Whether you’re optimizing campaigns for Bing Ads, Bing Product Ads, AdWords, or Product Listing Ads, refining bids based on your audience’s location is a high-level best practice.

Geography-based bidding (a.k.a. geo-bidding and geotargeting) allows advertisers to modify bids based on a shopper’s location. For example, let’s say you’re a sporting/outdoors equipment retailer who ships across the continental US. Over time, you’ll perhaps start to see that customers in Arizona, Colorado, and California are your top-converters. Once this can be recognized, it makes sense to increase bids for these states because the intent to purchase is clearly higher than other states.

To add Geo-Bids go to the SETTINGS tab and choose Locations. You can then bulk-upload a list of States. View search term data on the DIMENSIONS tab by selecting the Search Terms view (note that States are listed under REGION).

Adding bid-modifiers on the State level is a good place to start. This allows you to boost bids on States that are driving high volume and/or efficient ROI.  Likewise, you can add negative modifiers for States with poor ROI. Here’s a gif for general setup below:

1) Go to Campaign Settings > Locations
2) Check mark the locations you’d like to dig into (ex: United States)
3) Select View Location Reports > What triggered your ad (Geographic)
4) Select the View: drop-down > State (could also do City here)
5) Run some filters based on your goal (trim wasted spend, improve visibility in profitable locations, etc).
6) Check the locations and select Add targets and set bid adjustment to apply bid modifiers

Set up your initial bid modifiers by:

1) Using at least 6 months of data to determine your initial bid increases & decreases

2) Limiting your initial bid optimizations to 5% to 10% (up to 15% for clear winners/losers).  This allows you to identify their impact without committing to major changes.

Geo-Bidding Best Practices

  • Start tracking Geographic performance as soon as you make the switch to the new Campaign – the State level is a perfect place to start
  • Decide which regions to target based on your site, audience, and performance goals.
  • Consider segmenting for online and B&M locations
  • Avoid setting location to the entire US to limit click spend
  • Exclude or decrease bids on areas which don’t improve ROI and CTR
  • Wait for 30-60 days of data to start adjusting bids based on conversion data, or use the Dimensions tab to evaluate historical Geographic performance
  • Evaluate performance of geo-bids monthly or quarterly
  • Add major cities (Chicago, New York, Atlanta, etc.) in addition to the States. These larger cities tend to drive a large % of orders in certain states so by targeting them specifically, you can get more aggressive.

Our very own CEO, Rick Backus, calls PLAs the “fastest growing product-advertising channel for retailers right now.” Will Bing Product Ads follow close behind?

For more advanced paid campaign best practices like geo-bidding and insights into how to own these 2 ad channels,

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