Localized paid search advertising can provide numerous benefits. In today’s post, Skai’s Director of Strategy for Local, David Delaplane explains the advantages that search marketers can garner when moving more of their programs to a location-focused structure.
In this day and age, marketers are moving away from last-click attribution to thinking about supported clicks and how paid search advertising best plays into the customer journey. Consumer behavior and expectations are changing, and as the industry moves toward simplifying the campaign structure driven by automation, AI, and machine learning, it might be easy for marketers to think that they are losing control of their campaign targeting and throwing caution to the wind.
According to a survey done by Cognetik, only one-third of U.S. marketing professionals said they had a good enough understanding of the customer and data to improve the experience for their customers.
Truly knowing the customer still eludes marketers
So, where can marketers get the data they need to best market to consumers? Well, if you can structure your paid search advertising campaigns by localization, not only can you get a lot of great customer insights from them, but you can also apply the most relevant messaging by location.
And this is even more important for local marketers.
BIA Advisory forecasted that U.S. local ad revenue will reach $148.8B in 2019. With so much at stake, marketers need to make a concerted effort to better understand new and existing customers to improve their experience. The following are some key best practices to develop a campaign structure to enable effective budget allocation and speak to the user with their location in mind as they navigate the web.
Localized Paid Search Geo-Targeting
The key to your success in localized Paid Search is applying location targets. This can be by State, DMA or even Zip Code. Regardless if you sell and ship your products nationally, you are doing yourself a disservice by not targeting your campaigns by location and here’s why:
- Opportunity Measurement: When your campaigns are targeted by location, you can visually see the available impressions as a percentage how much of the traffic you are capturing. This can also be invaluable if budgets are tight. If that’s the case, you can pull back on a region where the ROI is low and increase in areas where you get a better return.
- Speak to Your Audience: As reported by Forrester, 33% of organizations face challenges using location data to deliver relevant messaging. It’s no secret that your quality score improves when your ad is more relevant. By carving out your campaigns by geography, you can guarantee that the location you are targeting has the best copy for that consumer.
- Forecast Each Market: This exercise becomes far easier when you have access to impression share metrics by market and the kicker is that you can roll up or break out the forecast by region on the fly.
- Location Insights: Having a physical geo-campaign line item gives you all the key insights that are only available at the campaign level plus the added benefit of not needing a separate report to see front end metrics by location.
National catch-all campaign for localized paid search
If you are thinking to yourself Geo-targeting sounds nice, but what about the traffic that can’t be tied to a location? the solution here is to have a “catch-all” campaign. What is it? Simply put, this is a campaign which targets nationally but then excludes all of the geo-locations that are targeted by the individual geo-targeted campaigns.
This ensures that you have coverage in all scenarios. If Google or Microsoft is able to identify the location it will get attributed to the geo campaign. If the publisher can’t identify the location, you will have the national catch-all campaign at standby to make sure that no impressions are left on the table.
Ad copy testing by location for localized paid search
Once you have your campaigns segmented by location and a catch-all campaign to pick up the rest of the traffic, the fun begins! This is where your creativity and ad copy testing comes into play. Perhaps you have marching orders to increase your non-branded keyword impression share in New York? That’s easy. You can now just increase that campaign’s budget and move forward. Or, maybe you have price points or a special promotion that are only available in specific regions? No Sweat. Just select those specific geo-campaigns and upload your ad copy with those prices to that region.
If you are ready to take your program to the next level of sophistication, then it’s time to think outside of the box—come up with a hypothesis for testing, decide on a single success metric, and always have a baseline for comparison. For example, you might propose that testing curated ad copy that focuses on lower-cost products in a region with a poor conversion rate to see if that boosts your KPIs. You might try adding “near me” keywords to drive more local traffic or maybe you want to measure the incrementality in a market by increasing/decreasing your presence in that location.
Looking to go to the next level with your local marketing? Let’s chat!
All of these more advanced SEM techniques become much easier with a localized paid search campaign structure. If you are interested in learning more about how Skai can help to execute a localized strategy at scale or measure the true impact of your existing Paid Search Spend, please contact us. We’d love to show you how Skai can help you save time, drive better performance, and get armed with data insights that will help you grow your programs.