Live at SMX East 2013: Improving Your Geographic Targeting Tactics On Google and Bing

By Scott Garrett | Oct 1, 2013
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Geographic targeting is a great feature of advertising platforms, as it allows you to better hit your target audience and helps you spend your advertising dollars more wisely. I have used geographic targeting on Google, Bing, Facebook, and LinkedIn to the great benefit of my clients. This panel at SMX East was about the finer points of geographic targeting in Google and Bing, and I was very excited to hear what they had to say. Below I will go into a short bio for each presenter and also the main talking points from their presentations.

pick 1

Kevin Lee, Didit CEO,  is an industry pioneer in Search Engine Marketing and Digital Marketing since 1995 and has authored hundreds of columns for many publications. His book Search Engine Advertising is a widely praised, hot seller. Current projects include application of “Big Data” to SEM and display campaigns, a “secret sauce” method of optimization. Below are his main points from the session:

  • Geo-intent is different than stationary location.
    • Not only in method of targeting, but also in the ability to change the user experience.
    • If you break out campaigns for geo-targeting then you should focus on:
      • Different ad language and landing pages for location-specific targeting
      • Geo-targeting is often the illusion of accuracy, accuracy is not precision
      • Geo-targeting only helps you increase the odds that the user is valuable to you, it does not guarantee it
  • Keywords tell you very little about the audience. Geography often predicts demographics and behavior of the searcher
    • Moving from a keyword  approach to an audience centric approach
    • Cherry pick keywords and use geo-targeting to increase the chances of showing in a higher position for non-branded keywords at a lower price

Sam Owen is a leading writer for PPC Hero, a speaker on International PPC and CRO and a paid search and display account manager at Hanapin Marketing. His clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 businesses and include ecommerce and lead generation. Below are his main points from the session:

  • You should calculate your geo cost per acquisition to determine if bids need to be adjusted by geographic location
  • Limit of 25% increases or decreases at a time per location. This blanket approach may harm some top performing keywords, therefore make sure you check their performance often.pick 2

Paul Corkery, is an SMB Operations Program Manager for Search Platform and Tools at Microsoft. He is responsible for representing the platform and tool needs of SMB advertisers to adCenter engineering partners. This includes support for customer experiences across adCenter Web, Desktop, API, and tools like Microsoft Advertising Intelligence (MAI). Below are his main points from the session:

  • Geographic targeting on Bing
    • Location Intent
      • Capture searchers who have signals of intent to do business in your targeted location
    • Targeted Area Only
      • Only targets users within the location
    • Time of day targeting is relative to the Searcher not the campaign
      • Can ensure you are targeting to user correctly no matter the time zone.
  • Signals for determining search location (reverse IP)
    • IP coverage/precision goes down as the location targeting gets smallerpick 3

Overall, this session gave a nice overview of the geo-targeting options offered by Adwords and Bing and some finer details on how to optimize your campaigns through geo-targeting.

How do you use geo-targeting in your campaigns? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @scottgarrett89. Also, follow the SMX East Conference this week on Twitter with the hashtags #SMX and #SMXEast!

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