Managing PPC for Multiple Locations: Geo Targeting Best Practices in Google/Bing Ads

One of the most common scenarios that we often encounter is trying to set up Google ads campaigns across multiple locations for a single business. There are different ways of managing the PPC campaign structure when you are targeting multiple things across multiple locations.

Scenario

You are selling the following items across individual states in the US:

  • Private jet services
  • Private wealth management

1. One Campaign & Multiple Locations

In this structure, you just build up one campaign and target multiple locations with different bid adjustment. For examples, you create just one campaign for “3-days travel package” and you can target entire locations with a different bid adjustment on each location.

Location Bid Adjustment

Pros:

  • Very easy to manage
  • Low complexity
  • Single update

Cons:

  • Less control over the individual state budget (Some state might need much more budget compared to others)
  • Hard to manage during peak season
  • Generic ad text which fits all state

When should you consider one campaign & multiple locations?

I am not recommending it but this is just for your consideration. When you are selling services at the national level, not at the state level. For example, if you are selling something like private jet services across the US, in that you can think of just one campaign and bid differently to different locations.

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Let us say, besides private jet services, you are also selling private wealth management services, then you can have two campaigns with different bidding on each location.

Tips: If you do not know which locations are performing better and your campaign is new then wait for some campaign data. Segment the campaign data by locations and you will get to know the performing states.

2. Location Grouped Campaigns as per Location priority

In this campaign Structure for Managing PPC for Multiple Locations, we prioritize different locations and we make campaigns for locations from different priorities.

State Priorities

In the above case, I am going to make one campaign where I would target the highest priority states such as Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey to Washington. Another campaign will be an exact replica of the first campaign with a lesser budget and locations from priority 2. Probably, I can have the third campaign which will also be an exact replica of the first campaign with a lesser budget and locations from priority 3.

Pros:

  • Very easy to manage
  • Mid complexity
  • No so many updates

Cons:

  • Still lesser control over the individual state budget (Some state might still need much more budget compared to others within the same priority)
  • Hard to manage during peak season
  • Generic ad text which should fit all states

When should you consider location Grouped Campaigns?

Let us say you tried “One Campaign & Multiple Locations” strategy to manage PPC locations in google ads and you gathered some data. With this data, you can group different target locations into different priorities. Then, you can set up a campaign based on different prioritized locations and budget allocated to different priorities.

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3. Multiple Campaign for Individual Locations

In this campaign Structure for Managing PPC for Multiple Locations, we create a separate campaign for an individual state. So now, each state gets its own share of the budget.

Multiple Campaign for Individual Locations

Pros:

  • Better control over the individual state budget
  • Better bid control over individual state
  • Budget and bid can be managed better during peak season
  • We can have the state name in the ad text now for each state for better relevancy
Before

Before: Generic Ad copy targeting all states

A Specific ad copy targeting only one state aka Alabama

After: A Specific ad copy targeting only one state aka Alabama

  • Keywords can also have the state name now. The same applies to keywords as well.

Cons:

  • Much more complex structure
  • Time-consuming

When should you consider multiple campaigns for individual locations?

Let us say you tried “One Campaign & Multiple Locations” strategy and then you also followed Location Grouped campaigns to manage PPC locations in google ads and you gathered some data. With this data, you can now set a separate campaign for the individual locations in the google ads.

4. Multiple Campaign for Individual Locations + Umbrella Campaigns

This strategy for managing multiple locations in google or bing ads is an extension of the previous strategy. In this strategy, you also campaign at the national level besides the state level campaign.  This strategy also focuses on structuring google ads by keywords but not by locations. Coming back to our example of private jet services –

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Individual states campaign characteristics

  • Each individual campaign targeting a state will have the state name in the ad copy. I have already shown the ad copy text before
  • The keywords will also have the state full name short name. It will look something like this:

State based keywords

Umbrella campaign characteristics

  • Umbrella campaign only targets the broad level categorical keywords without the state name. Digging down the optimization hole, we did not realize that we were completely missing out on the categorical keywords.
  • Thus to target, the broad categorical keywords, we need to have an umbrella campaign just like”1. One Campaign & Multiple Locations” strategy with a broad keyword targeting which looks something like this:

Umbrella keywords

  • Coming back to the basics again, in the campaign targeting, you should again bid on the individual locations as shown in the first strategy.

This way, you are not only targeting at the individual state level but also, you are targeting at the national level as well. As per my past experience, campaigns at the national level in such cases i.e. private jet services bring in the most revenue compared to state-level campaigns. However, it is good to have them to stop your account bleeding.

Google also uses many other metrics to score your google ads account. So, make sure you try to meet as many criteria as possible for better account health. Besides, if you are also looking for location-based advertising in Google ads, then you should also consider ad customizer.

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