If you have ever searched for a nearby restaurant using a search engine and selected one of the advertisements that appear at the top of the page, then you have witnessed a local PPC campaign in operation.
Paid online advertising that targets specific local areas, such as a city, state, zip code, neighborhood, or customized local radius, is known as Local PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.
Unlike traditional PPC, the focus of your ads is on a particular area rather than global reach. In regular PPC, your ads are displayed to potential customers worldwide, but this approach may not be optimal, especially for smaller businesses and startups.
International PPC campaigns can pose a serious challenge as you will be competing with global enterprise-level companies and their excessively lavish budgets for paid ad campaigns, which can lead to your ad groups being overshadowed and may cause demotivation.
Local businesses and smaller companies can immensely benefit from employing a PPC strategy that is focused on the local market as it proves to be a very potent tool in digital marketing.
Focusing on certain locations through geo-targeting can help you narrow down your intended audience while also reducing competition.
Similar to all digital marketing strategies, effective tactics and optimal performance are essential to achieve long-lasting success with localized paid search campaigns.
Our ultimate goal is to provide you with a comprehensive guide that will assist in developing a successful PPC advertising approach for your business. Don’t hesitate to read on to gain valuable insight.
Implementing a Local PPC Strategy
Given that local PPC is the ideal strategy, it is necessary to understand its proper utilization. Effective handling of a local pay-per-click campaign involves adhering to the correct guidelines. Thus, knowledge of the recommended approaches is crucial.
The key to achieving success through local PPC advertisements is to target a specific and condensed geographic area, communicate with your audience in a language that resonates with them, and optimize your landing page to deliver on your promises.
Here are some useful strategies to boost the effectiveness of your PPC tactics targeting your local area.
Using single-keyword ad groups
Google Ads heavily relies on ad groups, which enable you to aim your ads at several keywords simultaneously.
However, local PPC campaigns utilizing single keyword ad groups can be highly effective, despite the fact that many digital marketers are unaware of their potential.
Why are single-keyword ad groups so special?
The following is the reason for their current state.
- They improve the click-through rate and quality score of your local ads
- They make your ad copy more relevant
- They’re perfect for targeting smaller audiences
Narrowing your audience with single keyword ad groups will allow you to focus on prospects with the highest chance of converting.
In addition, they will help bring hyperfocus to your content, making sure it is highly pertinent to the user’s query or keyword.
Use local lingo in your ads
In order for your audience to perceive a sense of comprehension from you, it is necessary to communicate in their dialect.
In addition, utilizing the same language as the residents can assist you in optimizing your local search terms. For instance, if the inhabitants in a specific area refer to carbonated drinks as ‘pop’ rather than ‘soda’, it is recommended that you integrate this vocabulary in your advertisement.
If you don’t use the term ‘local pop’ instead of ‘artisan sodas’, your potential customers may not search for it and you may not get as many clicks.
Including your location in your ad’s name is a helpful tip as it helps to filter out unqualified traffic clicking on your ad. This is particularly important if you have a local business such as a bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico – you would want to target only potential customers who are thirsty and looking to drink within the city.
If your title includes Albuquerque, it will signal to users outside the area that your service is limited to that location.
To enhance audience engagement with your ads, utilizing Google’s ad extensions is an excellent strategy.
What do those things/items/objects refer to?
There are various types of extensions available on Google that can enhance regular text ads and make them more appealing.
- Ad extensions
- Location extensions
- Call extensions
By using ad extensions, it’s possible to enhance engagement for your text ads through the inclusion of supplementary hyperlinks. Such links might lead to product pages or customer testimonials, for example, and can be added to the bottom of your ad.
If you’re a business owner with several branches scattered throughout the town, location extensions will be an ideal feature for you. It will display a list of all your branches, including the distance between each of them and the user who initiated the search. By clicking on any of the branches, the user will be directed to Google Maps to obtain directions from their current location to your business right away.
The addition of call extensions puts a link to your telephone number into your advertisement. Potential customers can choose to either take note of the number or use the link to contact you directly. If your primary means of generating revenue involves telephone sales, call extensions are the most appropriate type of extension for you.
Stay compliant with Google My Business Guidelines
Although there are various search engines available for optimization, the truth is that Google dominates more than 90% of the market share. Therefore, when it comes to local SEO, the focus is predominantly on optimizing for Google.
Having a listing on Google My Business is crucial for local SEO as it determines whether your business will appear in the local search results, known as the “map pack” or “local pack,” and on Google Maps when individuals search for your business or related services. Failing to have a listing on Google’s directory can negatively impact your visibility in these search results.
When examining the SERP (search engine results page) provided, one can observe the advertisement section at the top, followed by the local Google results, a natural search outcome showcasing a regional dentist, and an aggregator website (Yellow Pages) that enlists local dentists in the specific area.
It’s not necessary for you to create this listing yourself for it to show up. Google can generate it and display it in the search results if your business details are found on any other directory that’s available to the public.
