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Google AdWords for Local Business

Google AdWords

Google AdWords gives you a broad reach of potential customers for your business.  You can advertise to prospects around the world which can be powerful for an online retailer or service provider.  However, there are some businesses who want to reach only people in their county, or maybe even their zip code, and as a result need a more targeted strategy.  With these tips, they can maximize their budget for local business only.

Target by Location

With Google AdWords, you can be granular in your choice of location where your ads are displayed.  Select the county or zip code of the area you want to serve so you are not paying for clicks from people who are not potential customers.  It can also be helpful to exclude locations you specifically do not want to serve.

Include Location in the Ad

Your ad can catch the eye of the searcher if your location, such as your city, is also one of the keywords used in the ad.  Someone in Tampa could land on an ad that highlights “10 years of local experience”.  What would be more appealing is “10 years of Tampa experience”.  Although that essentially says the same thing, use of the city name in the ad is another signal that you have what they need in their community.

Run Your Ads When You’re Available

Do you operate a 9-to-5 business?  If so, consider running your ads only during that time frame, unless you offer support after hours.  Otherwise, it could frustrate searchers who are searching locally for an immediate need.  If they cannot reach you immediately, it may not be the best time to promote your product or service.  You can set this feature with “Ad Scheduling”.

Use Location Extensions

With location extensions, the address and telephone number of your location can be displayed along with the text ad.  This is shown when the search performed is identified as being within a close proximity to the business. Location extensions are especially helpful because they can include a click-to-call option which lets mobile customers call directly from the ad.

Use a Local Forwarding Number

Forwarding numbers are available in Google AdWords which help the advertiser identify how many customers called as a result of seeing the AdWords ad in their search results.  Recently, local forwarding numbers were made available which use the same area code as the business.  This is another signal that the business is local for the searcher.

Reach Them Where They Are

It’s 7:00am in the morning and someone in your city is looking for a place to grab a cup of coffee before a meeting.  You operate a small business with a coffee special during the week from 7:00am – 8:00am.  With Google AdWords, you can target an ad to run on a mobile device during this specific time period.  This allows you to reach customers where they are; in this case, a caffeine-starved business person who might be right down the street.

Use Sitelinks to Show the Location

Google AdWords SitelinksGoogle AdWords Sitelinks are a creative way to get beyond the character limitations in the ad itself.  You can highlight specific pages on your site relevant to the searcher’s query.  Since we are talking specifically about local business advertising in this post, use a sitelink for the location finder or map on your website.  Although you can use location extensions as described above, this is a simple step to make it as easy as possible for people to find you.  You can also watch the performance of sitelinks over time.  See if people are clicking on this in your ad.  If not, it could be the location extension you are using is enough for searchers and you can use this space for something else on your site instead.

Opt in to Search Partners

Search Partners are part of the Search Network and partner with Google to show paid ads.  One that is relevant to local business is Google Maps.  When an advertiser chooses to “select search partners”, their ads are eligible to  to display on Google Maps.  It is another useful way to attract customers who are in the vicinity of your business.  Search ads are seen right below the search box on Maps and on the map itself with a yellow “ad” icon and text from the ad.  Use this in conjunction with Location Extensions to maximize impressions.  The ads on maps are standard CPC like the regular text ads.

Many small businesses just do not have the ad dollars of a larger corporation and therefore may feel an AdWords campaign is not an option for them.  However, by following some of these tips, they can ensure their ad dollars are stretching as far possible in order to reach those people who are nearby.

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