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I'm a local service business that services 5 core towns very well but we also service 10-15 towns frequently but can't provide nearly the same level of service as the core 5 towns. What's a "Best Practices" approach to this common local business problem from a Campaign Structure perspective?

One Solution I'm considering: 2 Campaigns

Have a Core Business Area Campaign with Ad groups that really make stronger advertising statements, maybe has a higher budget and more restrictive location area. And then have a Selective Business Area or Broader Business Area campaign that is a little more restrained as far as claims of what we offer, maybe has a lower budget and reaches a larger location?

If this is a good solution, would it be OK if the locations in these areas overlapped because wouldn't the higher bidding Core Campaign campaign overwrite the lower bidding Broader Business Area campaign?

Alternatively - only 1 campaign: With 1 campaign, I'd be able to use the bid adjustments at the location level.

I'm feeling like it makes sense to have 2 campaigns but I was hoping someone on here might be aware of best practices.

1 Answer 1

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Campaign 1: Core Towns

Primary campaign with most of your budget that is your primary focus.

  • Target the geographic area that all towns cover
  • Targeting config: Reach people in, regularly in, or who’ve shown interest in, your targeted locations
  • List the 5 locations on your ads with a globally scoped (campaign wide) Call Out Extension to add local relevancy
  • Leverage Dynamic search Ads

Campaigns 2-15: Other Towns

I would create individual campaigns for each town included in the 10-15 you regularly do business in but don't provide the same level of service to.

  • Target one town for each campaign and exclude all other towns - otherwise you risk competing with yourself
  • You can run Single Keyword Ad Groups (assuming that strategy is still a thing, it was optimal 3-4 years ago, but Google Ads changes all the time)
  • Targeting config: Reach people in or regularly in your targeted locations

Here's my reasoning:

  1. Granular control over which towns you're running ads in at a given time
  2. Ability to run ads for different services in each different area
  3. Maybe these are typically lower ROI jobs since it's not your core services - or maybe travel time is longer since it's outside your normal service area. If you have someone scheduled for a job in one of these specific towns you might want to also schedule some ads while they're out there to potentially get an extra job in and make the most of the trip. (Depends on your business, taking a shot in the dark)
  4. Ability to turn off lower performing town campaigns while keeping others active
  5. Increase or decrease daily budget based on town
  6. Ad relevancy - perhaps these towns are more spread apart and including the exact town name in your headline will increase CTR

About 4 years ago I managed SEO at a startup in the home services space (plumbing, hvac, electrical) and I had to also manage PPC. This is basically how I set up the account structure. This definitely qualified as "best practices" at the time. We later hired a (legit) PPC specialist who I passed the campaigns off to that basically made a few minor tweaks, but otherwise left the structure how I had it.

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    This is an incredible answer! Well-formatted, detail-heavy, explanations, etc etc. Thank you!
    – JustinP
    Sep 8, 2021 at 19:34
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    This is an interesting read on your SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Group) comment. seerinteractive.com/blog/… It seems like Google is appreciating fewer ad groups and a mix match of match-types.. letting their algorithm to do it's thing. and that's currently producing good results.
    – JustinP
    Sep 8, 2021 at 19:40
  • @JustinP Yeah I actually gave a friend/former colleague a call who is a Paid Search Director at ClientBoost (big agency out in California) - he basically said the same thing, but that SKAGs do still work but don't give you the edge that they used to. Definitely not deal breaker for our individual campaign Other Towns approach. If #3 in my reasoning can apply to your model then you're golden. Sep 8, 2021 at 19:57
  • In a rare coincidence, I'm going to be setting up a PPC campaign next week. Funny how that works. Solid article from Seer tho btw. Sep 8, 2021 at 20:02

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