the Geography - Ak and Ch are indeed in different islands (one Google rep suggested that maybe Auckland was part of Christchurch and that was why I was getting calls from Auckland, LOL)

I will reset the targeting to Christchurch only and see how we go. I spoke to my brother this morning and since ensuring every advert says 'ChCh' or 'Christchurch' he has only received calls from Christchurch.

I'm wondering how I can test the results once I have changed the location back to Christchurch and added back in adverts which don't specifically mention Christchurch in the text?

Re: Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@Puppalini;

With AdWords, one step at a time.... Smiley Surprised  let's first resolve the Geo targeting issue...

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
I've come across this issue all too often.

and there is often a massive difference between the WiFi result - which is where Google locates the router - and a 3g result - which is where Google locate the mobile phone.

This is a much bigger problem in certain countries - Here in Spain I am generally "located" as bing in Madrid (600kms away) when on the office router... and a mere 200km away if on 3G

Part of the solution is understanding the problem. If Google is mis-locating someone then there are two types of error they will make.... the first is a false positive - you target Christchurch and they think you are in Christchurch - so you get served the ad. You're actually not in Christchurch....

Then there is the false negative... Google thinks you are NOT in Christchurch and so doesn't serve you the ad - in this case you ARE in Christchurch.

This mis-location problem is not going to go away. In fact, I would venture to suggest that it is going to get worse rather than better, at least in the short term as the broadband hubs (and whatever comes next) become bigger and bigger... If, for example, we can connect via satelite signals, there is no real way for anyone to know where exactly we are within that satelite's "footprint"....

So how do you move forward? There are a number of things that can be done. None of them are a complete solution, but together they can help get the best out of your budget.

I would run two campaigns. The first would be very tight. This would have core keywords such as +locksmith (you'll understand why I suggest using BMM in a moment).

Hopefully, this would reach people in the target area.

The second campaign would cover a much wider area, and would include all the same keywords, but with the town locator added - so : +locksmith +christchurch - I'd also add any other towns within your catchment as well (not to the same ketword, but + Atown +locksmith , +Btown +locksmith, etc)

Here's what is (hopefully) going to happen... a person Christchurch runs a search for a locksmith - Google correctly locates them in Christchurch and serves your ad from the "tight" campaign - wouldn't that be nice??

OK - so that's the perfect scenario.... but what happens is Google doesn't locate you properly? Well, at this point the person is served ads from wherever Google thinks they are. These ads are going to be useless (remember, your competitor cannot do anything to overcome this issue either - so they can't somehow get ahead of you here).

At this point the searcher is probably going to refine their search... and the most likely refinement is going to be the addition iof a locator word - in this case Christchurch.... it really doesn't matter for this campaign if your targeting is the whole country, because only someone including both +locksmith and +chrtistchurch in their search can trigger your ad. And someone locked out of their house in Aukland is not going to add +christchurch to their search term.

The next thing you need to do is make sure that you have the location term at least once in your ad - I would have it in the headline and the display url as a minimum....

This can help because this will help your ad stand out (in both scenarios) against all those other locksmiths that have not refined their account structure in the way you have and you should be able to scream out of the results relatively easily.

I hope this - coupled with the great recommendations from Moshe - helps....

Please do let us know... I am particularly interested in this issue (anorak - I know)


Re: Geo Targeting Issues - possibly 3G vs WiFi?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭


@Puppaliniwrote:

Hello

 

Apologies in advance for the long post, but I wanted to give as much detail as possible. I'm pretty sure I can't be the only one having this problem.

 

I recently set up an Adwords account for my brother's (local) locksmith business, based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Having used Adwords for many years very successfully for our own local business, to me it's a no-brainer. My brother's campaign is set up as mostly Call-only adverts to catch the emergency locksmith/24hr lock out market.

 

However, from day one we have received conversions from non-Christchurch locations, despite geo-targeting being set to just Christchurch. Having spoken to Google reps they suggested narrowing the geo-targeting, so on March 9th we reset it to the following:


- Targeted locations: radius targeting, 20 miles around Christchurch
- Target: Set correctly to just “People in my targeted location" (prior to 9 March it included people interested in my location)
- Exclude: Set to “People in my excluded location” (as per recommendation from Google rep)

 

But, even with geo-targeting set as tightly as possible we get clicks from across NZ every day.

 

We don't appear in natural search results or Google Business yet (& we're not advertising anywhere else) so traffic isn't coming from anywhere other than Adwords.

 

But here is the odd thing - Google reports all our clicks as coming from Christchurch. This is the most frustrating part as they then won't refund any of these non-ChCh clicks so it just chews through our small budget every day.

 

What I noticed is that if I'm on Wifi and search 'locksmith' I'll get Christchurch-based results (I live in Christchurch) but if I put my phone onto 3G and search 'locksmith' I'll get Auckland results (650 miles away). I tested a click and if I am on my phone on 3G Google analytics Real-Time shows me as being in Auckland, but the click is reported incorrectly as coming from Christchurch.

 

I've spoken to about 6 Google reps about this now, all are adamant that the clicks are coming from Christchurch (as the report shows) yet we KNOW we are getting 2-3 search calls from outside our area every day. Google have asked us to provide a call report from my brother’s mobile (which we can do) but the nature of these calls (83% of clicks coming from mobile) it means they will just get a list of mobile phone numbers which could be (and are!) located all over NZ. The bottom line for us, is that a mobile/Call only campaign is a waste of money and time. 

 

The last call I had with a Google rep yesterday morning ended with him saying that they had never encountered this issue before ie: "that if you move from WiFi to 3g it moves location".

 

I found another thread in here that sounds similar so I'm sure I'm not the only one with this issue: https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/AdWords-Tracking-and-Reporting/Geo-targeting-Issues-amp-Co... (it's possibly that other advertisers have natural search and more text-based adverts in the mix so the results aren't as clear cut)

 

Also, I rang one of the Auckland-based locksmith advertisers and he wasn't aware that his adverts were showing up in Christchurch, but yes, he did get 3-4 calls a week from outside his geo-targeted area of Auckland. Essentially we are bidding against each other for business that we can't possibly convert (I know NZ is small but Christchurch and Auckland are 650 miles apart!).

 

What I have had to do as an interim measure is remove the mobile number (just use an 03 number that people know is Christchurch/South Island) and add 'Christchurch' or ChCh to every advert. Of course this means our CTR will be affected and, as a flow on, our CPC.

 

If anyone has any thoughts/suggestions I would be very interested. Again, just to reiterate, our campaign geo-targeting is set correctly and our website does not receive natural search yet, or appear in Google Business/Places so the only calls we are getting are from Adwords.

 

Thanks for reading this far!

PS: Google doesn't offer Zip code targeting in NZ for now, so that's not an option.


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