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cities as negative keywords

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 1
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi

 

I have a campaign running for an online fashion company. Unfortunately I get a lot of clicks of people looking for clothing in cities like "evening dress brighton". The company has no stores in any city, but people looking for a "keyword & city" normally want to find a physical store.

 

How can I exclude search terms which contain a city without compiling a huge list of cities?

 

Thanks

Aleks

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: cities as negative keywords

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Aleks,

 

It's a tricky situation Smiley Happy

 

As far as my understanding goes, if I would have been there, I would look at the sales trend in terms of geographical regions and then identify which regions are not at all converting and make a list of them out of the targeted regions. Then match the data with the search queries containing name of the cities (from Adwords) and identify the common least important cities. Then add these cities as negatives at ad group or campaign level depending upon the respective stats.

 

I think this would be least risky since you haven't received any sales from those regions and people who entered those cities in their queries have also not converted at all.

 

My thoughts!

Pankaj

Re: cities as negative keywords

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Yes - very difficult.

 

I would suggest also adding a clear message within the ad copy that this is an online store. In this way if the keyword triggers your ad you might deter clicks from people looking for a B&M store - but, of course, that will impact on your CTR.

 

I would also add lists of city names as negatives - you can probably download a list from somewhere and copy paste. Panjak suggests looking at the areas that don't convert well, but I suspect like you, that a person using a city name will be looking for a B&M store. City names are irrelevant if you are looking online - why would you use them. I don't think you'd lose too much of your targeted traffic by doing this. I think you could simply blanket add city names to a negative list and test.

Re: cities as negative keywords

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi AleV, I'll throw my 2 cents in here as well.  Before you exclude these city name searches be very sure they're not converting.  I have a client who regularly receives searches/clicks that include a (US) city name but they still convert.  As stickleback has said, you may do better simply to change your Ad copy so it's more obvious you're an online store.  If you still get clicks then I'd say that suggests those people may be interested in buying online, even though they originally searched using a city name.  It might be useful to look at your website copy as well to make sure you've got some words in there that say things like "looking for a high street store?  Why not buy online instead?" etc.

 

Jon

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

Re: cities as negative keywords

[ Edited ]
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

I would make a dynamic landing page for an "other city" ad group that shows the visitors a longer incentive message like Cobnut suggested, making them buy online because it is cheaper.

Re: cities as negative keywords

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

 

It looks like there is no simple solution or strategy. I'll quickly wrap it up:

 

The only way to exclude the cities is to create a negative list, which could always be incomplete. 

But if I did exclude the cities I could miss conversions, because there might be people who add a city to the search term and at the end still buy the products online. 

To better separate the people who buy online from the those people looking for a physical store I would have to modify my ad texts and/or narrow down and include/exclude those cities which convert and which don't.

Or I could generate dynamic landing pages trying to convince the clients of buying the products online. 

 

 

In my case I believe more focused ad texts would leave me less freedom for ad texts which target those people who don't search for a city. I don't know how I would have to target the dynamic landing pages only in the case when someone is adding a city to his search term. Also I don't know if conversions for search terms with cities would bring enough profit to justify the cost of search terms which include cities. (my campaign is to small to generate enough data to find out). 

 

Thanks everyone!  There is no answer which stands out as the solution for my problem. But I gave you all a star as your contribution helped a lot to narrow down my strategy.

 

Thanks

Aleks

 

 

 

Re: cities as negative keywords

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hi Aleks, I think you've summed it up nicely!

 

The key point you've raised here is the value of these "city" conversions (if they happen at all).  If you can study the data over a reasonable period of time and make a reasonable determination that they're not pulling their weight financially, I'd go down the route of using negative city terms.  Yes, it'll be tough to catch them all, but I suspect you'd be able to knock off a good percentage of these "city" clicks with a negative list of no more than a 100 city/town names.  I might be inclined to look for a useful plain text list on the web somewhere - you may be able to find the "top 100 cities by population" as a list you can edit and plug straight into AdWords.

 

Can you clarify what you mean by your Campaign being "too small"?  Are you measuring conversions and getting good data on profitability?

 

Jon

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

Re: cities as negative keywords

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 8
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

16'000 impression 2.5% CTR no conversions for the past two weeks. 

 

On one end I want filter out irrelevant impressions and this way increase CTR, improve QS ans so on. On the other end (ad texts, landing pages) I'm working too. Some tweaks in the past days already give me a boost in CTR from 2.2% to 2.9%.

 

Aleks

 

 

 

 

 

Re: cities as negative keywords

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

So that's roughly 400 clicks?

 

Hmm, I think I'd be quite worried by now.  If you had a single sale today your conversion rate would be something like 0.25% which I'd doubt would be high enough unless your items are selling for some serious money.

 

Are you certain the conversion tracking is actually working?  How are you measuring your ecommerce?  Are you running ecommerce tracking with Analytics?  Is this recording organic sales OK?

 

Jon

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

Re: cities as negative keywords

[ Edited ]
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 10
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆

 

Conversion tracking is installed and has worked several times. Though the code has errors (no conversion value) and the analytics code is installed twice. I've informed the webmaster, but he seems to be reluctant of making the necessary changes as he doesn't agree there is a problem. Also I am not being allowed to touch the page to fix the problem. Fighting against windmills there.

 

Anyway. I can't be sure the conversion code always works. Also the fashion business is very competitive. With a small new company to enter the market seems to be difficult even if the owner tries to establish his place in a niche. Profit margins can be high, but we have no success so far when targeting more general keywords rather than brands. The big shops are just too strong there as it seems so far. But I'll never give up as long there is a budget and room for optimization Smiley Happy

 

Aleks