Why You Should Proactively Layer Your PPC Targeting

orange layer cakeA while back I read this article on the SEER blog about adding in Income Targeting without adding in any bid adjustments and it got me thinking: why don’t we do that with all targeting types that can use bid modifiers? As PPC pros, we routinely review different areas of our PPC accounts to see if we should segment targeting based on performance. But with the current uses of bid modifiers, there’s no real reason to be reactive anymore. It makes more sense to be proactive with different aspects of your account when it comes to targeting. Here’s the why and the how.

Why Proactive Targeting is Better

The main idea behind proactive targeting is to spend a little time up front to save a larger amount of time later. So let’s break that down. We’ll start with a little extra time up front.

Extra Time Upfront

I’m going to rely on common knowledge to say that if you add in fifty targeting pieces rather than one (if you were to individually target each state in the U.S. rather than just the country), it’s going to take a bit more time to carry out. Simple. Then, if you’re using one of the desktop editors, you can easily copy/paste those new 50 targets into each campaign. The same goes for any other layer-friendly targeting types. A little more effort at first that you can then copy/paste easily.

Saving Time Later

When we look to analyze areas of our account when we’re wanting to take advantage of bid modifiers, the process can be a bit long. For geographic targeting, for example, getting that data requires a trip to the Dimensions tab, adding in your chosen targeting pieces (region, metro area, city, most specific location, etc.) then analyzing the data, making decisions, and adding in targeting layers to take advantage of modifiers.

This might not be a horrible process, but it certainly takes some time. Now think about it if your campaign that targets the United States already had the 50 states targeted separately. You’d be able to use the Locations portion of the Settings tab to see pretty quickly which states were performing better or worse than your goal, adjust bid modifiers immediately, then pull more specified metro or city level reports based on areas that were in need of tweaking.

What to Layer

The short answer here is: it’s up to you. Based on your target audience, it might make sense for you to take advantage of one or all of the following different areas of an account that can be bid modified:

  • Geotargeting (states, metros, cities)
  • Remarketing Lists
  • Time of Day
  • Day of the Week
  • Income Levels
  • Locations of Interest (airports, universities, commercial areas)

Granted, adding these layers in up front might not save you hours and hours of work in later months, but it certainly can save some headache of needing to add them in later, gives a much better at a glance view of how each is performing, and allows for easy, real time adjustments of bid modifiers on the fly.

Do you proactively layer in targeting in your campaigns? What benefits or drawbacks do you think would come from this strategy? Share with us in the comments!

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