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SEO for Multiple Locations (Beginner’s Guide)

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SEO for Multiple Locations (Beginner's Guide)

To attract customers from certain geographic locations with organic search, you’ll need to start implementing SEO for multiple locations. But how exactly can you do this?

Let’s get started.

Multiple location SEO (MLS) is the process of optimizing your business’s organic search presence for multiple geographic locations. It may sound complicated, but it’s similar to regular SEO, with a few additions.

MLS is particularly important for businesses like restaurants, service-based businesses, or retail chains that have multiple stores with their own established presence. 

The benefits are that it enables your business to reach a larger audience—both in the online world and the offline world. 

So how do you get started? 

In Google, there are two primary ways to appear for geographic-based searches, either as part of the regular organic results or the map pack (also known as the local pack).

Infographic of map pack and regular organic results on Google SERP

Let’s take a look at how to optimize for these for multiple locations.

How to appear in the localized organic results

The first thing I look at is the website’s structure. 

If you have multiple physical locations, it’s a good idea to set up location-specific landing pages. But only if there is search demand for these pages and only if you have a physical location in those places.

But how can you work out what the search demand is? Simple—you can use Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.

Let’s say you own a dog walking business in the U.S. and you want to optimize it for the physical locations in New York City and Chicago. How do you do it?

If we open Keywords Explorer, plug in “dog walking services,” and head to the Matching terms report, we can see Chicago is a key location without even looking at the keyword list.

Matching terms report for "dog walking services," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Let’s dive into the keywords a bit more and look at all the popular locations for dog walking services.

List of dog walking locations with highlights, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

From the above list, we can see that these are the most searched for areas for dog walking services:

  • Chicago
  • Reston
  • NYC
  • Boston
  • Minneapolis 

Using this newly acquired knowledge, we can set up landing pages for our Chicago and NYC stores as a priority, knowing that there is search demand for these particular locations.

When setting up your new landing pages, it’s a good idea to start with the URLs. 

They should look something like this: 

  • yourwebsite.com/dog-walking-services/chicago/
  • yourwebsite.com/dog-walking-services/nyc/

Tip

If you see a location appear in Keywords Explorer in short form, e.g., “NYC” instead of “New York City,” it’s usually best to go with the most searched for version.

Once we have set up these pages, we can populate them with all the important information about that particular location. 

The important details to include are what’s known as your “NAP”—the name, address, and phone number of that business’s location.

Once you have added this, you can build out the location landing page(s) with further details of the business. This will help build trust with your customers.

It’s a good idea to put yourself in the shoes of your customers when doing this and think about what information they would be interested in.

If we take a look at one of the landing pages in the SERPs for “reston va dog walking,” we can see that it’s reasonably well optimized.

Reston VA Dog Walking landing page, via Paw Pals

It includes helpful information for customers, such as: 

  • The opening hours.
  • Certifications and awards it has won and associations it is part of.
  • Holiday schedule and pricing details.
  • Google rating widget.
  • Other areas served” list.
  • Contact form. 
  • Google map embed.

The NAP details are at the bottom of the page, with a contact form and phone number in the top right-hand corner.

NAP and opening hours example, via Paw Pals

Although these elements are for a dog walking site, you can see that these simple elements are reproducible for many businesses. 

The only extra information I would have added to this landing page is more detail about the staff providing the services.

With a quick check of this page using the Rich Results Test, I can see that it doesn’t have any location schema markup.

Schema is a further addition that you can make to your multiple-location landing pages. 

Without going into too much technical detail, I recommend checking out this guide that shows you how to optimize for multiple locations using schema.

Once you are done, it should look something like this in the Rich Results Test:

Multiple locations schema example, via Google Rich Results Test

How to appear in the local pack

Once you have set up your location-based landing page(s), it’s time to consider the other elements of your online presence, such as how to appear in the local pack results.

For location-based searches, Google typically shows the local pack at the top of the page ahead of the organic results.

If we search for the phrase “brewdog manchester”—(a popular craft beer brand + a city in the U.K.), we can see the local pack above the organic results.

Local pack example, via Google.com

If we search for the same keyword phrase on Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, the SERP overview shows us the details of the local pack and breaks out the same results in an easier-to-scan format.

