Unless you run a huge corporation with locations in multiple countries, and your products and services are available globally, it’s more likely that you want to reach a certain area with your advertising. If you run a bakery in Chicago, then you want to reach people who are actually in the Chicago area that can come to your bakery. You have no need to advertise to people in France, who will most likely never buy your cookies or cupcakes.
This is where local PPC comes in. Local PPC, also known as geo-targeting, gives you the ability in AdWords to target your ads to people who are only in the area that you specify. Like we said earlier, you don’t want to be wasting your ad budget on those who are not in your target area. This is essential for location-based companies to make the most of their budget. Not only does it make more sense, but you should also see an increase in your ROAS due to an increased chance of the audience being able to use your services or products.
Local PPC Tips
Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has stated that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries.” This momentum toward mobile has a ton of implications for retailers, especially those who want to run local PPC to get people into their store front. Like we said earlier, people search when they are on the go. If they are out and about, and decide they want to do a little shopping, they are going to search something like “retail stores around me.”
In order to reach people like this, you need to make sure that your website and ads are ready for mobile use. It is critical that your website be mobile responsive. Mobile phones aren’t going anywhere. You need to be able to serve those audience members. You also want to make sure that your campaigns target all devices. You want to make sure that your ads are being served to mobile devices. You can also have a mobile preferred ad. Make sure, with a mobile preferred ad, that your ad copy has a shorter headline in order to cater to how ads are displayed on mobile phones.
The first thing that you want to do when you are working on a local PPC campaign is to make sure that you utilize location extensions in your ads. Location extensions are a feature that allow you to show your address, phone number, hours and other information on your ad. For mobile ads, you also have the option to include a button that gives customers the ability to call you directly or get directions to your location.
This extension is important because it encourages searchers to visit your business in person, instead of just scrolling past your ad. One thing to keep in mind: Location extensions are based off of your Google My Business profile, and you have to link at least one business location to your AdWords account for these extensions to work. Therefore, you want to make sure that your Google My Business account is up to date and accurate for all of your locations.
In addition to location extensions, you also want to make sure that you are utilizing call extensions, which shows your phone number on your ad. This displays a clickable call button on the ad, which encourages searchers to call your business, especially people who are on the go.
Call extensions have a lot of different features that you can play around with. You can set them up to show only when your business can take calls. You can give preference to mobile phones, which makes it less likely that it will show up on a laptop or desktop. You also have the ability to use either your phone number or a Google Forwarding number. By using a Google Forwarding number, you get more insights into the performance of the call extensions, which allows you to count phone calls as conversions. And, for all of this, clicks for your phone number also cost the same as headline clicks.
Geo-targeting can be another great technique to help out with local PPC. Google gives you a lot of room to play with, as to where you want to target your PPC ads geographically. If you only serve the Chicago area, then you can set your ad up to only serve people in that geographical area. If you serve the entire state of Illinois, then you can target that state individually. If you serve multiple locations or states, then you can set your ads up to only target the locations that you serve.
In addition to being able to target people in certain geographical locations, you can also exclude areas. If you set up your ads, and then notice that you are getting impressions and clicks from areas that you don’t serve — for instance, France — then you can add them to your excluded area.
Keywords with Geo-Locations
While geo-targeting can be a great tool for local businesses, it doesn’t always work. It is dependent on how people are searching for your business. For some local businesses, it would be more appropriate to limit targeting not by the location, but by keyword only.
For example, let’s say you are a cable company in Charleston. In this situation, you might want to create separate campaigns to target people searching for “cable companies Charleston,” rather than only using geo-targeting. Most people know that cable services are limited to an area, so they might be more likely to include a geo-modifier in their query. The cable company can then pick up more traffic and even use this as a competitive strategy.
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