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Help! Running an AdWords Campaign For Regions (State) Problem

1:17 pm on Jun 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi there,

We are about to restructure our 60 keyword campaign that we used to run nationwide but now want to target by all 50 states thus landing people on different landing pages.

Before we do this I wanted to run it by you here and see if there is anything we're winning or loosing in this case.

What if Google won't determine the region where the searcher is coming from? Will our ad be removed from results?

Is it even good to go after each state even though our service is nationwide?

Should we run 2 campaigns at the same time ... Regional and Nationwide? How will google serve the ads?

Pretty much the question is... what should we know before we do this?

2:50 pm on June 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is a tricky one.

From my own experience regional ads just donít work as well as national ads, though Iím guessing it might just be the industry Iím in (not really location dependant). On the other hand, the theory is it lets you compete on a national level without having to directly compete with possibly much larger, much more entrenched competition (again, this might vary on industry). If you run regional and national on the same keywords (against TOS maybe? Worth checking) you end up losing the benefit of sneaking around the competition and youíll be splitting your budget instead of focusing it (bad strategy in my humble opinion).

Your best bet would be to see what the enemy are up to. Maybe no one has tried this, so might be worth a shot. Maybe everyone does this anyway, which would probably make it not worth the hassle given the fact it might end up just as easy to compete nationally (regional always seemed to need a lot of micromanagement).

5:31 pm on June 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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votes: 13

Assuming the concentrating of visitors is consistent with your business goals (and it sounds like it is), you should run a national campaign behind the regional as a backup, at a slightly lower bid. (Conversely, if you want nobody from outside your target areas, I'd say skip the backup plan cuz it's to hard to avoid everyone else in the nation.)

The amount you should lower your backup national bids depends on your how strong the geographic exclusion factor is (how bad the untargeted areas are for you regarding conversions). You need the backup national plan to cover lots of traffic that won't be properly identified by IP and the other factors G weighs (to determine location).

It can help to include negative keywords in your backup plan to avoid the areas you want to avoid. Nobody from Alabama ever buys, add Alabama and it's major cities to your national backup negs.

Let's assume Boston is an area you want to target. G will point two types of searchers to your "Boston" focused regional campaign - people G can tell are in Boston and people who include Boston geo indicators in their searched phrase (someone in Indiana that searches for "Boston catfish restaurant" will be shown the Boston geo ad).

It is this second group - those who include geo indicators in their search term - that you can neg out of your backup national campaign. In those areas you want to avoid, like Alabama, add Alabama type negative words to your backup national campaign.

Add no Boston type negs anywhere so that both your regional and national backup campaigns are available for hits from Boston geo indicator search phraes and they'll usually go to your regional campaigns because the CTR should be much higher there if you've written regionalized ads (plus the region indicator shows the searcher the region which should also supercharge your CTR).

Have fun!