Local pack highlight in SERP overview, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Setting up a Google Business Profile is the key to appearing in the local pack results. 

To do this, head over here to get started.

Google Business start page, via Google Business Profile

Once you have set up your main location and it’s verified, you’ll need to set up your other locations.

To do this, click on Add business in your Google Business Profile:

Google Business Profile; adding multiple locations example, via Google Business Profile

Then click on Add single business.

Adding a single business, via Google Business Profile

When you have filled out all of the relevant information for your different locations, you will have created your Google Business Profile. The business locations should start to show in the local pack once Google has verified your profile and the other locations.

If you have more than 10 locations to add, you can bulk import them by clicking on the Import businesses button instead.

You’ll then be prompted to download a template. Once you have downloaded and filled in the information, it will look something like this: 

Sample data CSV bulk upload

After you’ve filled everything out, it’s just a question of uploading the file by selecting Select file and then requesting bulk verification.

"Select file" option, via Google Business Profile

Once you have completed these steps, you can manage your multiple businesses through your Google Business Profile.

The optimization doesn’t stop once the above is done—in fact, you have only just started.

It’s an ongoing process of maintaining and optimizing your profile similarly to how you would optimize your website.

If you have fewer than 10 locations and didn’t do the bulk upload, you’ll first need to double-check that you have filled out all of the Google Business Profile information for your locations.

This means you should have checked the following:

The more information you give Google, the better your chances of ranking higher in the local pack.

If you haven’t already, you will need to add high-quality photos of your business. You can do this by logging into Google Business Profile and then returning to the search results. 

At the top of the SERP, Google will show a mini dashboard where you can update and manage your business profile. To update your photos, click on Add photo.

SERP dashboard for Google Business Profile

You can add three types of photos: Logos, Cover Photos, or Business Photos. These are the requirements for the photos:

  • Format: JPG or PNG
  • Suggested size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB
  • Recommended resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide
  • Minimum resolution: 250 px tall, 250 px wide
  • Quality: Photo should be in focus, well-lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters

Tip

Include interior shots of your business. And if you are a restaurant owner, it’s a good idea to include photos of your menu.

Updating your Google Business Profile is crucial for customers around holiday dates. 

Google is so concerned with the accuracy of its results it will occasionally phone you to confirm your business opening hours during these periods. 

I contacted Google to confirm whether this is still part of its checks, and it confirmed that it was.

Now that you have successfully added your locations, you can start to measure your performance.

You can do this by returning to the search results and clicking the Performance icon.

SERP dashboard with "Performance" icon highlighted, via Google Business Profile

Once you have done this, it will take you to an overview screen. 

You can click through the tabs to look at:

  • Calls
  • Messages
  • Bookings
  • Directions
  • Website clicks
Performance page and analytics, via Google Business Profile

From this screen, you can get an understanding of how your business is performing locally.

If you want to monitor the performance of your local landing pages, you can do this in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Let’s go back to the BrewDog example and imagine that we wanted to know the traffic performance of its top bars in the U.S.

To do this, we can plug BrewDog’s website in the Top pages report and then add a URL filter that contains “/bars/usa/” like so:

URL filter for USA bars, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This will enable us to filter the top-performing landing pages by Traffic.

Top U.S. BrewDog bars by organic traffic, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

From this, we can see that Cleveland is the top location in terms of organic traffic.

Using Site Explorer, we can look at all the key metrics for our location pages, such as:

  • Traffic.
  • Position.
  • Top keyword.
  • Number of ranking keywords the page has.
  • Estimate the value of the location page’s organic traffic.

Lastly, if you want to track positions, you can use a keyword tracking tool like Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker

Here’s an example of me entering a ZIP code to track in the U.S.: 

ZIP code selector example, via Ahrefs' Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker can track keyword rankings on a country, state, city, or ZIP code basis.

Final thoughts

Having an online presence for multiple locations is essential if your business relies on customers from specific areas.

Maintaining the profiles and landing pages can be a challenge, though. Optimizing for multiple locations takes time. But if you put in the effort now, you’ll benefit from it in the long run.

Got more questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂



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Google Dials Back AI Overviews In Search Results, Study Finds

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Photo of a mobile device in mans hand with generative google AI Overview on the screen.

According to new research, Google’s AI-generated overviews have undergone significant adjustments since the initial rollout.

