During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced a significant challenge. Our client was in desperate need of employees, yet the pool of available talent seemed to have evaporated. The unemployment benefits were going strong, but obviously weren’t going to be endless, and our mission was to capture the attention of job seekers with the promise of a compelling employment opportunity.
We immediately rolled up our sleeves and developed a targeted campaign, focusing on potential job seekers. The campaign started off strong, resonating with the audience and performing exceptionally well, but soon, it came to an abrupt halt. Google disapproved all of our ads.
Dumbfounded, we delved into the issue and discovered that the culprit was a violation of Google’s Policy, specifically targeting based on zip code.
Our client operates a plant, and thus the location of potential employees is paramount. Targeting job seekers residing beyond a reasonable commuting distance would result in wasting precious budget. As a solution, we had initially targeted the zipcode of the plant and a particular radius around it.
Realizing our mistake, we swiftly removed the targeted zip codes and replaced them with the name of the town where the plant is located plus a 20 mile radius around the town thus maintaining the same radius as before. We were confident that this would resolve the issue.
However, we overlooked one crucial detail – excluded locations. In the past, we’ve noted instances where Google extended targeting to areas beyond our specified scope. To prevent that from happening, we make a point of also excluding locations in our campaigns. Even though areas not specified for targeting should technically be automatically excluded.
Despite our efforts, the campaign was still stuck in the mud. It wasn’t until we removed all the excluded zip codes that we saw a breakthrough. Success at last! We were able to run job ads targeting a specific location without being flagged by Google’s definition of job discrimination. A hard-won victory that required keen attention to the intricacies of Google Ads’ policies and demonstrated the importance of testing in the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing and Google’s policies.