Today while I was recording this week’s Paid Search Podcast episode with Chris, I came up with a new AdWords motto, better keywords allow for larger location targeting. The theory behind this saying is that the better your keyword targeting is, the larger your location targeting can be while still leading to quality traffic from AdWords.
I came up with this theory after buying my first suit this week. How I winded up being almost thirty years old before buying my first suit is a story for another day. But here I was, needing to buy my first suit, and not having a clue where to start.
Buying your first suit and not having any idea about how to get one is an overwhelming feeling. You want to look good and feel comfortable in your suit, but you don’t really know where to start. I had already failed at buying a suit off the rack at the large department stores, as nothing fit right. And I knew I didn’t want to walk into one of the big suit store chains and feel like an idiot with lots of people around and deal with potentially sub-standard customer service.
Instead, what I was looking for was your old fashioned local small business. I had never really thought about it before, but after striking out at the department store and reading the horrible online reviews of the bigger chains in my area, I had the thought, you know what, there must be some kind of upscale local small business suit store in my city for people just like me who have no idea how to go about buying a suit.
And then I went to Google.
I started searching phrases like men’s suit stores, men suits okc, and independent suit stores oklahoma city. Luckily I saw a local suit store business listed near the bottom of the organic results. I could tell from the website and their social media that this was just the kind of place I was looking for, and I made a plan to go there later in the week.
This store ended up being exactly what I was looking for. They had great clothes, and extremely great customer service. One of their employees helped me pick out a great suit and got it tailored to fit perfect for me. It was the exact kind of business I was looking for, and I’m so happy I found them. And I’m sure they’re happy I found them too ($$$). This is a wonderful business that truly serves a real need in the community.
Here’s where things get interesting. I live on the far other side of town from this business. It’s a good 30 to 45 minute drive for me to get to their location. But that didn’t matter to me. I happily drive the distance when I’m going to their store because I know I’m going to get the exact clothes and experience that I’m looking for. The distance means very little to me, and there are not many other options.
Unfortunately, this business does not yet advertise on AdWords (I’ll do my best to change that soon). And they are lucky I found them with them being listed all the way at the bottom of the organic search results. In order for me to find them on my phone, I had to scroll past ads, map listings, and organic listings from the chains, online retailers, and department stores. When you’re just listed one time at the bottom of the organic results, many people won’t find you.
This business should be advertising loud and proud with search ads at the top of Google. They are the best option for someone in my position, and they need to get in front of me and show me they’re the best option by getting themselves listed at the top of the Google search results with some big, beautiful paid ads. This business should be using Google AdWords to get in front of people who need to find a men’s suit store in the Oklahoma City area. Instead of getting lucky when people find them at the bottom of the search results, they need to guarantee I find them by getting themselves listed near or at the top of the results.
Now here is where keyword targeting and location comes into play.
Say the business owner decided to start running AdWords ads. There’s a good chance he’d say to himself, well, most of my business comes from people in this one part of Oklahoma City where I’m located, so I’m just going to run ads within a 5 mile radius around this part of town.
And there’s the mistake that many advertisers make. They run ads with a too-small location. But here’s the thing. If you target (and show up on) the right kinds of keywords, you can expand your location targeting and still get quality traffic, and more of it.
If this suit store ran an AdWords campaign and had great keyword targeting, and showed up on searches like men’s suit stores oklahoma city, custom suits okc, and local suit stores, then they could show ads to someone like me who was on the complete other side of the metro area (30 miles and 45 minutes away) and still get quality traffic from people like me. I was on the complete other side of town, but they offer exactly what I was looking for and I’d be happy to drive across town to go shop there.
So with effective keyword targeting, this business could target a wide location and still get high-quality traffic that would turn into paying customers. However, if the keyword targeting is not effective, and too loose, then the wider location could backfire. With loose keyword targeting, the wider location could lead to the budget being used up quickly on ineffective search terms.
The bottom line is that this suit store should be using an AdWords campaign with a wide location targeting and good keyword targeting to get in front of people like me in the metro area who are looking for exactly what they offer. And this story is a good example of how effective keyword targeting can allow an advertiser to successfully advertise to a larger area then they might think is possible.
The better your keyword targeting is, the larger your location targeting can be.