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Location Targeting versus Location Keywords & Keyword Relevance

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# 1
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A guy from Google is helping me re do my Google Ads.  I'm quite nervous about this as I thought my Campaigns were doing well.  They always came up top in searches on the Ad Preview and Diagnosis and always above my competitor. I had set up campaigns that targeted my local area. I need to reach people overseas that are coming to my area and also once they are here. I had set up a mix of keywords. Some included the name of my town and some didn't. Most keywords with my home town name had low volume but a few were OK. I found that even the one's with low volume still got triggered sometimes. I figured that overseas people that searched using the name of my town would see the ads anyway because my town was a targeted location.  I had manually set Max cpc for each keyword so I was quite happy.

 

When the guy from Google first contacted me he said he was 110% sure that only people in my home town could see the adds. I was quite surprised but later questioned this as I didn't think he was right?  Somewhere along the line he changed this to not everyone in my hometown would see the ad if they didn't use the same broad keywords. However, I'm constantly checking on Ad Preview and Diagnosis for both my county's Google domain with my hometown as Location and my oversea market with Australia as the Location. I was confident that I had the right mix of keywords to always come out on top.  Then he said that my keywords were competing with each other making me pay more. He also said I didn't have any ads targeting mobile devices.

 

Despite not thinking he was correct with certain suggestions he does seem very confident and some things he said did make sense.  There is a strong likelihood my keywords are competing with others and having mobile targeted ads made sense.  So I'm left concerned that my keywords are competing with each other but not fully trusting what this Google guy says either.

 

So he has set up six new campaigns for me. Three Campaigns are targeted at my home town with keywords that don't include my hometown. The other 3 targeted at Australia and New Zealand with my home town as an excluded location with the keywords including my hometown. He's then set up multiple keywords and ads for each ad group. Within each ad group there are ads that target mobile devices.  He's used similar wording to ads that I had previously created to match keywords.  However, he's also included ads in each ad group that are relevant to my overall products and not specific to the keyword search.  The same Max cpc has been set for each keyword that was set for my original campaigns.

 

I'm not sure how long I need to wait but I'm quite nervous about what he's done.  The campaigns have only just been enabled.  When I use Ad Preview and diagnosis I now find that my ads do not always come up above my competitor.  The ads that are lower are always the more general ads that are not so specific to the search term.  I understand that over time Google will work out which ad is getting the most clicks and serve these more.  However, in the meantime I have lost the consistent number one ranking I had.

 

I have also noticed that all the ads in the campaigns targeted to Australia and New Zealand are not showing at all.  If I use Ad Preview and Diagnosis with domain set at www.google.com.au and Location as Australia then the ads being triggered are the ones within campaigns targeting my home town.  So this is exactly what I had set up before anyway.  The only difference this time is none of the ads that target my home location contain keywords with my home town location.

 

Under my original campaigns ads were triggered by keywords that included my hometown. Now as far as I can tell none of the keywords that include my hometown are triggering the ads.  Does this really matter?  I don't know?  As long as ads are being triggered because my hometown is a targeted location I don't suppose it does?  Which leaves me wondering why this Google guy insisted I needed to create campaigns that targeted Australia and New Zealand.  These campaigns are not triggering any ads!  Pretty much all the keywords that include my home town are showing a status with low volume search.  There's one keyword that is showing as eligible but when you hover over it says it's not showing.  I've attached a screen shot of this.  This same keyword triggered an ad that got a click last week under my original campaign.  So why is it not triggering an ad now?

 

Keyword_Status.png

 

 

So this guy at Google tells me I need to wait 3 weeks to see how well the campaigns are performing.  He is confident these campaigns are set up better than the ones I had set up.

 

Am I wrong to worry?  Is it likely that his new campaigns will start performing better even though they are not currently ranking as well as mine were?

 

I guess my biggest concern is whether to wait for Google to work it out regarding ad serve?  Or should I immediately pause all the ads that are not closely linked to the keyword search query as they are quite obviously not ranking so high?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice offered.

 

 

 

 

 

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Lucy W
September 2015

Re: Location Targeting versus Location Keywords & Keyword Relevanc

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# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Lucy...

wow - there's a lot to tackle here - and I'm probably going to miss a chunk of it, but there are some things that I help you understand.

To start with - you should not worry about your keywords competing with each other and pushing up the price you pay. That simply doesn't happen. Your keywords "compete" with each other only in the sense that the system works out which is the best keyword to put forward into the auction - the price is only affected by the bids from your competitors and your respective ad ranks. If your competitors are stronger than you, then you will have to pay more to outbid them... but internally your keywords do not force up the price you pay.

Next we need to consider the geo targeting. I work with a number of clients in Australia and there is a big issue there with the locations. If you work in a fairly small town, Google struggles to find people that it can confidently locate in that tight area - since so many IP addresses are in the big city hubs. So I generally run two campaigns - just as your rep suggested - one with tight geo targeting which do not include the town name and another with a much wider (sometimes country wide) geo target, but with the town name in the keyword (I tend to use the BMM match type for this).