The study from SE Ranking analyzed 100,000 keywords and found Google has greatly reduced the frequency of AI overviews.

However, when they appear, they’re more detailed than they were previously.

The study digs into which topics and industries are more likely to get an AI overview. It also looks at how the AI snippets interact with other search features like featured snippets and ads.

Here’s an overview of the findings and what they mean for your SEO efforts.

Declining Frequency Of AI Overviews

In contrast to pre-rollout figures, 8% of the examined searches now trigger an AI Overview.

This represents a 52% drop compared to January levels.

Yevheniia Khromova, the study’s author, believes this means Google is taking a more measured approach, stating:

“The sharp decrease in AI Overview presence likely reflects Google’s efforts to boost the accuracy and trustworthiness of AI-generated answers.”

Longer AI Overviews

Although the frequency of AI overviews has decreased, the ones that do appear provide more detailed information.

The average length of the text has grown by nearly 25% to around 4,342 characters.

In another notable change, AI overviews now link to fewer sources on average – usually just four links after expanding the snippet.

However, 84% still include at least one domain from that query’s top 10 organic search results.

Niche Dynamics & Ranking Factors

The chances of getting an AI overview vary across different industries.

Searches related to relationships, food and beverages, and technology were most likely to trigger AI overviews.

Sensitive areas like healthcare, legal, and news had a low rate of showing AI summaries, less than 1%.

Longer search queries with ten words were more likely to generate an AI overview, with a 19% rate indicating that AI summaries are more useful for complex information needs.

Search terms with lower search volumes and lower cost-per-click were more likely to display AI summaries.

Other Characteristics Of AI Overviews

The research reveals that 45% of AI overviews appear alongside featured snippets, often sourced from the exact domains.

Around 87% of AI overviews now coexist with ads, compared to 73% previously, a statistic that could increase competition for advertising space.

What Does This Mean?

SE Ranking’s research on AI overviews has several implications:

  1. Reduced Risk Of Traffic Losses: Fewer searches trigger AI Overviews that directly answer queries, making organic listings less likely to be demoted or receive less traffic.
  2. Most Impacted Niches: AI overviews appear more in relationships, food, and technology niches. Publishers in these sectors should pay closer attention to Google’s AI overview strategy.
  3. Long-form & In-Depth Content Essential: As AI snippets become longer, companies may need to create more comprehensive content beyond what the overviews cover.

Looking Ahead

While the number of AI overviews has decreased recently, we can’t assume this trend will continue.

AI overviews will undoubtedly continue to transform over time.

It’s crucial to monitor developments closely, try different methods of dealing with them, and adjust game plans as needed.


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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

Many advertisers have a tight budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, making it challenging to maximize results.

One of the first questions that often looms large is, “How much should we spend?” It’s a pivotal question, one that sets the stage for the entire PPC strategy.

Read on for tips to get started or further optimize budgets for your PPC program to maximize every dollar spent.

1. Set Expectations For The Account

With a smaller budget, managing expectations for the size and scope of the account will allow you to keep focus.

A very common question is: How much should our company spend on PPC?

To start, you must balance your company’s PPC budget with the cost, volume, and competition of keyword searches in your industry.

You’ll also want to implement a well-balanced PPC strategy with display and video formats to engage consumers.

First, determine your daily budget. For example, if the monthly budget is $2,000, the daily budget would be set at $66 per day for the entire account.

The daily budget will also determine how many campaigns you can run at the same time in the account because that $66 will be divided up among all campaigns.

Be aware that Google Ads and Microsoft Ads may occasionally exceed the daily budget to maximize results. The overall monthly budget, however, should not exceed the Daily x Number of Days in the Month.

Now that we know our daily budget, we can focus on prioritizing our goals.

2. Prioritize Goals

Advertisers often have multiple goals per account. A limited budget will also limit the number of campaigns – and the number of goals – you should focus on.

Some common goals include:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Leads.
  • Sales.
  • Repeat sales.

In the example below, the advertiser uses a small budget to promote a scholarship program.

They are using a combination of leads (search campaign) and awareness (display campaign) to divide up a daily budget of $82.

Screenshot from author, May 2024

The next several features can help you laser-focus campaigns to allocate your budget to where you need it most.

