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15th April 2019

PPC For Local Business: How To Win Nearby Customers With Google Ads

minute read

Whatever your objective, there are a lot of different ways to market yourself online. If you’re a local business looking to score a steady stream of quick sales from passing trade, then PPC (pay-per-click) advertising on search engines could be the tool for you.

If you’re not familiar with PPC and its primary platform, Google Ads, check out this explainer article.

Effective PPC for local business marketers is a game of whittling your audience down to only the most likely customers in your immediate area, and giving them the most useful details about you in as eye catching a way possible. Here are 8 tactics to help you land more sales with a PPC campaign on Google Ads.

  1. Geo-targeting

The first step to reaching a motivated audience of local customers is to designate the precise area within which you’d like people to see your ads.

This is called ‘geo-targeting’, and you can use it to assign an exact radius (or several at once) for your ads to be shown to people searching for relevant keyphrases. You’ll probably want to target your ads inside a 10 or 20 mile radius of your business, or if you know the range of your customer base, set your radius to match it. This way, you won’t waste money on advertising to people too far off to realistically come to you.

  1. Make your ads mobile-optimised

With more and more searches being made on smartphones, your PPC ads need to shine on the small screen. Always make sure you’re using expanded text ads, and keep your copy short and snappy, with concise, bold headlines.

It’s also vital to make sure the landing page your ad links to is optimised for mobile. Check out these 5 tips for an effective, mobile-responsive website.

  1. Use extensions

You’ve got pretty limited space for text in the body of your ads on Google, so supplement your ad copy with Google’s range of extensions.

These let you append your ads with extra information, such as your opening hours, location, customer reviews and more. Not only do these extensions make your PPC ads more distinct and visible, they also, in a single glance, give potential customers the kind of crucial information they need when deciding whether to buy from a local business.

  1. Schedule your ads

Did you know that Google Ads lets you choose which times of the day your ads will and won’t be shown?

If you’re a local business that sells primarily from your store, custom scheduling could save you from wasting money on showing ads to people outside of business hours, who wouldn’t be able to follow up with a swift purchase even if they wanted to!

Set your ads to go out during opening hours, and schedule them to stop running as soon as you’ve closed shop for the day.

  1. Integrate with Google My Business

Google My Business is a vital tool for getting people to your door - after a quick registration process, your store will be displayed on Google Maps alongside information about your opening times, price range and a link to your website.

Signing up to My Business will make your Google Ads location extensions more useful - all customers need to do to find you is click on the extension and they’ll be taken to a map of your area with your store clearly designated.

Read this article for a step-by-step guide to setting up your Google My Business listing.

  1. Use Click-To-Call

If you’re the kind of business that arranges a lot of trade over the phone, you’ll want to get clued up on Google’s call-only ads offering.

Call-only ads only appear on mobile devices, and when a Google user clicks on your ad, their phone will automatically start a call to your business’s phone line.

Given that 70% of mobile customers have called the businesses they’ve bought from directly through a mobile ad, there’s money to be made from running some call-only ads.

  1. Split test your ads

Practice makes perfect, but data does it faster. Whether you're a local business or not, PPC works best when you’re running multiple ads simultaneously for different keywords, and you need to know which of your ads are going to work better than others.

Luckily, Google lets you split test your ads through its Experiments feature, where you can run a modified version of one campaign alongside its original, with each version reaching 50% of your audience.

When the campaigns have run for long enough to deliver measurable results, compare them and see which got more clicks. Keep this up, and you’ll build a clear idea of the most effective way to compose your ads to appeal to a local crowd.

  1. Exclude junk keywords

Google Ads lets you monitor which search terms people have used to find your ads. Keep an eye on these, as they’ll let you know whether you’re accidentally targeting phrases that aren’t particularly relevant to what you do.

For instance, if you sold fishing gear in Scarborough, you might discover that a few people had clicked on your ads after searching for ‘fishmongers in Scarborough’ before quickly leaving your site because, well, that wasn’t what they were looking for.

You don’t want to spend your budget on useless traffic, so you’d classify the phrase ‘fishmongers’ as a negative keyword to prevent your ads being seen by people searching for it.

For sheer efficiency in generating quick sales, PPC is a tactic that’s hard to beat for any local business looking to market itself. If you’d like to start advertising on search engines yourself, our team of Google Ads experts can set you up with a winning campaign that’ll catch the attention of a wealth of nearby customers.

Learn more about using Google Ads with these articles from our vaults:

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