This way a person in your area looking for your service will find you and someone from outside the area who is looking to find your service in your town will also find you.

What I would not agree with is using your tight geo target as an exclusion area on the wider campaign - why? Well, because this could certianly block some of the traffic and confuse the system. I do understand the logic behind the argument, but in practice I wouldn't do this. After all, if a person in your town searched for your service and uses the name of your town in the search (likely - particularly on a second, refined search) then the more appropriate keyword would be in the wider geo targeted campaign and he would be blocked - that simply doesn't make sense....

There is another factor in the mix - and that is the advanced location settings - there are three -

People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location (recommended)
People in my targeted location
People searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location

So if you can safely use the recommended option here for your tightly geo targeted campaign - but use the tighter (second) option for the wider campaign.

Also I am a little concerned that you say there are ads where the ad copy doesn't match the search term. Ad groups should be set up in such a way that the ad always reflects the search term. If you have a keyword of red tractor you don't serve and ad for yellow wheelbarrows. In your case I would always make sure that my ads contained my hometown probably twice - once in the headline (or maybe in the description text) and again in the display url... this helps to a) get the clicks we want - our town name is very quickly recognised) and b) avoid the clicks we don't want.

There is a final comment I would make - getting the clicks and the traffic is not the only measure of success. You are offering a specific service in a specific town - you need to be sure that your campaigns are reaching people who actually want what you offer, where you offer it - I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes we get fooled by improved traffic levels or click through rates. Often widening the geo targeting on a campaign can simply open floodgates that were better closed - or maybe opened a fraction... be sure that you are tracking all your conversions well and work to improve those rather than the headline numbers such as CTR and CPC...

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Lucy W
September 2015

Re: Location Targeting versus Location Keywords & Keyword Relevanc

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Sounds like you're on the right track...

Here's what I believe often happens (anecdotal, but totally on the ball as far as my own experience and observations go...)

You run a search - in your case for car seat rental... after all that's what you want. But since many people are not careful with their ad campaigns you are likely to get all kinds of result for car rental - from all over the place.... at this point, if your ad does appear, and you offer car seat rental in queenstown, that hits the nail squarely on the head - but the competition here is simply massive...

so the next step is that people refine their search term and search again. The most likely things they will do is either be more specific about the service - so maybe add "child" into the mix, or add the location - so Queenstown. At this point your more specific keywords come in to play.

I had this issue with a dentist. Run a search for dentist and you get results from all over the world!! It's crazy. So the obvious refinement is to add the town name - dentist in hometown... again, if your add triggers on the first search and the add has the hometown in the copy - you've got a really good chance of catching the click. If not, you are still likely to catch them on the refined search.

As for the mobile versions, these don't really cost more, it's just that there might be a version of your ad which you feel works better for mobile - if they are exactly the same, there's probably no real advantage other than Google might add a very slight preference to your ad if the searcher is on a mobile device and your competitors don't have a mobile ad...

It makes more sense if, for example, you have a dedicated mobile landing page.

Do come back and let us know how things progress.

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Lucy W
September 2015

Re: Location Targeting versus Location Keywords & Keyword Relevanc

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Lucy...

wow - there's a lot to tackle here - and I'm probably going to miss a chunk of it, but there are some things that I help you understand.

To start with - you should not worry about your keywords competing with each other and pushing up the price you pay. That simply doesn't happen. Your keywords "compete" with each other only in the sense that the system works out which is the best keyword to put forward into the auction - the price is only affected by the bids from your competitors and your respective ad ranks. If your competitors are stronger than you, then you will have to pay more to outbid them... but internally your keywords do not force up the price you pay.

Next we need to consider the geo targeting. I work with a number of clients in Australia and there is a big issue there with the locations. If you work in a fairly small town, Google struggles to find people that it can confidently locate in that tight area - since so many IP addresses are in the big city hubs. So I generally run two campaigns - just as your rep suggested - one with tight geo targeting which do not include the town name and another with a much wider (sometimes country wide) geo target, but with the town name in the keyword (I tend to use the BMM match type for this).

This way a person in your area looking for your service will find you and someone from outside the area who is looking to find your service in your town will also find you.

What I would not agree with is using your tight geo target as an exclusion area on the wider campaign - why? Well, because this could certianly block some of the traffic and confuse the system. I do understand the logic behind the argument, but in practice I wouldn't do this. After all, if a person in your town searched for your service and uses the name of your town in the search (likely - particularly on a second, refined search) then the more appropriate keyword would be in the wider geo targeted campaign and he would be blocked - that simply doesn't make sense....

There is another factor in the mix - and that is the advanced location settings - there are three -

People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location (recommended)
People in my targeted location
People searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location

So if you can safely use the recommended option here for your tightly geo targeted campaign - but use the tighter (second) option for the wider campaign.

