In my digital marketing career I have had the fortune to work on dozens of Adwords accounts for different businesses and industries in Toronto.
I’ve worked on accounts as a consultant and some times as the client. I’ve worked for and hired numerous digital agencies… this is just to say that I’ve been around and I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to Adwords.
The Big Mistake
One mistake that keeps popping up even in accounts managed by the top Adwords minds in Canada is related to geographic settings.
When it comes to Adwords, the trick is to get the most relevant clicks that have the highest chance of filling out a form and becoming a marketing qualified lead (MQL). Clicks that are irrelevant are a waste of money. In other words, keep bad clicks out and only get the peoples who are actually interested in your business. Keep costs down and revenue high = profits
Now here is a question: if your business is located in let’s say Oakville, and your clients are in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Mississauga, you would only want clicks from those locations. Makes sense, right?
Have you looked at the “User Location Report” lately?
What many Adwords professionals fail to do on a regular basis is to look at the “User Location Report”.
This is usually the VERY FIRST THING I look at when auditing an account. For example, here is what I found when looking at an account I manage:
This is a Toronto based company that targets Canadian companies. Notice anything wrong?
Big time! This specific account had been receiving clicks from around the world for the past 2 years accounting for close to 20% of their Adwords spend. That is a HUGE WASTE!
But how can this happen? I remember setting the location correctly!
When you set up a campaign, you probably encounter this little box:
You probably set the location to where ever you wanted your ads to show up in and moved on to the next steps. Or if you were careful you probably clicked on the info box where Google explains that your ads may show to people IN or INTERESTED IN your location.
It’s the “INTERESTED IN” part of the disclaimer where the devil hides. In theory, any person in the world who Google thinks is interested in your ad, will be served the ad. If you are a window cleaner in Burlington, and somebody in Argentina types”window cleaner burlington”, they might be served the ad.
Now, how can I fix this Adwords location-gate nonesense?
Conveniently hidden at the bottom of your campaign set-up lies a little button for “additional settings”
Click there and you’ll find the solution to the problem. Find “location options” and click to expand. Under the “Target” options all you need to do is select “People in your targeted location” which is probably what you wanted in the first place.
My guess is that most advertisers would want this option, so it’s puzzling why Google wouldn’t default to “People in your targeted location” to start with. Probably the reasons are financial since so much money from advertisers is wasted this way. Google doesn’t have much motivation to make a more clear disclaimer or to have it default differently.