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Zip code targeting seems odd to me

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4487059 posted 12:30 am on Aug 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am helping a friend who runs an auto body repair shop in a fairly major U.S. city Because it's such a large city, I wanted to limit ads being shown to around 3 miles of his shop, so I add the only the zip codes for the area. In total, Google's data is telling me there are about 75,000 people in these zip codes which sounds about right. I've had the ads live 2 days now and no clicks and impressions like 5 a day. I'm into top positions and there do not appear to be any ad or landing page issues. So that has me thinking something is odd on Google's side. Has anyone run zip code specific campaigns before which resulted in surprisingly low impressions?



WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4487059 posted 2:17 am on Aug 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

how many ISP server farms are located in that 3 mile radius?
until i specify otherwise, google thinks i live >30 miles from here.
it used to be >60 miles.

you might want to bid on phrases that include zip code or neighborhood terms.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4487059 posted 12:02 pm on Aug 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Are ISP server farms ever really located say in the downtown section of a major U.S. city ? So it sounds like this is just another targeting feature that isn't really accurate. For example, if I want to target to zip code A which has 50,000 resident, but there is no ISP server farmer located in zip code A, zip code A doesn't exist to Google. Even though it is a found zip code in their database/targeting options.



5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4487059 posted 12:05 pm on Aug 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

And thanks for the tip of including search keywords that include the neighborhoods, but less and less people search that like since Google changed their system to de-emphasize any phrases more than 3 words :)


WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4487059 posted 2:24 pm on Aug 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Keep in mind that a targeted area of 75,000 would generate considerably less than 1% of the US's total search activity for those terms.

How busy are the search terms you're targeting, in total? Are the number of impressions you're reporting for the targeted area statistically in proportion, compared to the overall activity for those terms?

The challenge here is to figure out realistic expectations about search activity for a limited area.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4487059 posted 3:12 pm on Aug 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Targeting a radius is not the most accurate. And the smaller you go, the less accurate it is. A 3 mile (5 km) radius is really small. You may miss many (most?) who are not inside this radius according to whatever IP they're using and targeting many others who are actually not within this targeting.

As you said, Google goes by the service provider's IP and extrapolate a zip code. This does not mean one exists and those that do normally serve a large clientele outside their zip code.

Also consider those doing searches at work outside your targeting. That's why you want to use a longer tail and include neighborhood keywords. They may be fewer in numbers but more targeted.

And if the targeting does work properly, how many of those 75,000 people needed body repairs in those two days? Probably only a handful so no surprise you did not get any impressions. In large cities like New York for example, less people have cars so take that into consideration too.

My recommendations: increase that radius, add longer tailed keywords (using neighborhoods, zip codes). I'd even use the metro area and have negative keywords for those neighborhoods and zip codes you don't want.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4487059 posted 4:18 pm on Aug 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestions

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