Many of Google’s recent Adwords enhancements have been incremental improvements on existing services – aimed at improving efficiency such as through shared campaign budgeting and more relevant for users such as serving ads targeted to tablet devices. The most recent changes announced last week follow the same strain, but with an international twist. These changes expand on the improvements Google made earlier this year for sitelinks and geo-targeting within the US market. While the changes do have an impact for US advertisers, these changes are especially good news for international advertisers as they include rolling out enhanced sitelink extensions and better geo-targeting.
For those unfamiliar or who would like a quick synopsis on what changes were made to sitelinks earlier this year, visit the article introducing enhanced site links here. Studies have shown that the result of including sitelinks in combination with a paid search ad increases CTR significantly, but up until now they had only been available in the United States. However, with this global roll-out, sitelink extensions can now be used by any business running Adwords worldwide.
Postal Code Geo-Targeting:
The changes to geo-targeting will have a dramatic impact on our friends in the Great White North as over 1,500 Canadian Postal Code FSAs have been added for more granular targeting. For those not familiar with the Canadian postal code, FSAs are the first three digits of the code that act similarly to US ZIP codes. For businesses those target audience is spread across several FSAs, Adwords also includes ‘Bulk locations’ tab allowing advertisers to select up to 1000 locations per country.
Above: Advertisers can now zero-in on Canadian postal codes thanks to FSA-targeting
While FSA targeting is unique to Canada, Google is also in the process of adding city and/or regional targeting to Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, India, Ireland, Romania, Sweden, Taiwan, and Vietnam. When it becomes available, advertisers can log into Adwords, click on the Settings tab, and set their campaign targeting under the Location section.
**Update (12/3/12): Google has now updated Adwords to allow location extensions for Argentina, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam and has also improved geo-targeting for the United Kingdom, France, Argentina, Russia and the UAE.
Global Outlook and Impact:
As Google continues capturing market share globally, one can expect to continue seeing Adwords adding and enhancing features for international advertisers. As reported by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), even though two-thirds of international businesses admit to under utilizing paid search, the potential is enormous as keyword competition remains lower and the number of potential customers is increasing rapidly. By preparing Adwords now, Google is working to position itself when international PPC takes off.
Contributed by Jonas Pauliukonis, Sr. eStrategist