Remember, these settings will restrict traffic to the campaign. If you aren’t getting enough traffic, loosen up/expand the settings.

3. Location Targeting

Location targeting is a core consideration in reaching the right audience and helps manage a small ad budget.

To maximize a limited budget, you should focus on only the essential target locations where your customers are located.

While that seems obvious, you should also consider how to refine that to direct the limited budget to core locations. For example:

  • You can refine location targeting by states, cities, ZIP codes, or even a radius around your business.
  • Choosing locations to target should be focused on results.
  • The smaller the geographic area, the less traffic you will get, so balance relevance with budget.
  • Consider adding negative locations where you do not do business to prevent irrelevant clicks that use up precious budget.

If the reporting reveals targeted locations where campaigns are ineffective, consider removing targeting to those areas. You can also try a location bid modifier to reduce ad serving in those areas.

managing ppc budget by location interactionScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

4. Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling also helps to control budget by only running ads on certain days and at certain hours of the day.

With a smaller budget, it can help to limit ads to serve only during hours of business operation. You can choose to expand that a bit to accommodate time zones and for searchers doing research outside of business hours.

If you sell online, you are always open, but review reporting for hourly results over time to determine if there are hours of the day with a negative return on investment (ROI).

Limit running PPC ads if the reporting reveals hours of the day when campaigns are ineffective.

Manage a small ppc budget by hour of dayScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

5. Set Negative Keywords

A well-planned negative keyword list is a golden tactic for controlling budgets.

The purpose is to prevent your ad from showing on keyword searches and websites that are not a good match for your business.

  • Generate negative keywords proactively by brainstorming keyword concepts that may trigger ads erroneously.
  • Review query reports to find irrelevant searches that have already led to clicks.
  • Create lists and apply to the campaign.
  • Repeat on a regular basis because ad trends are always evolving!

6. Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding is a game-changer for efficient ad campaigns. Powered by Google AI, it automatically adjusts bids to serve ads to the right audience within budget.

The AI optimizes the bid for each auction, ideally maximizing conversions while staying within your budget constraints.

Smart bidding strategies available include:

  • Maximize Conversions: Automatically adjust bids to generate as many conversions as possible for the budget.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): This method predicts the value of potential conversions and adjusts bids in real time to maximize return.
  • Target Cost Per Action (CPA): Advertisers set a target cost-per-action (CPA), and Google optimizes bids to get the most conversions within budget and the desired cost per action.

7. Try Display Only Campaigns

display ads for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

For branding and awareness, a display campaign can expand your reach to a wider audience affordably.

Audience targeting is an art in itself, so review the best options for your budget, including topics, placements, demographics, and more.

Remarketing to your website visitors is a smart targeting strategy to include in your display campaigns to re-engage your audience based on their behavior on your website.

Let your ad performance reporting by placements, audiences, and more guide your optimizations toward the best fit for your business.

audience targeting options for small ppc budgetScreenshot by Lisa Raehsler from Google Ads, May 2024

8. Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max (PMax) campaigns are available in Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.

In short, automation is used to maximize conversion results by serving ads across channels and with automated ad formats.

This campaign type can be useful for limited budgets in that it uses AI to create assets, select channels, and audiences in a single campaign rather than you dividing the budget among multiple campaign types.

Since the success of the PMax campaign depends on the use of conversion data, that data will need to be available and reliable.

9. Target Less Competitive Keywords

Some keywords can have very high cost-per-click (CPC) in a competitive market. Research keywords to compete effectively on a smaller budget.

Use your analytics account to discover organic searches leading to your website, Google autocomplete, and tools like Google Keyword Planner in the Google Ads account to compare and get estimates.

In this example, a keyword such as “business accounting software” potentially has a lower CPC but also lower volume.

Ideally, you would test both keywords to see how they perform in a live campaign scenario.

comparing keywords for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

10. Manage Costly Keywords

High volume and competitive keywords can get expensive and put a real dent in the budget.

In addition to the tip above, if the keyword is a high volume/high cost, consider restructuring these keywords into their own campaign to monitor and possibly set more restrictive targeting and budget.

Levers that can impact costs on this include experimenting with match types and any of the tips in this article. Explore the opportunity to write more relevant ad copy to these costly keywords to improve quality.

