Best Way to Target User's City Name in Adwords?

9 replies
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I have an ad Campaign with Location targeting set to a county. I am finding that ads with the users city name perform better than without. I've setup ad groups withing the County Campaign that if a user enters a city name in the county as part of their search, it shows up in the ad using the dynamic keywords insertion.

However, most of the time the user doesn't enter their city name. There was something I read about dynamic location insertion but that is only possible if you are using location extensions. I'm not using location extension because this service is a mobile service that goes far beyond the business address.

I want the name of the closest city to the user to automatically be inserted in the ad.

The only way I can thing of to do this is to setup multiple campaigns, each one with a location target for a city and then put the city name in the ad text.

However I am concerned that location targeting isn't perfect AND there may be locations in the county that "fall through the cracks" not being within one of my city campaign location targets.

If I have a campaign for the entire county and a campaign for a city within that county, how do I insure only the ad from the city campaign is targeted if the user's location matches both campaign location targets? Make sure the corresponding keyword bid in the City campaign is higher than the County campaign? That could be a bit of a management nightmare. Or will Google only display the ad from the campaign with the most specific target location that matches?
#adwords #city #target #user
  • As far as I know (I know a lot but not all), what you suggest cannot be done. I don't know of any directives or variable that Google provides to advertisers that contains the searcher's location. They obviously use it internally but never seen anything that advertisers can use.

    You are right that if the city is part of the ad, the response is better. But I think you should dig deeper. I think you may find that's true when the search included the city's name.

    My only solution for you, as you suggest, is to create different campaigns each targeting the cities you want. Not only could you have the city's name in the ad (test without as well) but you could use the address and callout extensions to achieve even better results. Of course, if you don't have an office in that city, you can't use the address extension.

    Use the phone extension, especially if you have a toll-free number. Google also has a feature where they can provide a toll-free number for your ads.

    This of course could be a lot of work and campaigns to setup and manage depending on how many cities you are targeting. It may also mean you may miss some areas you won't be targeting.

    So the real question is if all this work and added level of management is worth it. I think it might be.

    I also think that location targeting is not perfect. I have seen some target hundreds of zip codes when they could have just targeted the whole metropolitan region or even a whole state. It seems that the smaller targeting such as a zip code does not work as well as a town or city. So the bigger the better. I'm not sure how that works on mobiles but I assume that the location is that of the tower.

    If you have one campaign targeting the whole country, you will need ad groups for each city with all keywords in that group would include that city's name. This is the same problem: lots of ad groups instead of lots of campaigns. Again, is it worth it? Is there enough volume of searches that includes the city? In my opinion, if there is less than 5% of total searches that includes the city, it's not worth it. Typically, most people in most verticals don't search that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author rfrawley91
    Have you tried using the "near me" keyword phrase for mobile?
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  • Profile picture of the author BradleyMcClellan
    Pretty sure I read somewhere that they had parameters that you can slap into your Headline and copy which will dynamically generate and place their city,
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  • I did some more digging.

    There used to be such a feature, apparently only in beta, but it's been discontinued.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi consultant1027,

      I happen to have a similar situation with several of my clients. And you are right about using county, or city names for targeting, those are often odd shaped areas that do not cover a metro area very well, especially when you have several smaller cities next to a larger one, or a city that is on the edge of the county line.

      The best option I have found is to create separate campaigns targeting locations for each city, using GPS coordinates and radius targeting. You can even use overlapping radius targets and location bid adjustments for some advanced location targeting strategies, like reducing bids when users are located further away.
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  • Profile picture of the author fasteasysuccess
    An easier way and save you tons of managing time may be to do the opposite of setting up tons of campaigns to target by city and or counties and just exlude the areas sketchy or not sure on.

    Basically excluding areas within targeted locations:

    Like if don't provide services in a city or region within the larger area targeting, exclude then that way can keep same campaigns without all the hassles.

    You can still do the city dynamic in ad etc... just in case do type city with keyword, but now you have all sides covered without all the work.
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    • Profile picture of the author consultant1027
      Here's what I did:

      1) Get list of cities in the county sorted by population (I'm not going to create a zillion campaigns that include small towns)

      2) Create a campaign targeted at each city and use Adwords Editor to clone the Ad Groups into those campaigns (except the Ad group that I'm targeting searches with the city names in the keyword search.)

      3) Use Adwords Editor to add City Name to ad text for city campaigns (first one manually, then clear ads of remaining once and copy ads to remaining cities and use find and replace to automatically change city names.)

      4) Add all the locations targeted in the city campaigns as exclusions in the county campaign.

      Now user will see nearest matching city name in Ad unless they are in a part of the county that Google doesn't match them to any of the cities I've setup.
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  • Profile picture of the author dubsmash
    My campaign is geo-targeted but when searched for terms like 'product name in location' the ad does not appear - this could be due to many factors however my boss want to ensure that the ad triggers everytime someone search for our product plus target location name.

    What i have done is created a new ad group which targets phrases like 'product name location'. is this the best way to target? could someone share their knowledge?


    note: I know this is an old therad but rather than creating a new one I just though to ask a question in here as its relevant.
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