Also I am a little concerned that you say there are ads where the ad copy doesn't match the search term. Ad groups should be set up in such a way that the ad always reflects the search term. If you have a keyword of red tractor you don't serve and ad for yellow wheelbarrows. In your case I would always make sure that my ads contained my hometown probably twice - once in the headline (or maybe in the description text) and again in the display url... this helps to a) get the clicks we want - our town name is very quickly recognised) and b) avoid the clicks we don't want.

There is a final comment I would make - getting the clicks and the traffic is not the only measure of success. You are offering a specific service in a specific town - you need to be sure that your campaigns are reaching people who actually want what you offer, where you offer it - I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes we get fooled by improved traffic levels or click through rates. Often widening the geo targeting on a campaign can simply open floodgates that were better closed - or maybe opened a fraction... be sure that you are tracking all your conversions well and work to improve those rather than the headline numbers such as CTR and CPC...

Re: Location Targeting versus Location Keywords & Keyword Relevanc

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# 3
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Thank you for such a comprehensive reply. I realise now I was right to question things. Having set up my original campaigns as a complete newbie I knew that the structure wasn't entirely the best. However I'd received some great advice from Google help in the past that worked with what I'd done and I was reasonably happy with the results.

When a Google account manager contacted me recently I decided it was time to tidy things up a bit. It sounds like it was a good idea to set up different campaigns with tight targeting and wider targeting. Thanks to your advice I have been able to tweak the basic structure set up by the Google account manager.

Thank you for confirming it's not a good idea to exclude my tight geo target in the wider campaign. I had questioned this with the Google account manager. It's good to know that I was correct to be concerned about this. I have removed the exclusion and with the advanced location settings I have selected "People in my targeted location".

He is correct that people don't need to put my hometown as a search term when they are physically located in my hometown. However, l don't think a lot of people realise this. I don't think he took this into account.

I totally agree regarding the ad copy not matching the search term. Also, something I hadn't noticed was this ad didn't include my hometown! All the ads I have set up do for very obvious reasons. Needless to say I have paused these ads. I found this quite shocking for a Google account manager. He'd also added some key words that didn't include the word 'hire' or 'rental' - which is what my business does. I immediately paused these knowing they would generate unwanted clicks.

How does it work having ads that target mobiles? The Google guy has basically set up duplicate ads which target mobile within each ad group. Does this cost more?

When I first set up my AdWords campaigns I naively set up a shared budget but left Google to set the bids. I soon realised my mistake when Google bid $16.47 for one click. I use BMM match types. I hire baby equipment including car seats. Someone had searched "cheap car hires 7 seater in queenstown" which triggered +car +seat +hire +queenstown. Even if they were looking for a car seat it's not economical for me to bid this much! I immediately went through all my keywords and set Max cpc.

How accurate is the Ad Preview and Diagnosis? I'm not bothered about coming above the car hire companies as their budget is way more than mine for obvious reasons. There are other non competing businesses that use similar keywords that I'm not bothered about being below either. There is one other baby equipment hire business in my area so if I'm just above them I'm happy with that. It's quite easy to be above them because their ads are not as good as mine. I'd like to reduce my Max cpc as much as possible. I've played around a bit and found that the Ad Preview and Diagnosis kicks in quickly if I change my Max cpc. Can I rely on this to be fairly accurate?

I do have very good CTR but that's because my campaigns are very targeted. I check on Google Analytics and the search queries are relevant 99% of the time.

Sorry for going off topic but when you find someone that knows what they're talking about I don't like to miss an opportunity!

Thanks again

Lucy
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Lucy W
September 2015

Re: Location Targeting versus Location Keywords & Keyword Relevanc

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Sounds like you're on the right track...

Here's what I believe often happens (anecdotal, but totally on the ball as far as my own experience and observations go...)

You run a search - in your case for car seat rental... after all that's what you want. But since many people are not careful with their ad campaigns you are likely to get all kinds of result for car rental - from all over the place.... at this point, if your ad does appear, and you offer car seat rental in queenstown, that hits the nail squarely on the head - but the competition here is simply massive...

so the next step is that people refine their search term and search again. The most likely things they will do is either be more specific about the service - so maybe add "child" into the mix, or add the location - so Queenstown. At this point your more specific keywords come in to play.

I had this issue with a dentist. Run a search for dentist and you get results from all over the world!! It's crazy. So the obvious refinement is to add the town name - dentist in hometown... again, if your add triggers on the first search and the add has the hometown in the copy - you've got a really good chance of catching the click. If not, you are still likely to catch them on the refined search.

As for the mobile versions, these don't really cost more, it's just that there might be a version of your ad which you feel works better for mobile - if they are exactly the same, there's probably no real advantage other than Google might add a very slight preference to your ad if the searcher is on a mobile device and your competitors don't have a mobile ad...

It makes more sense if, for example, you have a dedicated mobile landing page.

Do come back and let us know how things progress.

Re: Location Targeting versus Location Keywords & Keyword Relevanc

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# 5
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Thanks Steve :-)