Mastering local PPC is key if you want to reach people and create brand awareness in your local community. Unless you’re truly a global service provider or retailer, the odds are that you’re trying to reach local markets. Actually, everyone can benefit from local PPC, since local ads targeting people around each store can increase sales. Local PPC campaigns often fail to yield the return on the investment we hoped for. Here are seven useful but unknown proven tips you can use to improve the performance of your PPC ads.
The majority of internet searches now take place on mobile devices. And this is even truer for local searches, since people are often searching on their smartphones for products and services in their vicinity. If you want to reach these likely customers, your website and ads must be primed for the mobile audience. Your website must be mobile responsive as well. And you need to have mobile preferred ads. They’ll differ from PC friendly ads by having a shorter headline and fitting in a single screen.
Utilize Location Extension
The first step to improving your local PPC is utilizing location extensions in your ads. Location extensions let you show your business address, phone number and information like your hours of operation. Location extensions therefore prove you’re local, whether you’re based in the same city or just a few streets from their current location. Consider taking it to the next level by including a button to let them get directions to your business. Everything you do to help them find you is in your favor.
Focus on Your Most Profitable Business Segment
Small businesses too often try to attract a broad sales funnel in the hope of generating income. Instead of advertising multiple services or products, identify the most profitable ones for your PPC campaign. This may require looking at the books with an accountant to determine which products or services either generate the most revenue or the most profit. Then only advertise for that particular product or service in PPC. You’ll then see the greatest return on the investment.
If you already use Google Search Console, compare the keywords that get the most impressions to those you want to promote. If you get a lot of impressions for a keyword that isn’t profitable, there’s no sense creating an ad group for it. If there’s a keyword tied to a profitable service or product, that’s what you want to use for your next ad campaign.
Geo-targeting can focus on local areas, but hyper-local is a stronger strategy if it is relevant to your business. Rebranding your local business from serving a state to a particular city will result in far more relevant customers seeing your ad.
If you have several branches, hyper-local could mean creating ads for each business based on the town or neighborhood it is based in. Use different local keywords and PPC campaigns for each business location. Your suburban branch should have location-based keywords for the town or neighborhood it is in, while the downtown location should reference key search terms specific to downtown. These ads will result in higher quality scores, higher click-through rates, and higher conversion rates.
Consider mentioning perks that increase your local SEO while increasing your attractiveness to potential customers. State that your business is a two-minute walk from the ABC transit line or a five minute walk from a well-known local landmark.
Exclude the Possibility for Errors
A common problem for people who live in cities, towns or suburbs that have a name shared with a place elsewhere in the world is overlap. Paris, Texas and Paris, France are two very different places. If someone is searching for a service or product in Paris, odds are, they’re going to see the French results over the Texan. The issue is even worse when you consider the city names and towns that are shared by a dozen different locations. The solution here is to exclude certain geographical locations. If you live in Vancouver, Washington, make sure your ad doesn’t come up in any Canadian searches. You’d achieve this by putting the other towns in your excluded area.
Make Your Site Links Local
Consider adding your location to your site links and call extensions. The store URL isn’t just business.com/store101 but business.com/DowntownCityName or business.com/TownName. You can put location references in the callout text of the PPC ads such as “serving city X for 30 years” or “born and raised in city X!” In the optional description, feel free to include relevant location information such as “serving A, B and C” or “serving the entire City metro area”. Another option is putting your zip code in your ad. You aren’t voted a top service provider by your peers. Instead, the ad should read “voted top service provider in X zip code”.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Local Search Terms
Sometimes the best solution is targeting local search terms over geo-targeting. People entering searches like “City X service Y” are obviously searching for that particular service in the given location. The strategy here is to include the local SEO term in the ad campaign. Don’t forget to include the local references in your website’s content. Consider a website referring your reputation as a “top service Y in city X” in addition to “city X service Y” title of your ad campaign. Or tie the ad campaign to the local search queries instead of someone’s particular location.
When you’re creating content or ads, consider the vocabulary your audience uses. If you’re targeting the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area, you’d use the term “DFW metroplex” over the Dallas metropolitan area. If you’re near San Onofre State Park, locals would call it SanO, not the full name. A side benefit of targeting the search terms only the locals know is that it by definition excludes those who aren’t in the target market. You can amplify the effect by having copy written in the local dialect.
If you want to succeed in local PPC, you need to leverage every tool in your toolkit. Tweaking PPC ads for local SEO and excluding obvious non-matches helps, but you need to do everything you can to dominate the local market if you want to set yourself apart from the competition.