Making Good Use Of Those Location Extensions

By Carrie Albright | @Albright_C | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

When the time comes to really push your accounts, it’s helpful to know where to push and what will help connect users to your product or service. This can be especially vital when you have both online retail business as well as brick & mortar locations.


Sure you have location extensions enabled (you do, right??) but do you simply bid up all of those locations with bid modifiers? Do you target them specifically in their own geo-segmented campaigns? Or do you still see people doing most of their traceable shopping online?


The report that will help you identify exactly what locations are promoting in-store response, not just online response, is a segmented version of your AdWords location extension report. And you’re gonna learn how to use this yourself, with a couple quick steps from your PPC Heroes.


Getting Your Data


  • You’ll begin with an ad extension report. You’ll want to pull a location extension report for a time period that makes sense for you. Have you recently changed your locations or the volume of your locations? Have you recently had a huge in-store offer that would skew the data? Look for an appropriate time period. In this example, we’re using a recent 30-day window, which is when we began a new seasonal strategy.


  • Before hitting the Download button, be sure to divide your data into 2 very important groupings using the Segment feature: This Extension Vs. Other.


Extension screengrab


Exciting, right? Are you starting to feel the pieces come together?


Once you’ve downloaded this report, you’ll want to pull the “This extension” data into its own tab.


Cleaning Up Your Data


Your “This Extension” data probably looks like this:


Initial Data for Location Report


First you’ll want to employ the Text To Columns feature in Excel:


Text To Columns


You may simply divide all your Attribute data using the semicolon option, depending on how your location data comes through.


Pro tip: Because I like to get the extra stuff out of the way, I “Find & Replace” the country code with an asterisk. I then use the delimited text to columns on the asterisk:


Asterisk TTC


I then delete the new column so that I’m just looking at this:Example Location Extension Data


Excel view of Location Report


and then I use text to columns to divide the data by semicolon. This provides me with just the data I’m looking for:


Final Data


This tells me that for all the times my location extension showed, here is the data for when the location extension itself was clicked upon (Read: Someone was trying to find the store and encountered your link!). Because we assume the person looking for your IRL store may not have concluded their online search with an online purchase, this helps us gain visibility as to what they’re doing instead – visiting your store!


Using Your Data


Now that you have the data you can use, it’s time to figure out exactly where people want to shop. The data here shows me the top click-through-rates for each of my extensions! Yay, Pittsburgh, right?


Final Location Ext Data


I can also use a pivot table to group together cities or states, depending on the volume of businesses and also the detail to which I want to target.


You may to choose to pivot by state, which may result in a view like this:


State-based location data


Don’t forget to use Calculated Fields when gauging performance by a ratio (such as CTR or Conv Rate), or else you’ll be looking at some goofy data, friends.


From here I get a nice, clean view of the locations that may not be leading to direct online purchases, but are certainly connecting shoppers to my store. If I were to simply look at this data by a geographical report, I might think that there aren’t many shoppers in Pittsburgh as seen by their online conversions. But what I now see is that there are several folks looking for our store and perhaps my Pittsburgh location is actually benefiting from these extensions.


Although your first glance at your location extensions may tell you to pull back on certain cities or states, today’s report shows you when there’s actually quite a bit of value in targeting this area. An overly simplified report can do more harm than good sometimes, and this is an excellent example.


So give it a whirl and see what kind of new insights you glean from this report. And remember, not everything is based on the bottom line conversion… you just have to find the right report to show you the way!