11 Apr 2012

New Location Targeting in AdWords

April 11, 2012PPC Advertising

Think about it – when is the last time that you picked up a phone book to contact a local business? It’s a fact that more and more people are going to the Internet to find information about local businesses. As access to the web has become more accessible to U.S. households, and with smart phone use rising drastically over the last few years, it’s no shock that businesses want to focus on advertising locally online.
For more than a decade, local companies have relied on PPC to help grow their businesses. There are many benefits to be found in crafting local campaigns. For one, it gives your potential customers immediate access to your business. When searching the web they can often obtain your phone number, understand the kind of products you offer and even get transportation directions with ease. Studies show that people who search specifically for local goods and services move quickly once they find what they are looking for. In fact, a recent report showed 20% of web searches are related to seeking a location and that around 88% of smart phone users who searched for a local business took action (made a purchase, visited location, etc.) within 24 hours.
Google has heeded the call of local business owners and has released several new features that make it easy to reach relevant customers. First, you can now target your ads to be displayed to potential customers within certain zip codes. If you are already doing this with offline efforts, take comfort in knowing it is just as easy to make this translate to the web. AdWords is now providing you access to 30,000 zip codes. By using AdWords Location Targeting, you have the ability to add up to 1,000 zip codes to your Search Ad Campaigns at once.
Another new feature is making it even easier to present relevant ads to customers without having to worry about location text updates. AdWords has introduced “local insertions” to make it easy to insert the name of the city, phone number or zip code into the ads so you don’t have to make the changes manually for every geo. This makes it easier to manage your campaigns without having to spend a lot of time making appropriate revisions. For example if you are a moving company with different locations across the Southeast, you can use insertions to make sure that the appropriate city name appears in the text of your ad. You will need to have your location extensions running in order for location insertions to work correctly. Check often to make sure that your extensions are always as up to date and inclusive as possible.
This past March, AdWords introduced advanced location targeting, which gave you the ability to display or exclude ads depending upon a users actual geographical location, or the location for which they were searching. This rollout produced a lot of feedback from advertisers. Based on this information AdWords is introducing new features to help with location targeting and location exclusion. AdWords location targeting method now allows you to reach customers by using physical location, search intent, or both. On the other hand, you can now exclude users based on their physical location as well as their search intent. Since you can now easily choose to include or exclude users based on their location and search settings, reaching relevant customers should be a breeze.
These new features should make it easier than ever for advertisers looking to snag new business. I believe that AdWords will continue to release new features based on customer feedback, so if you are a local advertiser, make sure to let Google know how their service is working for you.