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Targeting by UK city & postcode

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# 1
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I’ve noticed something odd happening recently.

 

We create around 8 new accounts a month and tend to use postcode, radius targeting depending on the requirements. However, I changed tact on two accounts and targeted them by city which still gave a considerable 3million audience size. However, both accounts were dead in the water the odd impression, the odd click.

 

We were stumped and could not see any reason they were performing so badly, I took it to Google and the only recommendation was to increase the area. Not what we wanted as the campaigns needed to be specific to the cities. Increasing the area just meant we were targeting an audience we did not want.

 

We have since removed the city, and replaced the targeting by postcode. Both campaigns are now working well and as they should.

 

Has anyone else come across this or has something changed? seems quite important.

 

Many thanks

Dominic

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Re: Targeting by UK city & postcode

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# 2
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Hi @Dominc R weird.  It's really hard to diagnose this without being able to see all the settings for an example Account.  As I'm sure you know, there are lots of reasons why a Campaign may not generate the expected number of impressions/clicks and I'd really have to go through the Account checking a whole bunch of stuff before I could make an educated guess.  However, this "feels" like one of those situations where the most obvious problem (the location targeting) may not have been the actual cause, and the change to postcode targeting was not the solution, but merely something that happened coincidentally with the problem being solved.

 

For example, let's say your Ads weren't approved (I'm sure you checked this, but it's a good way to explain what I mean!).  You could have been looking for a problem in the location targeting when the real problem was that none (or very few) of your Ads were approved; by the time you changed to postcode targeting more (or all) of your Ads had been approved and it appeared to be the change in location targeting that solved the problem, but in fact it was something else.

 

So, if you're really stumped, I'd re-test the city target.  To do this without overly disrupting the entire Campaign, I'd add a city target in addition to the postcode targets.  If your postcodes don't cover the entire area covered by the city target, you should see some impressions drop into that target and make some educated guesses about overall volume.  You could also try removing one or two postcodes (so all their impressions would now fall to the city target) and check their stats against a previous period.  For example, if postcode A & postcode B last week received 100 impressions each, after a week of turning them off I'd expect the city target to have received at least 200 impressions (or thereabouts, allowing for variations).  If it looks like the city target is now working, you could risk switching to that on its own for a more thorough test.

 

How long did you run with just the city target before you added the postcodes?

 

Jon

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

Targeting by UK city & postcode

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# 3
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Thanks Jon,

 

Yep I had two different consultants who work for me check the account for errors/reasons, and even Google could not see what was causing it.

 

We have run them both for over a month before we changed them. 

 

We are going to run them for a month with the postcodes and then try the city again, will post my findings.

 

Many thanks

 

Dom