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Enhanced Campaign Location Bid Adjustments

Let's say you sell those good old Widgets and you only ship to the US.  Naturally your AdWords Campaigns are targeting the US but because you're a good manager you understand that performance varies from state to state so you want to control what you spend by state.  Before Enhanced Campaigns were introduced you would have had to have had a Campaign for every state - or at least for every set of states that were different - and one for the US in total, excluding all the states to which you've applied specific budgets.  It could be quite messy.  Enhanced Campaigns make it a lot easier to control spending on CPC from state to state, all within one Campaign.

 

If you've got enough conversion data in your AdWords Account you might like to use that alone for deciding how to split your spend but I prefer to use Analytics bringing in all traffic sources, not just AdWords, partly because you're dealing with a larger data set so theoretically more accurate modelling, but also because the pretty map is much easier to work out.  Here's a location map from an Account showing Transactions.

 

demographics.jpg

 

The palest green here is 0 Transactions so that's the colour of New Mexico bottom middle, to the left of the big dark green Texas.  There are some pretty obvious trends here.  California, Texas and New York State are running away with the business while Florida and Pennsylvania are not far behind.  But there's a lot of states here with no transactions at all (New Mexico, Idaho, North Dakota, etc.).

 

Let's say I'm only really bothered about the biggest sellers and the worst and I'll leave all those in the middle to fight it out amongst themselves.  So I make a list, I'm going to make CA, TX & NY + 10%, FL & PA + 5%, NM, ID & ND - 10%.  Now I log into my AdWords Account, select my Campaign and choose "Settings", then Locations from the button above the graph (at the moment all I can see is "United States"), then "Edit Locations", beneath the graph.  In the page that appears I add all 8 States (making sure I choose the State entries) - nothing more to do in this page, then Save these new locations.  My list will now show "United States" and the new 8 specific states I've chosen.

 

Alongside each entry is a column for "Bid adj." and I'll click into each position (at the moment just showing a hyphen) for each of the new states.  When you click in the column a dialogue box will appear and you'll be able to choose whether to "Increase by" or "Decrease by" a percentage, the Max. CPC for that particular state.  I go through my list increasing California and Texas by 10%, decreasing New Mexico by 10% and so on until they're all done.

 

That's it!  From this point on, bid values from these specific states will be adjusted according to the percentages entered so I can pay less for my clicks from poorly converting states (while still showing Ads, just in case) and make sure my Ads are #1 for states that convert well.

 

You can analyse this stuff until the cows come home but here's a few things to remember:

 

1)  Make sure you use a decent time period and number of data points to make these important decisions.  Don't change your entire account spending pattern on the basis of 3 sales in a 24 hour period.  I'd suggest you use data from at least a month, better yet a quarter, better still a whole year to allow for seasonal variations.

 

2)  Get down in the detail.  While in my example above I've boosted all of New York state, a closer look at the data might show that almost all of the transactions were actually from the City.  It might make more sense to + 5% the state and another + 5% the City itself.

 

3)  Watch those numbers.  You can make bid adjustments all over the place in Enhanced Campaigns and they're all cumulative.  If you boost for time, location and device you could end up with some quite high CPC figures from very modest beginnings - just be aware.

 

Of course, you may still want to split your Campaigns up to split the actual budget, but this new Location bid adjustment gives you another level of granularity to control exactly where your money is spent, and that has to be a good thing.

 

 

about Jon Gritton

AdWords Management Consultant, a Google Partner, based in Dorset, UK, but working worldwide... I'm very proud of having been a Top Contributor for AdWords since 2006 and enjoy being able to help others improve and develop their AdWords usage. I now work primarily as an AdWords Manager & Consultant. You can read my eBook "AdWords Preschool", just search on Amazon.

Comments
nicole s
April 2013

having a problem whit my acc can u help

Saimah M
April 2013

i like...

avish
April 2013

I'm strongly agree that Enhanced Campaigns provide us much ease and control on working and optimizing campaigns but the way you demonstrated here, I liked it too much.

