Geo Ad Customizers - An Antidote for PPC Complexity

August 16, 2017

7 Minute Read


It’s a classic paid search dilemma. Your client’s products and promotions vary by state, leading them to ask for tailored messaging in each targeted location. It’s a fair request, but depending on how your account is set up, it could be a huge headache to implement. Since location targeting settings are only available at the campaign level, you would need to create a separate campaign for each state just to alter the messaging. For larger accounts, you may already be set up for state-level campaigns, but that level of complexity might not make sense for smaller or mid-size clients.

There are a few drawbacks to a state-level campaign set-up

 Implementation Time

One of the most obvious challenges state-level campaigns create is the time it takes to set them up. When a copy request is urgent, it may not be feasible to create 50 copies of each campaign, especially if campaigns require client approval, UTM tracking, onboarding to bid management platforms, or the completion of a post-launch QA.


While implementation is a one-time obstacle, scaling an account can strain company resources for the entirety of your engagement. Changes to keywords or ad copy would need to be made across 50 times as many campaigns, which could be automated to some extent but would still require a manual check to ensure accuracy. The more time you’re spending on making changes, the less time you have to think strategically and chase proactive opportunities.

Data Dilution

This drawback is a little less intuitive, but it can make a huge difference for advertisers with a small number of total conversions. Most small or mid-size advertisers measuring orders as their primary KPI may only receive about 100 sales a day. In a 10-campaign account with even sales across each campaign (10 sales/day per campaign), you would only need to wait about 3 days to reach significant levels of data (if we’re adhering to n=30 for statistical significance). Once you break that account into 500 campaigns, you’re looking at 150 days to gain insight into how a campaign is performing leaving months of missed opportunities on the table.

Even for larger advertisers with many more daily sales, the same challenge arises when looking at keyword-level data. For example, you could easily optimize bids for a keyword that targets all states and has 50 orders over the last 30 days. If that same keyword was split across 50 different states, you wouldn’t be able to come to any valid conclusions about that keyword’s value after only 1 order. You could aggregate the data in Excel, but that would only add to time and complexity, leading to the challenges outlined above.

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There is a solution

The list could go on, but the good news is that you don’t have to deal with these difficulties in AdWords thanks to Geo Ad Customizers. Instead of requiring different campaigns for each state, you can vary your ad copy by location using the steps outlined here. The result is a single ad that swaps in specific prices, discounts, or details for each location based on the information you provide in the uploaded spreadsheet.

One of our vacation rental clients had a specific promotion running only in Florida, so rather than creating a separate Florida campaign, we leveraged geo ad customizers to create a message specifically for people living in Florida. Not only were we able to avoid adding campaigns and complexity; we added “Florida” to the ad headlines, giving us an edge in relevance compared to the competition. The result was an 18.4% CTR, more than double that of the account average! 

Whether it’s to avoid scaling or create a more compelling message, geo ad customizers are a valuable but under-utilized tool you should take advantage of before the rest of the industry catches on. Interested in a company that works smarter to achieve outstanding outcomes? Check out some of our open positions or contact us to find out how we can help you be found online!

In the meantime, you can check out our eBook on how to choose the right paid media agency for your business.


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The BFO Team

Here at BFO, we're always striving to bring you the latest and greatest in digital marketing insights and education. We're not ones to brag, but we've been lucky enough to be featured in all sorts of fancy publications and media outlets, strutting our stuff and showing off our industry expertise.