Posted on October 10, 2013 by
Spread the word...

Over the last few months I have come across a common problem with accounts that have been set to have a target radius of 10 to 15 miles somewhere in the UK. Despite the radius being within the UK only, their adverts are still showing in countries around the world, meaning they are getting a lot of unwanted impressions. Over the next few months, I am going to look in to this and try and find out what the best way to solve this problem is.

Could it be a case of having to add only locations specific keywords? Or change a setting? Or select every place that I don’t want it to show as a negative?

In order to find out, I have three accounts that are focusing on just an 8 mile radius, across locations in England.

Background

In order to make sure it is a fair test, I have selected three locksmith companies that are focusing on locations in and around London, with a budget of around £50.00 a day. It is important that I keep the accounts similar, so that it will be the same time for each search that comes up, as well as there being a similar search volume. The other reason I picked locksmiths is because people in Asia / America are not going to be looking for a locksmith in Hackney!

The first account is called account “W” as it is only focusing on Watford. As you can see, it has a target location of 8 miles, and on the setting tab it is set to show to “People in, searching for or viewing pages about my targeted location”.

 Map of Watford

Despite this, Google are still showing this advert all around the world.

The screen shot below is for is the data for the month of June, and to show you where it has been showing:

location Target

The second client is called “C”, as it is focusing on Croydon. As you can see it has a target location of 8 miles, and on the setting tab it is set to show to “People in, searching for or viewing pages about my targeted location”, as above.

 Map Of Croydon

The screen shot below is for is the data for the month of June, and to show you where it has been showing:

 location Target 2

The third account is call “R” as it is focusing on Romford, and as you can see it has a target location of 8 miles. On the setting tab it is set to show to “People in, searching for or viewing pages about my targeted location”.

 Map of Romford

The screen shot below is for is the data for the month of June, and to show you where it has been showing:

 location target 3

It is very important that they stay with in the 8 mile radius because going from one client to another, the locksmith will need to plan his day and won’t be able to guarantee getting to customers with in 30 minutes if they are too far apart; the idea is that going from one side of the radius to the next job will take them a maximum of 30 minutes. If they are constantly having to go to people outside the radius then they will not be able to ensure this guarantee is met. If their adverts are showing to people outside this radius, it is a waste of money; especially to people in other countries.

 

Aim

My aim is to find the best way of ensuring that the account only shows in the location it set it to.

Plan of Action

Account W : all keywords in all the account are on BMM (Broad Match Modifier) and exact match types, and they all contain the short version of a key type, for example “car locksmith” as well as the location keyword e.g. “car locksmith watford”. For account W, I am going to keep the settings the same, but I will only have location keywords in the account so every keyword will contain Watford, Radlett, Northwood etc. after it. Like I said, the settings will stay the same, so it will have an 8 mile radius target location on Watford and the settings will stay set to “people in, searching for or viewing pages about my targeted location”.

Account C:  I am not going to change any of the keywords in this account, I am just going to add everywhere that I don’t want my advert to show as a negative location, as shown in the picture below.

 Map of the world

Account R: I am not going to change the keywords or add any negative locations, I am just going to change the settings – so instead of it being  “People in, searching for or viewing pages about my targeted location”, it will be “People in my targeted location” in the hope that this will prevent the advert from showing to anyone in a different location or country to the one I want. This setting is almost always missed as it is minimised in the settings tab, and unless you know it is there, you will miss it.

Hypothesis 

I expect that all 3 of these changes will make sure the account only shows to the target location that I have requested, although I believe some will work better than others:

Account W I believe will work and will now only show to people within my target location but it might slow down the search volume and we could miss out on sales as not everyone will add their location.

Account C I believe will work very well, although it takes a long time to add in every single location that you don’t want it to show in.

Account R I expect it to work, and it should ensure that only people in my location will see it. As well as this, it only takes seconds to make the change as long as you know where the setting is.

What I Will Do

Once I have made the changes, I will let the account run for a month and then review them. Once I have done it, providing there are no major problems, I will allow it to run for a second month which will allow me two months’ worth of data to compare.

Log – Month 1

Account R:

In the first week I hit some problems with account R – the search traffic had completely dropped and it was only getting one or two impressions a day.

After talking with Google, I found that by setting your location targeting to people in my targeted location it will still exclude people in your area in accordance with certain conditions; if their internet exchange is outside of your radius, the mobile exchange is outside your radius, even if their settings on Google are set to that exact location they will not see your ad! I removed this setting and carried on with the test with account W and C.

Account W:

With this account, I started to notice a small drop in the traffic. This is because not everyone puts their location in when they are on their mobile phone because they expect it to know where they are. For this reason we started to lose a bit of traffic, although we did see an increase in the CTR.

Account C:

We have had no drop in traffic, but have seen an increase in the CTR.

 

Log: Month 2

I carried on running accounts W and C for another 2 months or so and these are the results I found:

Account W:

 Location Target W

As you can see, the traffic from different countries has dropped significantly and was not as bad as it was before. But yet it is still showing in their location despite only having locations keywords. I have also seen a drop in the amount of clicks this campaign has been getting from the UK month on month – this is because not everyone types in their location if they do it on mobile phones.

Account C:

In this account I added all the other locations as negatives to prevent it from showing in the different countries. As you can see from the screen shot below, I found this one worked well. I have also found that there was no significant drop in traffic like we had in Account R.

 Account C Location

To conclude, I found that it works best to just add the different locations as negatives as this will fully stop your Adwords account from showing in locations that you don’t want it to show, but at the same time will not prevent your account from running to its full capacity.

Case study notes

  • I ran this test over 4 months from June 2013 to September 2013.
  • At a later date I went back and retested the setting “People in my targeted location” and found that it might not work in a small area and may prevent your account from running to its full capacity due to the exchange being outside of the radius. If you have a large location such as a county or country, this setting will work because the phone / internet exchange will be within your target location.
  • When I added the negative locations I did not go through the account and type them in one at a time as this would have taken too long. I have a spreadsheet that I use with every location on it so that all I have to do is upload it to Adwords editor.

 

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