Moreover, it is possible for anyone to include your business in Google’s catalog, although they may not have the authority to verify it or control it as the rightful proprietor.
The majority of individuals have already established their business presence on Google and are currently reaping its advantages.
Not following the Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google may lead to your business being omitted from map results or, worse, your listing being suspended and entirely removed from search engine result pages.
This implies a decrease in phone calls, inquiries about directions to your establishment, website traffic, and an increase in something else.
A small business client of ours offered carpet cleaning services to residents in the D.C. metropolitan region. However, they disregarded protocol by registering Google My Business locations under various UPS addresses, with the intention of appearing in more local search results.
After all their local listings, including the genuine one with an actual address and physical location, were flagged and suspended by Google, they approached us.
Their monthly revenue was severely impacted as their service call volume plummeted by almost 93% due to the suspension of their business listings.
Just like in any aspect of life, go ahead and try to cheat the system if you want to, but be ready to face the repercussions that follow.
Focusing on map rankings may not be beneficial for all small businesses. Businesses providing high-value services, like legal representation or remodeling, are better off optimizing their traditional organic results.
When performing SEO for lawyers, we discovered that many individuals tend to browse through multiple lawyers before deciding on one, as evidenced by the analysis of organic traffic and clicks on local listings.
It’s important to consider that when conducting keyword research for law firms or other high-cost services, you might find it more effective to concentrate on high-level keywords.
Build authority with high-quality links
Consider carefully before rebranding your business website with a new domain, as established aged domains generally have greater authority than newly registered ones.
A common error I observe in the transportation sector is the tendency for trucking firms to commission a new recruitment website from their hired ad agency instead of expanding on their current platform. Consequently, this leads them to persistently rely on paid advertising, which conveniently benefits the advertising agency.
In order to establish your site’s credibility, it is important to establish your brand and one effective approach is gaining endorsement from other websites on the internet.
One way to achieve this is through citations found in various online directories such as Angie’s List, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Home Advisor, as well as links from trustworthy and top-tier websites.
It is crucial to emphasize the caliber of websites from which you receive links. Consider this scenario – when a website links to your own, they are essentially linking themselves to you.
Provide a good user experience with great site quality
Reflect on a time when you accessed a website and it did not function as per your expectations.
Wasn’t it quite frustrating?
No matter how many times you clicked the button, it had no effect or after spending 10 minutes completing the form, it erased your responses and returned an error because the date did not follow the specified format.
People tend to depart when faced with such frustration. This is the exact analogy of entering your store or workplace, receiving unsatisfactory customer service, and exiting.
If you wouldn’t tolerate this occurring at your business, why would you accept it happening on your website – as it serves as the online representation of your business?
You can take simple steps to ensure your website provides a good user experience for visitors by ensuring it follows some basic best practices.
In general, it is preferable for your website to load quickly. However, there is a limit to how much speed matters, and for the majority of cases, a loading time of 2-5 seconds on mobile devices is satisfactory (although it should be even faster on desktops). To assess your website’s page speed, there are tools available online such as Pingdom and GTMetrix.
Core Web Vitals
In May 2021, Core Web Vitals will be implemented as a ranking factor according to Google’s announcement.
In May 2021, Google Search will introduce page experience ranking signals that will merge Core Web Vitals and past UX-related signals.
The key components of Core Web Vitals are the main measurements of Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) : measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID) : measures interactivity . To provide a good user experience, pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds .
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) : measures visual stability . To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
Intuitive Site Structure and Navigation
As a local business, you should not attempt to innovate beyond necessity. Trying to be more intricate with your website design may only appease your personal preferences and not contribute to your business’s financial success, unlike Apple.
Jakob’s Law emphasizes that users primarily engage with websites other than yours. This means that they will anticipate your site to function similarly to other sites they frequently use.
Consider your expectations when using a mobile device. Where do you anticipate the location of the navigation menu? Which color do you anticipate hyperlinks to other websites being?
Where is the usual location for finding a business’ address or phone number on their website?
We have encountered a few issues on the preceding page.
- Sidebar navigation is fine on internal resource pages but not ideal for the home page.
- The logo is too damn big.
- The phone numbers aren’t hyperlinked.
- The gradient blue does not contrast well with the white font colors.
Free of Malware
It goes without saying that if your website gets hacked or infiltrated with malware without your knowledge, you will eventually face negative consequences.
In case Google detects malware or a hacking incident on your website, users will be immediately informed through the search results page.
Final Thoughts: Local PPC Campaigns
If you’re looking to boost your leads and sales quickly but lack the funds to compete on a worldwide level, choosing local PPC is the best option.
It’s easy for beginners to start with some local advertisements, so you are unlikely to encounter any difficulties.
Once you refer to our guide on CRO linked earlier, and also optimize your landing pages and CTAs, you will have all the necessary tools to begin attracting numerous new clients.