Tips for an Effective Localized PPC Strategy

What Is Local PPC?

Localized PPC, or geo-targeting, is simply a strategy used to target people in a specific area. This will allow you to get in front of the right people and present them with a meaningful ad. This is particularly important if you are operating within some tight budget constraints. For a local business, navigating the busy traffic of the SERP can be a challenge. Here are some helpful tips for creating your local paid search strategy.

Start With A Solid Structure

The way you structure your keywords in your Search campaigns is very important.  If you don’t properly segment things out, you won’t be able to tailor your ad copy to the search as easily.  Decide how you want to target your audience: do you need to target by the city? Zip code? By a radius around your locations? Once you have the areas you want to target, you can begin your structure. 

One of my previous clients managed a slew of apartment buildings and had PPC accounts for each building. We would bid on generic terms like “apartments near me” or even just “apartments.”  It wouldn’t make much sense to leave a broad term like this open to the entire US. It was doubtful someone in Seattle would want an ad for my apartment on the east coast. The broader the keyword, the tighter our targeting was. For a generic keyword like “apartments”, we kept our targeting within a specific radius of the actual apartment complex. For more specific keywords, like the actual apartment complex’s name, we opened up our targeting to include a larger area. We applied a similar approach to searches like “apartments in New York.”

Struggling with keyword selection and don’t know where to start? Head to your search terms! This will help give you some insight into how your audience is finding you. Do they include city, town, zip code, county, near me, or neighborhood in their search? If so, that sounds like a perfect ad group opportunity along with tailored ad copy.

Leverage Extensions & Dynamic Features

Another necessary tactic within Google Ads is utilizing extensions. Location extensions can help users find your business. As long as you have Google My Business set up, you can run these extensions. These can be particularly useful if you have a brick-and-mortar store and you want to increase foot traffic. 

Call extensions are another one to use if you want to display your number directly on your ad. The best part is that Google will dynamically create a number so you can track these calls within the platform too!

Another feature to help you get hyper-local is dynamic location insertion which allows you to customize your ad copy to your user’s locations. This can help save some time creating location-specific ad copy. The options include city, state, and country which can be inserted into your headlines or descriptions. One client of mine in the education space likes to use this technique to tailor ad copy for applicants from out of state. We use ad copy that calls out “Now Accepting Students from {state} to increase enrollments in specific programs.

Get Hyper-Local

Level up from local targeting to hyper-local targeting. Another former client of mine managed storage units. To gain more foot traffic, we did some research and compiled a list of neighborhoods in the area to increase the relevancy of our keywords. Instead of only using “storage units in {city}”, we were able to use “storage units near {neighborhood}.” We also created ad groups for keywords like “storage units near me” and made sure to have radius targeting around each of the units’ locations. Because we had our keywords segmented by neighborhood, we were able to tailor our ad copy to call out the area as well. The more tailored your ad copy is, the higher the CTR. 

Another way to utilize a hyper-local strategy is to include relevant information to the area. This means you need someone on board who is an expert in the area. Let’s say you sell furniture and your business is located in a college town where there is a massive move-in during the month of August.  Here is an example of an ad that calls out the event called “Welcome Week.”

ad copy example

It is the little details like this that can set you apart from the rest of the ads in the SERP.

Another feature we have at our disposal is Google local campaigns. According to Google, these are designed to help businesses provide customers with information and help streamline the process for you to promote your business and your offline business goals. 

Try Something New

Don’t be afraid to test new things; your competition likely is! One of my favorite new tests for a local strategy, outside of Search, is Waze. This platform allows you to advertise your business on their map. Waze is starting to grow and is geared toward smaller businesses. 

Whether you are a local business or a larger brand, you can benefit from a local strategy. Like every new idea, you have to start testing to discover what works best! 

Have you been testing any local tactics that have you excited or have produced stellar results? Let us know!