Whether from Fortune 500 brands, or the franchisees, dealers and agents along Main Street USA, we bump into this question from search advertisers a lot: “Can we prevent competing against ourselves in multi-location markets?”
The answer is an unsatisfying yes and no. Completely avoiding overlapping budgets and dog-eat-dog competition among multiple locations in the same market is complex. Mitigation of brand concerns in a crowded local market is absolutely possible though. So, in under 250 words, here’s how paid search pros put controls in place to reach consumers and manage budgets without turning same-brand locations on each other.
1. Listings accuracy
While to some this may be stating the obvious, we run into enough advertisers with substantial inaccuracies in their business listings that it warrants a call out. Enterprises must ensure their locations’ business listings are right. This is crucial for search success across the board and helps distinguish individual locations within the same market.
2. Specific targeting
Customize targeting per location to avoid overlap between budgets and territories. It’s a tactic Mindstream Media employs for single franchisees/dealers or for those with multiple locations looking to segment budgets and territories. At the franchisee/dealer level, geo-target by ZIP code, radial targeting, city, etc., and implement targeting exclusions to ensure you’re not overlapping local campaigns.
3. Location budgeting
To manage location budgets and accounts for optimal performance by location, we recommend creating unique AdWords accounts (CID) per location. Even if a franchise owns multiple locations, we still recommend creating an account per location. This allows flexibility and transparency for better campaign budgeting and performance.
Use location bid adjustments to optimize spend and performance by geo-targets to ensure the best use of advertising funds and optimal performance.
Bonus tactics worth using:
- Unique conversion tracking per location account to track form fills and calls
- Multiple campaigns directing traffic to location landing pages or joint campaigns using group landing pages
- Rotating campaigns or joint campaign using landing pages with call routing numbers and menus to distribute calls equitably
Contact Mindstream Media to learn more about managing your search campaigns in markets with multiple locations.