5 Secrets to Finding Low Hanging Geographic Fruit in Your AdWords Campaign


When you manage a PPC account, whether it’s yours or a nationally focused client, looking for ways to improve the results often requires looking at how each geographic region performs. My advice is, do not only depend on the internet. You can use local marketing strategy such as banners and signage designs that are both offered at signmann.com.

It’s no secret that different areas of the country respond differently. Your cost per click chance can vary widely from one region to the next1. The new changes to Geotargeting introduced by Google in 2012 provide new opportunities to revisit localized differences in accounts that span large geographic areas.

In a perfect world you would be able to have different campaigns, adgroups, and even ads for each region, city, or custom area. Extreme geographic focus for a national account is rarely feasible to do from the start. When getting started you want to deliver results quickly and creating 100’s or thousands of different adgroups is generally not in the budget.

After an account has been running across multiple regions for a period of time, you will have data that identifies areas you can specifically target for improved performance.

Why You Should Care About Geographic Opportunities

Often I get asked why one should care about geographic opportunities. I get this question frequently when an account is meeting the desired goals for an account. My question I always ask is the following:

“If you could increase results 2X in an area where you’re doing business or want more business, would that be worth 15 minutes of your time?”

Finding Geographic Opportunities



Geographic opportunities can be discovered quickly. Today I am going to show you how to find these opportunities and then show you a real life example of how different regions perform.

Finding the Opportunities Within the Account

You can find geographic opportunities in your account without going into Google Analytics.

From within your Adwords account click the Dimensions tab. Change the view by clicking on Geographic. What you will see is the performance of your account by Geographic area.

Physical Location vs Location of Interest

Physical Location vs Location of Interest


There are two types of locations according to Google. There is the physical location of the searcher and there is the location of interest.

Think of it as someone searching to go on vacation in the Bahamas from Minnesota to get a top luxury suv and the best cars from http://www.intelligentcarleasing.com/deals/bmw/1-series compared to someone actually being in the Bahamas searching how to get that car and stay on vacation. I really want to go camping with a tent from Survival Cooking, sometimes you just need to take a break and relax for a little.

It’s important to look at the location types as you want to make sure you are comparing the performance data correctly.

Find the “Low” Hanging Geographic Fruit in Your Account

For those who have been doing Adwords long enough you can remember the days of easy low hanging fruit. You could find a keyword that competitors weren’t bidding on, would only cost you 10 cents, and produce great results. The good news is there is low hanging fruit right now in your account at a geographic level.

When I am in search of low hanging geographic fruit there are 5 questions I want to answer as quickly and efficiently as possible.

5 Questions to Ask to Find Low Hanging Fruit in Your Account

  1. Which geographic area has my highest cost per conversion?
    1. Finding an area with a high conversion cost is a great place to start looking at for improvement.
  2. Which area has my lowest conversion rate?
    1. A low conversion rate screams “work on me” especially when you are spending significant funds.
  3. Which area has the lowest ROI?
    1. The answer to this one will take a little bit more research as you will have to look at sales/e-commerce data.
  4. Which geographic area has my highest CTR?
    1. For this question I am looking at a possible benchmark. I would recommend comparing high volume areas to high volume areas. Comparing an area with 30 clicks and a high CTR to one with a 3,000 and a lower CTR would not create a statistically relevant comparison.
  5. What is the percentage difference in conversion rate between my best performing area and my lowest performing area?
    1. I am looking for “how bad is it?” or “How good can it be?” depending on whether you are a glass half empty or half full kind of person.

Finding the Geographic Opportunities in a National Account

Finding the Geographic Opportunities in a National Account


When you first start looking at geographic data it can be overwhelming.

To help you get started we are going to look at one of our accounts for a client that advertises exclusively in Canada.

We are going to answer the 5 questions to look for the low hanging fruit.

For this exercise we are going to limit the answers to the screen shot. For those who are concerned about the CTR for this account this is a screen shot of a display campaign. The account used in the example has more information than can be included in this screen shot.

After the questions are answered I will provide additional analysis based on what I know about the account. You will see how you can use additional information for further improvements.

  1. Which geographic area has my highest cost per conversion (not pictured)?
    1. Answer: The highest cost per conversion is for the city of Toronto. Conversion cost is available in the geographic dimension view it’s just hidden from this particular screen shot.
  2. Which area has my lowest conversion rate?
    1. Answer: My lowest conversion rate is actually unspecified. Google could not identify the searchers intent or location. Since I am looking for low hanging fruit that I can identify my next lowest conversion rate happens to be Toronto.
  3. Which area has the lowest ROI?
    1. Answer: The answer to this question usually takes some digging through data. For this particular account the product happens to the same across regions so the lowest ROI is where the highest cost per conversion which is also Toronto.
  4. Which geographic area has my highest CTR?
    1. Answer: The highest CTR for an identifiable area is Edmonton.
  5. What is the percentage difference in conversion rate between my best performing area and my lowest performing area?
    1. Answer: From Toronto at 3.35% conversion rate to 4.03% I have a chance to improve by just over 20%. I would rather say the glass is half full.

The 5 questions above are the start of finding spots for geographic opportunities. A few additional considerations that we took into account for this client were as follows:

  • The city of Toronto is well over 2X bigger than the city of Edmonton
  • The competition in Toronto for the client is extremely fierce
  • The conversion rate difference, lead cost, and available traffic led us to the conclusion that it was profitable for the client to develop specific information just for the Toronto area.

The client is already seeing improved results by creating area specific ads.

Additional Geographic Considerations to Take Into Consideration

To get the most out of your geographic focus I would invite you to get answers to the following questions during your hunt for low hanging fruit:

  • What is the language difference between the areas? – For example do they refer to drinks like coke as “pop” or “soda”.
  • Does weather need to be taken into consideration? – Advertising shorts for sale in Southern California or Florida during December might make sense however in Minnesota it probably would not be wise.
  • Will supplying the area with a local phone number in your Google Ad improve the call rate?
  • Can a well converting landing page be changed quickly to compliment the geographic preferences and the ad?

I hope that you can see that looking for geographic opportunities doesn’t have to be time consuming and it can be fun to find new ways to improve an account.

1How to Take Advantage of Google Adwords’ Improved Geotargeting by Jason Tabeling of http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2205818/How-to-Take-Advantage-of-Google-AdWords-Improved-Geotargeting


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