 

Thank you Jon, thanks a lot for your contribution.

 

Regards,

Anand

PaulPd0
April 2013

I had a quick question. Let's say you wanted to get even more specific with this.

If I found that the State of New York had great conversions, but we have retailers in certain areas that sell the product and want to exclude these areas.

Two questions:

If I set an bid adjustment of +15% to the state of New York, then I went in and set 20 mile radius targeting locations around each retailer and set these locations to NEGATIVE 15%, would the end result be that we paid the same amount as we always did in areas with a retailer but 15% more in the state of New York if there is no retailer in the area?

My second question is this: If two of these smaller radius locations were to overlap, and both of them had the negative 15% bid adjustment, would some people end up receiving double this for negative 30%? Which, would come down to only negative 15% if you included the positive adjustment to the entire state, but still not the result I wanted. What about if 3 radiuses were overlapping?

I appreciate any help you can give!

saeed
April 2013

Good effort to explain enhance settings bid adjustment but still there are some confusion. I tried to get help in this regard from Google help desk (by ringing them) and at one point they seem confused too and they recommended me to read the articles and help notices to understand it. Here is the situation: I set basic bid of £1.00 and then to target the mobile devices I increased the bid by 200% and after that in locations I also increased bid by 100%. So question is that increased in location will apply to the basic bid (£1.00) or will apply to mobile increased bid? I mean will it be total increase of 300% to the basic bid or 200% to the basic and 100% to mobile increase bid (£3.00)? will it be like  £1.00+£2.00=£3.00 or will it be £1.00+£2.00+£2.00=£5.00?

Jon_Gritton Top Contributor
April 2013

@Paulpd0, Google says that only one bid adjustment per "type" is ever applied to a bid, that being the most restrictive.  The example they give is if you had a +10% adjustment for France and a +15% for Paris, for someone in Paris the result would be the single bid adjustment of +15%, because it is the closest.  Does this answer the question?

 

@saeed.  My understanding is that all bid adjustments are multiplied so if you have a standard desktop bid SB, a mobile adjustment M%, location adjustment L% and schedule adjustment S%, for any given set of percentages, the mobile bid MB will be defined by:

 

MB = SB * M% * L% * S%

 

for example, a standard bid of $1.50, a mobile adjustment of +35%, a location adjustment of +15% and a schedule adjustment of -8% would be calculated as follows:

 

MB = 1.5 * 1.35 * 1.15 * 0.92 

 

the mobile bid in this case would therefore be $2.14 (I believe AdWords rounds down in all cases).  

Since the equation is a straightforward multiplication, it doesn't actually matter in which order the percentages are applied.

 

Your post makes the very common mistake of assuming that a 200% increase plus a 100% increase is a 300% increase.  In fact it's a 500% increase on the original figure.  A 200% increase is expressed as a decimal as 3, since a 200% increase indicates that the figure is now three times what it was orginally (the original bid, plus itself twice more).  A 100% increase on 3 is 6 (the original 3, plus 3 once more).  6 as a percentage increase is 500%.

 

If in doubt, please refer to Google's own help files on the matter.  This page:

 

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2732132?hl=en

 

Uses an example of a +20% mobile adjustment and a +10% Chicago location adjustment, the total of which is 32%, not 30%, because it is 1.2 * 1.1 = 1.32, or 32% increase.

 

Jon

jackportersmith Top Contributor
April 2013

Epic post Jon - well played.

goldenfs
April 2013

I have a question.  I would like to try this strategy.  If I use Analytics then clicking on all traffic sources, what is the next set of steps in order to get this map to see what states are performing best?  Is there a specific report?  I understand the rest of what you suggest doing as far as adjusting the bids to increase in the better performing states, but I am unsure of how to get this location map.

ziphie l
April 2013

Cobnut wrote:

Let's say you sell those good old Widgets and you only ship to the US.  Naturally your AdWords Campaigns are targeting the US but because you're a good manager you understand that performance varies from state to state so you want to control what you spend by state.  Before Enhanced Campaigns were introduced you would have had to have had a Campaign for every state - or at least for every set of states that were different - and one for the US in total, excluding all the states to which you've applied specific budgets.  It could be quite messy.  Enhanced Campaigns make it a lot easier to control spending on CPC from state to state, all within one Campaign.

