Local advertising can be a hard nut to crack. 🥜 The audience size is generally small (as compared to larger campaigns based on entire nations) and the keywords can be really competitive. All of that means that brands attempting local PPC advertising, especially on their own, can really struggle.
This can result in settling for poor results, overpaying for keywords, or simply giving up altogether.
You do not have to settle! For most businesses, there is a route to local advertising success, but it involves fine-tuning your campaigns. One size does not fit all.
If you’re ready to throw in the towel (or you know, throw your computer out the window), know that help is here! I’ve laid out how to grow local conversions and how you can adjust your campaigns for more click-throughs, more traffic, and more conversions!
Optimize Your Ads for Mobile
This is probably my most important tip. You cannot expect your online local advertising to be successful without making sure your ads are optimized for mobile. Think about how often you use your cell phone, tablet, or other smart devices. Better yet, think of how often a younger relative does. Our reliance on mobile is only growing.
Currently, half of all searches are on mobile devices, and that number is expected to grow. If your website and landing pages aren’t responsive then you are missing a huge section of potential customers that never even get the chance to buy.
When building landing pages or investing in a new website, a mobile-friendly design should be one of the top requirements. Once that’s established, make sure the load time is as fast as possible. Users are accustomed to fast lead times and will bounce from the page that doesn’t load quickly enough.
In fact, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. If the page doesn’t load in a timely manner, they will simply leave the site. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. In this case, time is literally money and every second your site doesn’t load costs you 💲💲💲.
Factors like making sure the page loads quickly as well as have the proper placement, resolution, and dimensions are all important. Someone with a good experience on your site is extremely likely to purchase from the brand again, while someone with a bad experience is 60% less likely to do so.
All good reasons to make sure the landing page, ads, and site work on mobile!
Utilize Social Media
Local advertising is an amazing chance to pair your Google Ads (formerly AdWords) campaigns with social media PPC. Combining the two can lead to serious bliss. Here are some ideas:
Facebook allows you to set a geofence around ads to target local users. You can run different campaigns depending on your goals and segment your audiences accordingly. Local advertising will have a smaller pool of users (which may be more interested in your product or service, depending on what it is) while broader advertising will have more potential customers.
It’s possible to establish a geofence for your ads and it’s even possible to use proximity ads that trigger specifically when a mobile user is within your established radius. These proximity ads on Facebook are excellent at engaging local consumers because they can target people nearby browsing their news feeds and offer special promotions such as happy hour deals and time-limited sales. 😃
If your business is hosting an event, advertising through Snapchat geofilters can be a great way to get local people engaged. Snapchat geofilters are also helpful when used in tandem with your local PPC advertising to grow in-store foot traffic and brand awareness. 🗺️
Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are definitely the three biggest social media platforms for B2C brands (there is some debate about whether YouTube is a social media platform, but it can be a useful tool as well). Instagram is often used for brand awareness, but it can also drive direct local sales. 📷
Make your Instagram key to your local advertising by listing the location of stores and hours, publishing posts that speak to your local audience about your city, and share information about sales. You can be incredibly specific in Instagram location targeting, so really pin down your desired location and audience. This can help drive traffic to your product pages and retail foot traffic.
Use Weather Triggered Ad Copy
So I discussed above how Facebook can actually target users who are within a certain proximity to your business, which is pretty cool, but it’s not the only trigger for local advertising your brand can use.
Another scenario that affects local business and people is everyone’s favourite subject: the weather! ☁️
It is actually possible through Google Ads to create weather-triggered ads that will appear to local consumers based on the weather outside. These require custom Ads scripts, so it’s helpful to have a professional help you. When done correctly, the copy of your ads is dependent on the weather Google reports that day. ❄️
Think how helpful this would be for a local coffee shop that can offer a cozy place to sit indoors and a warm beverage when it’s cold or a blended drink when it’s hot. This leverages the shared experience that local consumers and local brand experience to offer site-specific advertising. ☀️
Depending on the platform, it may be easier or more difficult to set up this type of weather condition advertising, but if you can set it up correctly and include dynamic copy, it can be a great way to interact with local consumers. For example, creating a sense of urgency with your weather ads can generate traffic to your physical location through promotions like “Rainy Day Special!” or weather-specific solutions “We Have Fans in Stock!”. ⛈️
H2: Use Ad Groups
How many different ad groups do you have within one campaign? And how many ads for that ad group? Single keyword ad groups (SKAGs) specifically tailor advertisements to individual keywords. For example, let’s say you are a financial institution that offers a variety of services and products. If someone searches “mortgage rates”, do you really want them to get results for opening a new checking account? SKAGs allows you to set certain ads to appear only with specific keywords.
This leads to higher ad relevance, improved click-through rates, and more conversions!
There’s so much to love about SKAGs. They allow brands to smaller, more specific audiences, improve the relevance of your ad content to the search term, and they improve the CTR and quality score of local advertising.
SKAGs in PPC campaigns are really only for folks who want to narrow their audience of potential consumers, increase the relevance of the ads, and maximize success.
There are multiple options when it comes to differentiating your SKAGs for a campaign. You can create ad groups based on the immediate local radius, city or town, zip code, county, and state.
That gives you a lot of options to explore, but I recommend sticking smaller. That does make your potential audience size smaller, but it also increases your relevance and allows you to make very specific ads.
It’s actually possible to create an ad that focuses on a larger geographic area, like the county, while ad groups surrounding specific keywords only focus on your city. The opportunities are endless! 😍
Use Ad Extensions
Google Ads gives the option to include extensions, which are bonuses you can add to jazz up your ordinary Ads copy. These extensions can help boost engagement on the local level because it gives users more avenues to find you and convert.
Some examples of specific ad extensions include dynamic site link extensions, review extensions, call extensions, and location extensions. Depending on how you use extensions and your skills, you can even create campaigns that focus on the brand’s locality and the consumer’s convenience.
This can be helpful for a variety of businesses. For example, if you have multiple storefronts in one city, you can run PPC campaigns to direct people to those ads, which shares the location, time, and deals.
Consumers might not know where the locations are near them, so make it super clear where they can find you!
Use Local Jargon
As a local company, you have an advantage in advertising. This is the time to use local jargon, bring up local cultural icons, and make your ads place-specific. Do your research on what jargon and references will work best for your ads, and don’t be afraid to use local colloquialisms in your marketing copy. Everyone likes to feel “in the know” — this helps you engage with the audience and drives your CPC down. 👍
You can also use local PPC ads layered with remarketing, which targets users who have previously visited your website. This is a double-layered approach: your ads will only be seen by people in the local area who have been to your website.
This is an excellent way to narrow your audience to those most relevant to your ideal market. This can lead to increased CTR compared to just remarketing or just local advertising. The CPC should drop because the users are theoretically that much closer to conversion.
All of this conserves funds in your local advertising campaign, which means you’re paying less for more relevant potential buyers. 💸 This should lead to boosted brand PPC performance!
Local advertising requires fine-tuning and dynamic copy. Don’t expect to be super generic and get results. If you have an established reputation in your area (or want to build your brand awareness in your geo!) then you need to step up your ad copy for relevance and personalization.
Depending on your business and target market, it may be necessary to change the platform you target users on, when you push ads, what triggers an ad, etcetera, etcetera. There are a lot of factors to consider!
Basically, the better you can align your ad copy with your area and local audience, the more your ad will stand out. Knowledge of local conditions, needs, interests, and happenings is an advantage, so use it!
Before you give up on local PPC ads, know that slight tweaks to your campaign could lead to big results. These tips can help you fine-tune your ads for the better. Need more help? Hit me up! I would be happy to answer any questions.