Adjust bids for AdWords location targets with a DS bid strategy

About DS bid strategies and location-target bid adjustments

In AdWords campaigns, you can use geo-location targets, proximity targets, and location extension targets to adjust bids depending on the location that a customer searches from or has expressed interest in. Instead of manually setting these bid adjustments, you can set up a DS bid strategy to automatically set the optimal bid adjustments based on a conversion or revenue goal.

For example:

  1. You set up a location extension target to increase bids when customers located within 5 miles of your business search for your products.
  2. You create a DoubleClick Search (DS) bid strategy to maximize the number of "View online catalog" conversions.
  3. The bid strategy finds the optimal bid adjustments for searches that occur within your location extension target.

By default, a DS bid strategy will simply recommend bid adjustments for location targets. You can periodically view the recommendation and apply the adjustment when it suits your needs. If you prefer, you can set up a bid strategy to apply the bid adjustment automatically.

As with all bid strategies, DS needs to observe activity on the keywords and other targeting items in the portfolio before it can optimize bids, and before it can recommend or apply bid adjustments.

Important details

Is this available for searches from any location?

To adjust bids based on a customer's location, you first have to set up location targets (proximity targets, geo-location targets, and location extension targets). Once you've set up the targets, you can adjust bids either manually or automatically using a bid strategy.

Applicable only at the campaign level

Only bid strategies that are applied to entire campaigns can recommend or apply bid adjustments for location targets (this is because location targets themselves exist at the campaign level).

If you apply a bid strategy directly to an ad group, keyword, or other targeting item, the bid strategy cannot recommend or adjust bids for location targets.  

For example:

  1. You set up location targets for CampaignA and CampaignB.

  2. You create a bid strategy that optimizes bids and sets bid adjustments for location targets.

  3. You apply the bid strategy to all of CampaignA and only 30 keywords in CampaignB.

The bid strategy will respond as follows:

  • Optimize bids for all keywords in CampaignA and for the 30 keywords in CampaignB.

  • Set bid adjustments for the location targets in CampaignA, which affects all keywords in CampaignA.

  • It will not set bid adjustments for the location targets in CampaignB, since the bid strategy isn't applied to CampaignB.

If you apply a bid strategy to a campaign and then change a keyword or other targeting item to never use a bid strategy, the bid strategy will still consider the targeting item's performance when adjusting or recommending bids for the other targeting items in the campaign.

Auto-tagging is required

DoubleClick Search requires that auto-tagging is enabled for your AdWords accounts and that a campaign has a minimum of about 32 days of performance history before a bid strategy can effectively set or recommend bid adjustments. 

Turn on auto-tagging at least 32 days before you allow a bid strategy to set location target bid adjustments to give the bid strategy enough time to learn and observe activity in campaign.

Floodlight and Google Analytics conversions are supported

Bid strategies that target Floodlight or Google Analytics conversions -- either directly or through a formula column -- can change or recommend bid adjustments for location targets.

Missing conversions for proximity targets or geo-location targets?

AdWords supports a couple of types of location targets that are not available in DS: points of interest and demographics. Although you can sign in to AdWords and create these targets, you can't create, manage, or report on them in DS.

If your proximity targets or geo-location targets overlap with points of interest and demographic targets, AdWords uses its own logic to determine which target to attribute for the click. If AdWords attributes a click to a points of interest or demographic target:

  • The click and any associated conversion will not appear on the Targets: Locations tab, even if you have proximity targets or geo-location targets that also match.

  • Any location bid adjustments you set in DS will not apply to the search, even if you have proximity targets or geo-location targets that also match. ​

Ready to get started?

  1. Create and apply a bid strategy for location-target bid adjustments.

  2. View and apply the bid strategy's recommendation.

    No matter which way you start (having the bid strategy recommend or automatically set adjustments), you can change this setting later on.

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