Setting Up Local PPC Accounts – 10 Rules

Brands with hundreds of locations struggle with executing PPC at the hyper-local level.  At Balihoo, we believe in optimizing ALL of your locations as if they were your ONLY location. Before you begin setting up local PPC accounts for each of your locations, follow our checklist to see if your campaign plan makes the grade.


  1. Individual budgets for each location – Shared budgets zap results, so use a subaccount for each location that can reflect its individual budget. Shared budgets tend to only benefit a handful of locations.
  2. Independent budget pacing for each location – While this is a seemingly simple concept, it’s an action you simply cannot manage at scale without the use of subaccounts. When each budget paces separately, unused funds are re-distributed each night across the rest of the month, per location.
  3. Custom Targeting – Each location is assigned a city (or cities), zip code(s), or a concentration-appropriate radius that doesn’t overlap in urban areas. Each location has a different set of circumstances, so their targeting shouldn’t be cookie-cutter.
  4. Hyperlocal Creative – Headlines, ad copy, and extensions should all incorporate location-specific data, for CTR-boosting context.
  5. Appropriate Dayparting – Without subaccounts, all locations are assigned the same timezone, meaning you could be targeting sleeping consumers.  Make sure that the Daypart is customized for each location.
  6. Location-level Reporting –  Make sure you can view keyword performance, conversion metrics, CPC, CTR, and quality score for each location.  Automation that utilizes subaccounts (such as Balihoo) allows this easily, without relying on spreadsheets.
  7. Localized Keyword Lists – Each location should have its own keywords, generated by marrying your master list with geo-modifiers and location-specific data. Automation that can absorb your real-time 1st-party location data is key here.
  8. Individual Quality Scores – Keep costs lower by using subaccounts to prevent locations from sharing keyword Quality Scores.  When each location has it’s own QSs, it won’t be skewed by a few under-performing landing pages.
  9. Custom Attributes per Location – Leverage a data feed to drive location extensions, changes to hours of operation, and products offered, at a minimum.  When these attributes can be updated in real-time, you’ll see the best results.
  10. Results that beat national campaigns – It’s natural to see lower CPCs and higher CTRs with local paid search.  If you aren’t, it could be time to invest in automation, so you can focus on optimization instead of setup .

To learn how Balihoo customers leverage automation and data to successfully manage hundreds and thousands of local campaigns, take a self-guided tour of Balihoo Local Paid Search and Display.