This is a recurring series designed to help you gain a better understanding of what goes into often misunderstood PPC campaign settings. Here, we will include tips, tricks and other expert insights that we hope will help you make better decisions for — and ultimately improve — your business.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to choosing your targeted and excluded locations. Some scenarios can make excluding locations just as important as targeting them, if not more so. Typical slip-ups here, while not always apparent, can have a cumulative impact on account performance. Recognizing and rectifying potential snags is simple enough, but only when you adhere to best practices.
When it comes to managing your account, even if your target market is only in the U.S., don’t simply check ‘United States’. Click ‘Let me choose…’ (arrow “a” in the graphic below) and then click ‘Advanced search’ so you can manually enter more specific locations and demographic categories.
This will allow your campaign to start collecting data on these specific locations and demographic categories that it wouldn’t have otherwise, and later on you can go back and use that data to improve your campaign performance.
We recommend deferring to Google on ‘Location options (advanced)’ and keeping the default settings (arrow “b”).
This will allow for the broadest interpretation of targeted and excluded locations, instead of just people physically located in your targeted and excluded locations.
Target: ‘People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location (recommended)’
Exclude: ‘People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my excluded location (recommended)’
c. Click ‘Bulk locations’
d. Copy and paste a list of all your targeted locations, if you’re targeting the entire U.S., copy and paste a list of the 50 states (making sure the word ‘state’ is specified for Washington and New York. Click ‘Search’ and then click ‘Add all matched locations’
e. Now for some demographic targeting setup. Click ‘Location groups’
f. Click ‘Locations by demographics’
g. Type your broadest target location, for example ‘United States’ in the ‘Locations by demographics’ entry box.
e. Click ‘Select Household income tier’ and click ‘Top 10%’ and then click the red ‘ADD’ button. Repeat for the rest of the income tiers. Click ‘Done’.
Check the ‘All languages’ box.
The default setting is English; however this limits your ads so they only show to people who have their browsers set to the English language. When you only show ads to people with English-only browsers, you are missing showing ads to bilingual people who have their browsers set to another language but are searching for your ad in English.
The bilingual audience in the U.S. is about 20% of the population, so there is a lot of opportunity here — when you target outside the U.S., the bilingual percentages are even higher.
An added bonus is that most advertisers probably keep the default setting of ‘English’ only, or just check the one language they are writing their ads in, not realizing they are missing out on a lot of relevant traffic.
This means that you’re competing for bilingual customer clicks with fewer advertisers, lending more relevant volume to your campaign at lower CPCs.
Using the above guidelines when setting up your location settings will give you the advantage of granular location data statistics, income-level data, and allow your ads to be displayed to bilingual customers who are searching in your ad’s language, all benefits that a default-setting campaign won’t have.