Local PPC Strategies & Tips For Your Business

Austin Randall
By Austin Randall

Did you know that local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to store within one day? Or that over 60% of consumers use local information in online ads? This really shouldn’t be surprising to most of us… you know the 99% of us who are glued to our smartphones and wouldn’t know how to survive if we couldn’t Google every thought/question that passes through our minds.

Without the Internet, how would we find the best frozen yogurt spot within walking distance of our house? Or discover the closest urgent care in case of an emergency? Because come on, who owns a phone book these days? Throughout the years, marketers have capitalized on this transition from offline to online search marketing queries using SEO and PPC marketing strategies in order to drive visitors to their websites in hopes of them eventually visiting their store.

While this is all fine and dandy, many marketers have failed to realize that in this world of instant gratification, consumers are no longer simply searching for general products and services online. Instead, consumers are searching for products and services that they can find near them. However, many brands with localized businesses who should be taking advantage of this new trend are still pouring ad dollars into blanket-approach PPC campaigns that fail to appeal to this local market.

If this describes you (aka a business with multiple store/franchise locations using a nationalized advertising approach), it may be time to refresh your current paid search strategy with a local local PPC strategy. How is this local PPC campaign accomplished, you ask? Let’s dive in!

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Types Of Local PPC Account Structures

Before you begin planning and running your local paid search campaign, it’s important to take the time to consider how localized you want your paid search campaign to be as well as how you want to set it up within AdWords. The three primary ways to set up your localized paid search campaign include:

  • Local accounts without location bid modifiers: Works well if you need to bid on local keywords, run localized ads, or link to localized landing pages.
  • National accounts with location bid modifiers: Works well if you don’t need local keywords, ads, or landing pages, but you recognize certain locations perform better than others.
  • Blend: Some companies choose to run localized campaigns or accounts for their top locations alongside the national account/campaigns.

For the sake of this blog post, we are going to go with the most granular local account structure, which involves researching and bidding on localized keywords, running localized ads, and redirecting to localized landing pages.

Elements Of A Localized Search Campaign

Simply speaking, the first step is to break your national account down to localized accounts which focus on advertising a single location or group of locations in close proximity.  Since that is easier said than done, I recommend looking into a tool called Balihoo for businesses with hundreds or more locations. Once you’ve broken up your nationalized AdWords account into local accounts, the next steps involve bidding on localized keywords, creating location-specific ad copy, and developing localized landing pages for your local pay-per-click advertising campaign.

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Localized Keywords

When running a localized paid search campaign, you want to find keywords that target the neighborhood, city, state, or zip code that your business is located.

Adding qualifiers like “San Diego”, “92109”, or even the part of town such as “Pacific Beach” will help allocate your budget more appropriately by focusing on the right type of traffic in the correct geolocation. Filtering out people who don’t qualify will save you a tremendous amount of your ad dollars and increase your click-through rate.

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Localized PPC Ad Copy

Now that you’ve chosen your new and improved localized keywords, it is time to start creating localized pay per click ad copy based on this research. Use your ad copy and ad extensions to highlight the fact that you are a local business.

Google has even gone out of their way to help us digital marketers out with the Local Business Extension. This feature appends your physical business location in your ads, and also links to Google Maps so that users can easily find where your business is located and how to get there. Believe it or not, this goes a long way in helping your ad stand out in the SERPs.

Localized Landing Pages

Finally, once you’ve done your due diligence with keywords and ad copy, it is time to tie it all together with a localized landing page. When creating your localized landing page, it’s important to keep in mind that this is where you can really shine and prove your worth. Ensure that your landing page appeals to the “local” side of each consumer with:

  • Custom content targeted to each location
  • Pictures of your business in that specific area
  • Testimonials from local customers
  • Local phone number and contact information
  • Location and hours
  • Map with directions to business

By directing consumers to geographically specific, informational landing pages, you dramatically increase the chances of more foot traffic coming through your door, or increase your lead conversions for businesses without brick-and-mortars. So, now that we’ve discussed the logistics of running a local paid search campaign, let’s see these strategies in practice to increase the conversion rate.

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Case Study: The Budget Blinds Local Program

Budget Blinds, a custom window covering franchise company, came to us for help with their PPC efforts.  We were able to identify a couple major opportunities to shift strategy, meant to provide more market (impression) share and drive a higher volume of more qualified leads at a lower cost per lead.  The result was a hybrid National/Local approach, where low-funnel, more qualified channels (Brand, Competitor, and RLSA) were managed at the National level and the program’s high-funnel channel (Non-Brand) would be run through micro accounts at the Local level.

In turn, this offered franchisees the most efficient leads possible through the shared NAF account while also giving them the opportunity to capture more of their local market share for non-branded keywords at a much more efficient cost.

The results? Outstanding to say the least! We saw the following year-over-year changes in U.S. territories after implementing the Budget Blinds Local Program:

  • CTR increased by 227%
  • CVR increased by 98%
  • CPL down 51%
  • Lead volume up 94%

….The numbers speak for themselves.

Wrapping Up

These results go to show that if you’re running a national paid search campaign, with a little bit of upfront work, you can set yourself up for long-term success by breaking up a national account into local accounts. This is a fantastic strategy for any local-based company who is looking to further penetrate their markets using paid search ads. Talk to the PPC experts at power Digital Marketing today! Learn more about the search engine optimization side of local search best bractices for small business owners!

 

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Austin is the Director of Paid Media at Power Digital Marketing. He made it a point early on in his career to be a Jack of All Trades digital marketing, having hands-on experience in PPC, SEO, Social Media, and Affiliate Marketing. That experience comes in handy for his passion of creating and orchistraiting impactful cross-channel strategies for businesses he works with.