google adwords: how to adjust your bidding based on location

If you are using Google Adwords for your online marketing, you will notice you have access to a whole lot of information about the visitors to your website. One of the important info you get is the geographic location of the visitors or the users who click on your ads. This location information can be very good resource as to where you should spend your advertising dollars.

Some locations will convert better than other locations in the Google Campaigns. The general rule of thumb is that you spend a major part of your budget on users who convert the most and bring you the maximum revenue or profit.

Google Adwords gives the ability to adjust your bids for the keywords based on the location of the target audience. Location settings apply to campaigns and not the individual ad groups. This means you can modify bids based on location for an entire campaign, including all the ad groups in it.

  1. Go to Adwords web interface
  2. Click on Campaigns on top menu
  3. Click the campaign you want to modify in the left hand side menu
  4. Click on Settings tab in the main content area
  5. Click on Locations tab in the sub-menu below Settings

You might already have the location in the table, if not you will need add the location that you want to target first into the table. You can do so using the +Locations button at the top of the table.

  1. Click on +Locations button
  2. Enter the location that you want to add into the text box
  3. Click the add link next to the location you want

Add all the locations that you want to specifically target to the table. Once you have the locations, you can start adjusting the bids for each of these locations.

  1. Click on the Bid Adj column in the table next to the desired location
  2. In the popup window, specify the relative percent for the location

You can increase or decrease the bid amount for specific locations. The bid amount is based on the default max cpc set on the campaign. You can specify a percentage by which the bid should either be increased (or decreased). You choose this value based on the conversion rates for each of the location.

Ideally, you should set the default bid for the entire campaign to an amount that you would like for all the locations that you are targeting. I usually tend to set it to a lower value as I am conscious of the over all budget.

After you have set the bid, run the campaign for a few days or weeks in order to get relevant data. Once you have enough data, increase the bid amount by about 10% for the best performing location, at the same time decreasing the bid amount by 20% for worst performing location. Then repeat this process every week or two (depending on your traffic). There is no real reason I use the 10% and 20% numbers, you could use any that you are comfortable with: something like 1% or 5% will do just as well.

The reason why the worst location is set to decrease at a higher rate (20% percent in the previous example) is to offset the overall increase in the budget. You probably will want to keep the overall budget more or less the same and this helps you do it. As I said, the exact amount will be specific to campaign and will depend on your budget.