Every Click Counts

As you navigate these strategies, you will see that managing a PPC account with a limited budget isn’t just about monetary constraints.

Rocking your small PPC budgets involves strategic campaign management, data-driven decisions, and ongoing optimizations.

In the dynamic landscape of paid search advertising, every click counts, and with the right approach, every click can translate into meaningful results.

More resources: 


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What Are They Really Costing You?

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What Are They Really Costing You?

This post was sponsored by Adpulse. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

As managers of paid media, one question drives us all: “How do I improve paid ad performance?”. 

Given that our study found close variant search terms perform poorly, yet more than half of the average budget on Google & Microsoft Ads is being spent on them, managing their impact effectively could well be one of your largest optimization levers toward driving significant improvements in ROI. 

“Close variants help you connect with people who are looking for your business, despite slight variations in the way they search.” support.google.com

Promising idea…but what about the execution?

We analyzed over 4.5 million clicks and 400,000 conversions to answer this question: With the rise in close variants (intent matching) search terms, what impact are they having on budgets and account performance? Spoiler alert, the impact is substantial. 


True Match Vs. Close Variants: How Do They Perform?

To understand close variant (CV) performance, we must first define the difference between a true match and a close variant. 

 

What Is a True Match? 

We still remember the good-old-days where keyword match types gave you control over the search terms they triggered, so for this study we used the literal match types to define ‘close variant’ vs ‘true match’. 

  • Exact match keyword => search term matches the keyword exactly. 
  • Phrase match keyword => search term must contain the keyword (same word order).
  • Broad match keyword => search term must contain every individual word in the keyword, but the word order does not matter (the way modified broad match keywords used to work).   

 

What Is a Close Variant? 

If you’re not familiar with close variants (intent matching) search terms, think of them as search terms that are ‘fuzzy matched’ to the keywords you are actually bidding on. 

Some of these close variants are highly relevant and represent a real opportunity to expand your keywords in a positive way. 

Some are close-ish, but the conversions are expensive. 

And (no shocks here) some are truly wasteful. 

….Both Google and Microsoft Ads do this, and you can’t opt-out.

To give an example: if you were a music therapist, you might bid on the phrase match keyword “music therapist”. An example of a true match search term would be ‘music therapist near me’ because it contains the keyword in its true form (phrase match in this case) and a CV might be ‘music and art therapy’.


How Do Close Variants Compare to True Match?

Short answer… poorly, on both Google and Microsoft Ads. Interestingly however, Google showed the worst performance on both metrics assessed, CPA and ROAS. 

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

1718772963 395 What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

Want to see the data – jump to it here…

CVs have been embraced by both platforms with (as earlier stated), on average more than half of your budget being spent on CV variant matches. That’s a lot of expansion to reach searches you’re not directly bidding for, so it’s clearly a major driver of performance in your account and, therefore, deserving of your attention. 

We anticipated a difference in metrics between CVs and true match search terms, since the true match search terms directly align with the keywords you’re bidding on, derived from your intimate knowledge of the business offering. 

True match conversions should therefore be the low-hanging fruit, leaving the rest for the platforms to find via CVs. Depending on the cost and ROI, this isn’t inherently bad, but logically we would assume CVs would perform worse than true matches, which is exactly what we observed. 


How Can You Limit Wastage on Close Variants?

You can’t opt out of them, however, if your goal is to manage their impact on performance, you can use these three steps to move the needle in the right direction. And of course, if you’re relying on CVs to boost volume, you’ll need to take more of a ‘quality-screening’ rather than a hard-line ‘everything-must-go’ approach to your CV clean out!

 

Step 1: Diagnose Your CV Problem 

We’re a helpful bunch at Adpulse so while we were scoping our in-app solution, we built a simple spreadsheet that you can use to diagnose how healthy your CVs are. Just make a copy, paste in your keyword and search term data then run the analysis for yourself. Then you can start to clean up any wayward CVs identified. Of course, by virtue of technology, it’s both faster and more advanced in the Adpulse Close Variant Manager 😉.

 

Step 2: Suggested Campaign Structures for Easier CV Management  

Brand Campaigns

If you don’t want competitors or general searches being matched to your brand keywords, this strategy will solve for that. 

