Amanda Krause – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Wed, 20 Feb 2019 19:39:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Improving PPC relevance with ZIP code-based geotargeting /improving-ppc-relevance-with-zip-code-based-geotargeting-298299 Fri, 18 May 2018 18:24:00 +0000 /?p=298299 Contributor Amanda Krause explains how to utilize ZIP code targeting to improve ad relevance and conversion rate for multilocation paid advertising campaigns.

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If a company has multiple brick-and-mortar locations within a city or metropolitan area, this can create challenges in advertising overlap, self-competition and ad relevance.

This article will focus on lessons learned to manage a pay-per-click (PPC) program for a dental provider with multiple offices located across a multistate region and will illustrate the benefit of moving from a city or region PPC targeting strategy to a ZIP code approach.

Limited performance

Initially, the company utilized paid search to cast a broad net across each city or metro area where they have an office.

In reviewing the account and geographic results, we discovered there were specific ZIP codes within the region that received stronger click-through rates and conversions. Since the budget was evenly distributed across the entire city or region, this limited performance to these top-performing ZIP code targets and distributed too much of the budget to lower-performing areas.

Here is an example of this ZIP code analysis:

We also had the opportunity to compare ZIP-code PPC performance to the company’s new patient acquisition data. We were able to verify that a greater portion of new patients did indeed come from these high-performing PPC ZIP codes.

Taking it one step further, we identified that new patients were often located within a three-mile radius of each practice location. This provided some valuable insights in terms of bid adjustments based on searcher location.

Bid adjustments

Based on our findings, we optimized each campaign by utilizing bid adjustments to prioritize ads serving to top-performing ZIP codes.

Implementation tactics included increased bid adjustments for ZIP codes that historically provided stronger click-through rates, conversions and new patient acquisitions for the client. We also reduced bid adjustments for ZIP codes which were still relevant for targeting yet did not provide strong results.

Here is a sampling of the bid adjustments:

The campaigns were also enhanced with the addition of keywords with top-performing ZIP codes as modifiers. This included keywords such as +dentist +80504 to capture granular and more tightly focused search traffic. ZIP-code bid adjustments improved relevance and performance across all optimized markets.


Comparing results (for a 90-day period before and after bid and keyword optimizations), we saw significant improvements across all of our optimized ZIP code campaigns. This included:

  • Conversion rate increase of 212 percent.
  • 13 percent decrease in average cost per click (CPC).
  • 4 percent increase in average click-through rate (CTR).
  • Cost per conversion decrease of nearly 60 percent.

Here are a few charts showing these improvements:


Moving from a city optimization strategy to a more granular ZIP code approach allowed us to better adjust bids (based on proximity to office), serve more relevant ads, improve program efficiency and more effectively allocate budget.

This, in turn, led to improved conversion and the acquisition of additional patients.

I urge digital marketers who manage multilocation campaigns to analyze results by ZIP code and test a granular optimization approach in terms of keywords, budgets and bids.

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PPC strategy: Planning beyond the click /ppc-strategy-planning-beyond-click-276678 Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:31:17 +0000 http:/?p=276678 Your paid search campaign may be getting a lot of clicks, but are you really making the most of them? Columnist Amanda Krause discusses how to succeed by focusing on the post-click experience.

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Google AdWords, Bing Ads and other paid media platforms are attractive channels to reach a targeted audience, foster brand awareness and increase revenue. Far too often, however, we find that regardless of how successful a campaign is at the top of the funnel, what happens beyond the click is paramount to the success of any pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.

When working with an industry professional, the first question that is almost always asked is, “What are your goals?” However, it goes far beyond that. When defining the call to action (CTA) for the campaign, it is important to understand where that action leads, the touch points for the client once they follow through on the CTA, how that user will be nurtured through the funnel, and the lifetime value of that lead.

Not only is this important in creating a successful campaign, this is equally as important in determining your return on ad spend.

Campaign success is not always defined by top-level metrics

Click-through rates may be optimal, conversion rates may be off the charts and cost per click may be low; these top-level metrics are great to achieve, but they do not tell the whole story. If the lead is sent to an unresponsive call center, gets added to an email list that never gets utilized or is presented with a product that is not available, what is the true value of that lead?

Before considering PPC as marketing channel, it is important to define the exact flow that user will experience once they click on the ad, fully test the user experience and understand the process that converts that prospect to revenue.

This is true of paid search, paid social, remarketing, display, shopping and YouTube advertising. A successful Facebook ads campaign may grow your business page likes by 1,000 percent — but if that page isn’t utilized to interact with the audience, the user will soon forget about the page, the business and what encouraged them to click “like” in the first place.

Focus on the post-click experience

What is the campaign trying to capture from each potential customer? A form fill? A phone call? A purchase? The call to action determines which experience and sales funnel the prospect will ideally work through after they fill out the form, make a call or complete a purchase.

Marketers must understand the prospect’s entire journey, starting from the CTA. Consider the following:

  • If the CTA is a phone call, who is answering the phone? Are they trained to nurture that lead into the next stage of the funnel? And is there enough manpower to properly handle a call influx from the campaign without an increase in wait time for the potential customer?
  • If we are capturing an email from a form fill, is there a drip campaign set up, tested and current that will nurture these new leads? What is the average amount of time it takes for a new lead to convert to revenue?
  • If we are reaching for a purchase, is the product available? Has the user experience of the website been optimized and tested? Is there a remarketing tag in place to recapture that lead after a cart abandonment? Additionally, is there an email campaign in place to continue to nurture that customer after the initial sale?

The ability to answer these questions determines the post-click success of a paid media campaign and ensures that valuable ad spend is not wasted on an unprepared funnel.

A high-performing PPC campaign is just the tip of the iceberg, and it is important to define what success means. A high rate of conversion is simply the start, but what happens beyond that conversion is truly what makes a campaign successful.

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