Purposeful targeting to drive traffic is the essential point of both organic SEO and paid search. Utilizing tools in each mode of internet marketing allows for the catering of specific messages to different contexts. This assists the ability to split test ads for paid search and bring localized web searchers to your web properties in terms of SEO. Now, new zip-code and location functionality out this week from Google allows for marketers using AdWords to target over 30,000 ZIP codes offering a greater ability to more specifically cater the ad message to a specific location. Similarly, “Location Insertion,” another new feature, gives marketers the freedom to establish a single ad and have information placed into that ad depending on the locations of the search queries that initiate it. The two features are considered location extensions in AdWords, and they have important implications for businesses partnering with SEO companies in an effort to increase paid search spend and traffic.

Location Extension in Use
In terms of using the postal codes, marketers can add up to 1,000 ZIP codes at a single time and will have analytic reporting for ad campaigns per ZIP code, which makes all the difference for marketers. This allows them to see, track, and make campaign changes based on actual performance. “The Location Insertion” feature will place town or city information in the displayed ad. The town name, ZIP code, and phone numbers can be put into the title of the ad, its body text, actual URL, or display URL. This feature will work as well even when other extensions have precedence over the location extensions.

Location insertion will work even if other extensions (such as sitelinks) take precedence over your location extensions. Additionally, with advance location targeting, there is a slight change that allows marketers to select “Target using physical location: Device-based location signals.” So when customers are searching something in a specific location say in San Francisco, but the searcher is in Denver, the search query intent does not override searcher location in determining which ads display. It can, but essentially there are more options now to choose if that is desired or not. If a marketer wants to have ads for San Francisco display when the search originates in San Francisco even though the query intent relates to Denver, then they can.

Further, marketers can utilize another change with location signals on the Google Display Network. Marketers can target searchers based on the content of the pages they are viewing as it relates to a specific location. So ads can be targeted to a person about a specific location if they are viewing pages that contain information about that geographic spot.

Essential Takeaway
Businesses now have more options in terms of targeting. Some verticals are impacted more than others with these changes. As a Search Engine Land article on the subject details, it appears the travel sector is potentially most impacted as users can be searching for travel or vacation information in one location but still be targeted for relevant ads for their own location. Beyond the travel sector, businesses should evaluate these changes and determine if they could benefit from maximizing them – if they cater to a specific spot, chances are they can and should be using these features.

Reach out to me at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com if you have any questions regarding how your business can utilize ppc and the advance location targeting features in your traffic driving initiatives.