Set up one ad group with your exact brand keyword/s, and another ad group with phrase brand keyword/s, then employ the negative keyword strategies in Step 3 below. You might be surprised at how many CVs have nothing to do with your brand, and identifying variants (and adding negative keywords) becomes easy with this structure.

Don’t forget to add your phrase match brand negatives to non-brand campaigns (we love negative lists for this).

Non-Brand Campaigns with Larger Budgets

We suggest a campaign structure with one ad group per match type:

Example Ad Groups:

    • General Plumbers – Exact
    • General Plumbers – Phrase
    • General Plumbers – Broad
    • Emergency Plumbers – Exact
    • Emergency Plumbers – Phrase
    • Emergency Plumbers – Broad

This allows you to more easily identify variants so you can eliminate them quickly. This also allows you to find new keyword themes based on good quality CVs, and add them easily to the campaign. 

Non-Brand Campaigns with Smaller Budgets

Smaller budgets mean the upside of having more data per ad group outweighs the upside of making it easier to trim unwanted CVs, so go for a simpler theme-based ad group structure:

Example Ad Groups:

    • General Plumbers
    • Emergency Plumbers

 

Step 3: Ongoing Actions to Tame Close Variants

Adding great CVs as keywords and poor CVs as negatives on a regular basis is the only way to control their impact.

For exact match ad groups we suggest adding mainly root negative keywords. For example, if you were bidding on [buy mens walking shoes] and a CV appeared for ‘mens joggers’, you could add the single word “joggers” as a phrase/broad match negative keyword, which would prevent all future searches that contain joggers. If you added mens joggers as a negative keyword, other searches that contain the word joggers would still be eligible to trigger. 

In ad groups that contain phrase or broad match keywords you shouldn’t use root negatives unless you’re REALLY sure that the root negative should never appear in any search term. You’ll probably find that you use the whole search term added as an exact match negative much more often than using root negs.


The Proof: What (and Why) We Analyzed

We know CVs are part of the conversations marketers frequently have, and by virtue of the number of conversations we have with agencies each week, we’ve witnessed the increase of CV driven frustration amongst marketers. 

Internally we reached a tipping point and decided to data dive to see if it just felt like a large problem, or if it actually IS a large enough problem that we should devote resources to solving it in-app. First stop…data. 

Our study of CV performance started with thousands of Google and Microsoft Ads accounts, using last 30-day data to May 2024, filtered to exclude:

  • Shopping or DSA campaigns/Ad Groups.
  • Accounts with less than 10 conversions.
  • Accounts with a conversion rate above 50%.
  • For ROAS comparisons, any accounts with a ROAS below 200% or above 2500%.

Search terms in the study are therefore from keyword-based search campaigns where those accounts appear to have a reliable conversion tracking setup and have enough conversion data to be individually meaningful.

The cleaned data set comprised over 4.5 million clicks and 400,000 conversions (over 30 days) across Google and Microsoft Ads; a large enough data set to answer questions about CV performance with confidence.

Interestingly, each platform appears to have a different driver for their lower CV performance. 

CPA Results:

Google Ads was able to maintain its conversion rate, but it chased more expensive clicks to achieve it…in fact, clicks at almost double the average CPC of true match! Result: their CPA of CVs worked out roughly double the CPA of true match.                 

Microsoft Ads only saw slightly poorer CPA performance within CVs; their conversion rate was much lower compared to true match, but their saving grace was that they had significantly lower CPCs, and you can afford to have a lower conversion rate if your click costs are also lower. End outcome? Microsoft Ads CPA on CVs was only slightly more expensive when compared to their CPA on true matches; a pleasant surprise 🙂.

What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

ROAS Results:

Both platforms showed a similar story; CVs delivered roughly half the ROAS of their true match cousins, with Microsoft Ads again being stronger overall. 

 

1718772963 395 What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

Underlying Data:

For the data nerds amongst us (at Adpulse we self-identify here !) 

1718772963 88 What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024


TL;DR

Close variant search terms consume, on average, more than half an advertiser’s budget whilst in most cases, performing significantly worse than search terms that actually match the keywords. How much worse? Read above for details ^. Enough that managing their impact effectively could well be one of your largest optimization levers toward driving significant improvements in account ROI. 


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Adpulse. Used with permission.

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