Local PPC

Go Local! 9 Tips for Smarter Local PPC

Are you targeting prospects around the country with your paid search campaigns? If so, are you sure you’re not wasting precious dollars of your marketing budget on unqualified clicks? Local PPC is an easy and quick way to reduce inefficient spend and to provide more relevant messaging to your audience in different parts of the country to improve your marketing performance.

So, go local and crank up the volume on your marketing results! As always, it starts with the right strategy. You need to get in front of the right people in the right location with the right message at the right time. To that end, here are nine local PPC tips for you to use today.

Localization

Make sure that your message resonates with the local audience. Simply concatenating a city name in your ad copy is not an ideal strategy and can limit your marketing results. Aim for true localization instead. For example, if you sell bathing suits, you’ll want to cascade the timing of your campaigns as warmer weather slowly makes its way up north. Or if you sell anything retail, market your strongest sellers per region with special campaigns and offers accordingly. Proving the power of localization, one hotel management group increased its inbound reservation phone calls from the web by 508% in their first month after moving to a localized strategy.

Newsjacking

Along the same lines as localization, look specifically to piggyback off of local news to hit your audience with ultra-local, ultra-relevant and ultra-effective messaging. If you sell web conference or remote access software, for example, target cities experiencing snowstorms to remind local commuters to take advantage of your technology to work from home instead. The same strategy would work if you sell vacation getaways, offering folks an escape from the snow. For B2B marketers, start running local ads when your industry’s main trade shows or conferences are in town, leveraging the predictable spike in searches on industry topics from the respective city at such times.

Geo-Targeting

If you do not know where your customers are geographically, then start at the beginning. Pull a location report in AdWords and familiarize yourself with the location of your customers. The report details where converting clicks occur and where non-converting clicks occur. Analyze the data and figure it out. This is the backbone of the other initiatives. Next, use geo-targeting to target locations that drive conversions and exclude locations that don’t.

Are you a data junky? Then you’re in luck! AdWords gives you plenty of data to work from, offering a multitude of ways to slice and dice the data: by state, DMA, congressional district, county, municipality, city, postal code, airport, neighborhood and university.

Location Targeting

AdWords location targeting allows you to target a radius around a location or by location groups. Location groups are a relatively new feature allowing you to reach your customers based on the types of places they visit (e.g., airports), their demographic information or simply when they are near your place of business.

Location-Specific Keywords

How are your customers searching for your product or service? Are they qualifying their searches with geographic terms? For example, are they searching for office space or office space boston? Adding the city or location to the search term will qualify the audience and remove any unqualified traffic. While the overall volume will be lower, the people who are viewing your messaging will be more qualified and more likely to convert.

Location Extensions

Location extensions offer you two huge benefits to your local PPC campaigns. First, location extensions include a map in the search results so your customers can see where you are located. Second, they allow your ad to take up more real estate in the search engines, which pushes down your competitors’ ads. Keep in mind that for location extensions to be displayed, your ad must appear at the top of the page.

Want to make your life a bit easier? Take advantage of Google My Business. Not only will it give you insight to inform your strategy, linking GMB to your AdWords account will allow you to automatically highlight business locations in your ads. Also, the “Get Directions” button will populate for linked campaigns, perfect for customers on the road.

Call Extensions

When individuals search for local businesses, they often use their smartphone. Make it easy for your customers to call you wherever they are by implementing call extensions. When a customer searches and your ad is triggered, call extensions give searchers a call button directly in the ad. According to a recent report from Google and market research company Ipsos, 94% of the smartphone users have needed to call a business directly when searching for information and 42% expressed having used click-to-call directly.

Local Landing Pages

Beyond geo-targeting, geo-specific keywords, AdWords extensions and localized ad messaging, you should also consider custom landing pages for your local PPC campaigns. You’ve already made the effort to get in front of the right people with the right message, but your landing page is where you convert them. So it makes sense to add any relevant local information to your pages, as well. For example, a national restaurant chain may want to display local addresses, phone numbers and other location-specific data.

Integration of PPC with Offline Marketing

For certain types of businesses, it’s wishful thinking to believe that you can maximize your local revenue through only digital channels. For those businesses, revenue will increase with the integration of online and offline marketing efforts. To that end, explore the addition of local PPC ads with your local events, promotions and community activities. For example, if you’re going to be running a direct mail campaign in the Northeast, then ramp up relevant local ads in Boston, Providence, Hartford, Manchester (NH) and other larger cities.

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In the end the most important factor for any successful local PPC campaign is the cycle of executing, testing, analyzing and optimizing. Test, test, test! This never-ending cycle ensures you have highly optimized and profitable paid search campaigns.

Go BIG by going LOCAL!