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Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

This question seems to crop up (often unasked) fairly frequently so I thought it'd be a good idea to gather some received wisdom together.  Hopefully most Adwords users will be familiar at least with basic Location Targeting - using the Campaign Settings to alter in which countries/cities/areas their Ads will be shown.  However, a lot of advertisers use locations within their  Keywords to achieve the same effect, e.g. "plumber barnsley", "taxi ripon".

 

There could be valid reasons for doing this, for example where the targeted website relies upon location information being passed to provide relevant results (both the above examples might work this way, leading to a landing page listing plumbers in the Barnsely area, for example).

 

Has anyone got any good examples or best practice on when to use Campaign based Location Targeting and when to use locations in Keywords?

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits
3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Google Employee
# 2
Google Employee

What a great idea! Thanks for doing this proactively Cobnut! Looking forward to seing what the Community is thinking on this one!

 

A.

Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Don't see any reason why you wouldn't want to use both. I don't have any specific examples or tests I've ran, but if people are searching for your service/product + a location, I would bid on it. Plus, I'm not sure how location targeting settings works with ad copy, but you'll have bold print copy if you actively bid on a geo-modified keyword and your ads refer to your location vs. being match via campaign settings. Hope that helps!

Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆

It seems to me that if you create a keyword with a location and get the message that it's a "low volume search" term, you'd be better off using location targeting, otherwise the term might not come up at all. That is what I have to do because my search terms are niche enough that they don't come up often enough in conjunction with a location.

 

Perhaps this is a case where you'd want multiple campaigns so you could split up the search terms. One for location keywords that are not "low search volume" and another for the rest (with location targeting).

Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

 

>> "However, a lot of advertisers use locations within their Keywords to achieve the same effect, e.g. "plumber barnsley", "taxi ripon".

 

I think this is due to historic reasons. In the old days, location targeting was only for geo-targeting: To target by intent - a user needed to add the location name as part of the keyword.

 

Nowadays, when a user can choose to target both by location and by intent, using the campaign settings, there is some overlapping

 

I add a location name, as part of the keyword:

  • When it is a small location/ suburb / neighborhood within a bigger district:
  • OR as a negative keyword, to exclude small locations that I am not sure that Google's targeting is accurate enough to recognize.

-Moshe

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@franciss, the potential problem with using both comes mainly when you're using the more restrictive keyword match types.  If your keyword is "subject location" as a phrase or exact match then you're effectively excluding anyone who doesn't use the location modifier, even if they live in the area targeted by Location Targeting.  There are various links between physical location and targeting (including the display of address elements if linked to a Places account) but the emboldening of words will of course only happen if you've used the actual location in the Ad Copy, which may or may not be wise anyway.

 

@Moshe, I agree.  Certainly here in the UK Location targeting is very hit and miss and trying to target anything smaller than a major city or a 50 mile radius is very difficult to do effectively.  I don't know if this is down to our ageing telecoms infrastructure but it certainly seems a problem.  I, for example, am frequently shown as located in various towns and cities up to 50 miles from my actual address.

@fnippy, yep, totally agree.  Location targeting can often lead to few - if any - impressions at all so it's good to be careful about how "narrow" you make the searches.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 7
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

@Cobnut Great point. Let me rephrase - I wouldn't limit myself to either. Target your location through campaign settings and include both general and location-based keywords; best of both worlds assuming the location-based queries have enough search volume to be active like a few people pointed out. 

Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

@franciss;

 

Quote:

>>Target your location through campaign settings and include both general and location-based keywords; best of both worlds

 

I would disagree a bit. Google is about doing it the right way, not about "shooting in all directions.."

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 9
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
I'm all about shooting in any direction that converts to quality leads/sales.

Re: Location Targeting or Location Keywords - which is best?

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

Just make sure that it will not backfire at some point...Smiley Surprised

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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