Get Local with AdWords

Thursday, April 5, 2012 | 12:16 PM

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Get organized this spring with new location features in AdWords and share your stories

Over the past 30 years, California Closet Company has grown from the brainchild of a college student organizing his dorm room closet to a successful business with more than 77 franchise locations. To reach customers across the U.S. and internationally, the company centered their digital marketing strategy on creating locally relevant campaigns.

It’s no surprise that local campaigns are a focus for many businesses--from finding directions to looking up a phone number, more people are going online to find local information. In fact, more than 20% of searches on Google are related to location, and people often act quickly on local searches. Research shows that using smartphones, 88% of people who search for local information take action within a day.

To help you organize your local ad campaigns this spring, we’re introducing three new features in AdWords to help you create ads that are more relevant to local customers.

Target customers by zip code
If you customize your direct mail, outdoor ads, or newspaper ads at a postal code level, you now can easily do the same in AdWords in the US. We are introducing the ability to target more than 30,000 US ZIP Codes with your AdWords campaigns.

You will be able to add up to 1,000 postal codes at a time to your search ad campaigns with AdWords Location Targeting. Plus, you can get feedback on the performance of your local campaigns by viewing campaign performance statistics at the postal code level.

"Location targeting within AdWords helped us double lead volume and cut the cost to acquire new customers in half,” said Lois Erbay, Director of Marketing, California Closet Company. “We plan on building on that success by using ZIP Code targeting to create even more locally relevant campaigns for our customers.”


More locally relevant ads in less time
To help you easily create a custom ad title, text, display URL, and/or destination URL for all of your locations at scale, we’ve developed location insertion for location extensions. You’ll no longer need to create multiple ads for multiple locations--this new feature automatically inserts the city, phone number, or zip code of your local business into your ad text.

For example, if your ad text says: “Find a {lb.city:Local} Store or Shop Online,” a user viewing your ad in Chicago would see: “Find a Chicago Store or Shop Online.” This new feature cuts out all the work to building out ad text featuring local information for all your locations.

Ad with location insertion in the text and display URL

“We’ve had amazing success manually customizing our creative with local information for our top markets, which shows us that customers want locally-relevant results when it comes to a service like storage,” said Chris Laczi, Advertising Director, Uncle Bob's Self Storage. “That’s why we’re very excited about location insertion. It will simplify the task of creating locally customized ads for our 400+ locations, and we expect it will greatly enhance conversion rate of our ads.”

You must have location extensions set up and running in order to enable location insertion. Location insertion will work even if your location extensions don’t show because of other extensions. We detect location based on where your customer is physically located or by the geographic locations she may have shown interest in.


Better clarity and control
When we launched advanced location targeting in March 2011, we provided you with more control over how you geographically target your ads. Based on advertiser feedback, we’re implementing four additional enhancements that will make location targeting options clearer and more powerful. Read more about these enhancements in the Help Center and in this blog post.

There is significant opportunity for businesses to reach local customers online and win moments that matter by delivering the right ad in the right context. Stay tuned for more information on how ZIP Code targeting can help you grow your business.

We want to hear from you about your success in getting local with AdWords--share your story here and we might reach out to you to participate in our upcoming blog posts.

Posted by Richard Holden, Product Management Director (cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog)