The Dynamic Location Insertion can be set up directly in the ad in RSA ads using a Dynamic Variable. In this case, the location (or the location in which the target client is interested) will automatically be inserted into the ad copy.

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

However, there are a few reasons why Dynamic Location Insertion may not suffice for advanced Google Ads advertisers:

  • You can’t target only insert locations from specific location categories
  • There is no control over physical vs. interest location
  • There is no option to modify the matched locations
  • There is no option to make location groups and adjust your other ad copy based on the group characteristics

You can avoid all those issues by learning the advanced method of setting up location insertion using a location feed.

How to set up the location feed

Setting up the location feed is not complicated. The first step is to follow the link and download the latest CSV of geo targets.

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

The file is large, so it is good to filter out some unnecessary data to make the processing faster. It is a good start to filter out countries that won’t be targeted in the campaign.

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

The next step is to remove unnecessary columns. The only ones that should stay are “Canonical Name” and “Name.” Rename the columns: “Canonical Name” to “Target location” and “Name” to “Cities” (or another name).

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

You can now save this file as a CSV and upload it in Google Ads under Business data.

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

When you want to use this data in the ad text, you can call on the data using the opening curly bracket “{” and selecting the ad customizer. You can find the feed here and select the location column. In the ad preview screen, you can see whether the connection works as a location displayed in the preview.

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

The advantages of the advanced dynamic location insertion

Additional location categories

While standard locations only let you select locations on the city, state, or country level, many more levels are available in the data feed method, such as airports, universities, congressional districts, counties, postal codes, and more. Through the feed, there are no less than 25 location categories.

A powerful example could be to target ads for tourists, targeting airports across the globe to offer things like travel sims, travel insurance, or travel-related apps. Adding the airport into the ad copy will make the ad seem super relevant.

For example: “Departing from Zurich Airport? Upgrade your calling card.”

Physical vs. Interest locations

Default location insertion considers both the interest and physical location parameters. It means that you can never be sure if the person you are targeting is physically in the location displayed in the ad. If you don’t know the match is based on the physical location or the interest location, it is difficult to create relevant ads.

For example, when promoting road repair services, the ads should ideally reflect the location where the target user is located, as this is probably the spot from where he is searching for support.

For example: “Roadside Car Repair Munich. Fastest Support in your Area.”

Using the feed-based method, you can add a “location restriction” column in the feed that specifies if the match has to be physical. This is a great solution for local businesses that want to focus on where the user is physically located.

Modifying the matched locations

When using the default location insertion, there is no way to modify the names of the feed locations in any way. This can be troublesome in a variety of ways. It makes it less predictable to understand the values that are being populated and cause additional trouble.

For example, we would like to write ads in Dutch. Most location names of cities are the same in Dutch and English. However, there are some exceptions. The International City of Justice in the Netherlands is called “The Hague.” In the Netherlands, people call this city “Den Haag.” “The Hague” written in an ad would look strange to a Dutch person. However, this is what the default Location insertion would do. It is possible to review all the locations and adjust the names according to the correct language in a manually set feed.

Often locations have broadly varying location name lengths. Locations that are longer than 30 characters will not be displayed in the ad, so these location names need to be shortened. Also, particularly short names could be extended; ideally, the Headline length would be between 20 and 30 characters. In reality, town names are often short but also occasionally very long.

Location grouping and conditional ads

A popularized technique by Google Ads manager Martin Röttgerding is feed-based conditional ads, making ads eligible to show only when the precondition is met. Using the feed-based approach and location groups, you can trigger specific ads.

Underneath is an example of a typical feed:

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

To use the feed data, we will need to specify the feed file and the column that needs to be inserted.

{locationfile.name}

As you can see, the name needs to match the column we want to insert from the data feed. To use conditional formatting, we can separate different columns, like so:

Advanced Dynamic Location Insertion in Google Ads

When we want to write an ad specifically suited for Australian airports, we can call the column in the ad copy, like so:

{locationfile.australia}

Since only Australian airports will be eligible as they match the column, the ad can’t be triggered by users from any other location. By making selected location groups like this, we can write much more relevant ads.

Conclusion

While it can be convenient to use the now supported Location insertion parameter, it is important to be aware of the more advanced possibilities of feed-based location insertion. More specific location categories, physical location restrictions, copy modifications & translations, and Conditional Formatting all become possible exclusively through feed based location insertion.

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