Its a common practice to add location terms in the keywords while you are building a campaign especially when the targeting is local or hyperlocal.

And this is what I observed with my new client, its a dental clinic chain that was targeting users within 30 mi of its locations and was aggressively using location terms in the keywords.

They were like:

+tucson +dentist
+tucson +dental +clinic
+tucson +orthodontist
and so on, most of the keywords were structured in the same manner.

What this did is that it blocked the user that were out of the City of Tucson even though the campaign setting said that the region thats being targeted is 30 mi around the clinic. This killed the impression share of the campaign and the client really took a hit in terms of the overall reach and ended up with a limited number of impressions.

 

What Fixed it?

The way I sorted it, was using a different adgroup to use these keywords with location terms in them, though the keywords had limited reach, but one can’t deny the quality score for these keywords and the average CPC will be far better than the generic terms that I used the other adgroups.

Also, in negatives; if there were any keywords that had names of the nearby cities we removed and the delivery setting was switched to ‘People in my targeted location’ so that the users outside the targeted area can be filtered by Google.

 

Conclusion

-Location terms in keywords and negative keywords are treated as targeting parameters and thus slight caution should be taken before implementing them.

-This also holds true for popular institutions/landmarks, so if you mention a term like NYU in your keyword them its highly likely that google will restrict your targeting to NYU campus and its vicinity even when you are targeting a location way far from it.

 



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