 

If you've got enough conversion data in your AdWords Account you might like to use that alone for deciding how to split your spend but I prefer to use Analytics bringing in all traffic sources, not just AdWords, partly because you're dealing with a larger data set so theoretically more accurate modelling, but also because the pretty map is much easier to work out.  Here's a location map from an Account showing Transactions.

 

demographics.jpg

 

The palest green here is 0 Transactions so that's the colour of New Mexico bottom middle, to the left of the big dark green Texas.  There are some pretty obvious trends here.  California, Texas and New York State are running away with the business while Florida and Pennsylvania are not far behind.  But there's a lot of states here with no transactions at all (New Mexico, Idaho, North Dakota, etc.).

 

Let's say I'm only really bothered about the biggest sellers and the worst and I'll leave all those in the middle to fight it out amongst themselves.  So I make a list, I'm going to make CA, TX & NY + 10%, FL & PA + 5%, NM, ID & ND - 10%.  Now I log into my AdWords Account, select my Campaign and choose "Settings", then Locations from the button above the graph (at the moment all I can see is "United States"), then "Edit Locations", beneath the graph.  In the page that appears I add all 8 States (making sure I choose the State entries) - nothing more to do in this page, then Save these new locations.  My list will now show "United States" and the new 8 specific states I've chosen.

 

Alongside each entry is a column for "Bid adj." and I'll click into each position (at the moment just showing a hyphen) for each of the new states.  When you click in the column a dialogue box will appear and you'll be able to choose whether to "Increase by" or "Decrease by" a percentage, the Max. CPC for that particular state.  I go through my list increasing California and Texas by 10%, decreasing New Mexico by 10% and so on until they're all done.

 

That's it!  From this point on, bid values from these specific states will be adjusted according to the percentages entered so I can pay less for my clicks from poorly converting states (while still showing Ads, just in case) and make sure my Ads are #1 for states that convert well.

 

You can analyse this stuff until the cows come home but here's a few things to remember:

 

1)  Make sure you use a decent time period and number of data points to make these important decisions.  Don't change your entire account spending pattern on the basis of 3 sales in a 24 hour period.  I'd suggest you use data from at least a month, better yet a quarter, better still a whole year to allow for seasonal variations.

 

2)  Get down in the detail.  While in my example above I've boosted all of New York state, a closer look at the data might show that almost all of the transactions were actually from the City.  It might make more sense to + 5% the state and another + 5% the City itself.

 

3)  Watch those numbers.  You can make bid adjustments all over the place in Enhanced Campaigns and they're all cumulative.  If you boost for time, location and device you could end up with some quite high CPC figures from very modest beginnings - just be aware.

 

Of course, you may still want to split your Campaigns up to split the actual budget, but this new Location bid adjustment gives you another level of granularity to control exactly where your money is spent, and that has to be a good thing.

 

 


 

Jon_Gritton Top Contributor
April 2013

@goldenfs, sorry for the delay in replying.  You'll need to look under Audience > Demographics > Location to find the map, then use options to display useful data on it.  As long as you've got AdWords and Analytics linked properly, and have got Ecommerce tracking set up properly for Analytics, you'll probably want to choose the "E-commerce" option above the map, directly below the tabs (as opposed to "Site Usage", the default) and then choose to show "Transactions" from the drop-down options.

 

Some of the other options, for example, "Per Visit Value" can be useful, but make sure you don't get thrown by one random result.  For example, for the client I've used in my original article, "Per Visit Value" shows virtually the same colour across the whole of the US because Alaska had just one very high value conversion that threw it way up one end of the scale making all the other states look very similar.  "Transactions" should give you a more even idea of which states convert more often.

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