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Avoid the Set & Forget Mentality: 2 Things to Test for AdWords Success (Part 5/5)

There’s no secret to getting AdWords right, you won’t get it right every single time. The only secret I can share with you is that testing will become your new right hand man. You have to continuously test and try different things out in order to reach your goals and make the most out of your budget.

Over the past four articles we have covered off KPIs, account structure, keywords & ad copy.
Finally you’ve reached last step in the AdWords process, testing.

There’s no secret to getting AdWords right, you won’t get it right every single time. The only secret I can share with you is that testing will become your new right hand man. You have to continuously test and try different things out in order to reach your goals and make the most out of your budget.

AdWords have a great tool called campaign drafts & experiments which allows you to test changes such as: Ad copy, keyword match types & landing pages.

If you are wanting to test other things such as Geo-targeting, you will need to do so manually. The options below will teach you how to begin.

Location Targeting (Geo-targeting)

First of all, Location targeting is basically what is sounds like. It allows you to target specific locations for your convenience or to reduce your budget wastage. You can target:

Countries

This option is suitable if you provide products/services to an entire country. Targeting a whole country allows you to have a wider reach than just targeting a single city. If you are a business that only targets a particular region or city, then you would not target the whole country.

Areas Within a Country

This option is suitable if your business doesn’t service an entire country. By targeting areas within a country it allows you to make the most of your budget by only showing ads to specific locations such as: Regions, cities or postcodes.

Radius Around a Location

This option allows you to target customers within a certain proximity of your business. You can also exclude certain locations. Setting up location targeting is relatively simple. Go into your AdWords interface, and choose a campaign that you would like to set up targeting for. Select the settings tab and then locations.

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Once you have selected locations, you will see this screen where you will select the red button that reads “+Locations.”

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This screen will allow you to select the countries/cities/regions you wish to target.

Now we have gone through the set up, let’s talk about testing it.

Geo-Test 1: One campaign with location bid adjustments on best performing areas

Let’s say that you sell pink hats to the whole of Australia. You may want to set up a campaign targeting Australia and let that campaign run for a few weeks before examining to see which areas are performing the best. After doing so, you can run a report within AdWords to decipher which are your best performing areas. Let’s say that you ran the report and Melbourne & Sydney are your highest converting areas. You would then duplicate the original campaign, and change the targeting to target the whole of Australia, but also Sydney & Melbourne, where you would set a bid adjustment to those two cities.

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Geo-Test 2: Three campaigns targeting separate locations

Based on the theory above, let’s say you have already discovered that Melbourne & Sydney are your better performing areas. For this test, you will want to create two more campaigns. One campaign will be set to target Melbourne only, one to target Sydney only and the original campaign will target the whole of Australia. Both new campaigns would have the same budgets and keywords.

This strategy allows you to be very targeted in your ad copy and have total control over budgets. By testing one of the previous strategies, you can decipher which area converts better and at a lower cost, and potentially you may want to allocate all your budget to that city alone.

There are many different things you can test in AdWords, location targeting is just one of them. Testing doesn’t have to be rocket science, you make an optimisation, let it run for a few weeks and then review it. Did it work? Great! Let’s keep that change permanently. Did it fail? That’s ok. Now you know that that particular optimization doesn’t perform well for what you are advertising, and you move on to the next one.

AdWords is an ever changing & evolving platform, constantly introducing exciting new features & new ways to do things. Make sure that you’re constantly learning and playing around with all of their really cool features. If you ever get stuck, there are tons of helpful articles just like this one out there on the web. If all else fails, there’s always Google Chat!

The content and advice contained in this post may be out of date. Last updated on November 28, 2016.

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