Local businesses have been under a significant amount of pressure in the last year or so, and it isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. Those businesses have had to face more challenges lately than most of us could have seen coming. Today more than ever, local businesses want to make sure they’re doing whatever they can to stay ahead. People might not be getting out and doing things in person for a while. That makes what businesses do online even more important.
With local PPC, businesses can gain more control over getting themselves in front of their target audiences online. PPC ads allow your company to get noticed and make more sales, and they can do all this quickly if they’re done right.
Knowing your way around paid media marketing best practices can give your local business the digital marketing edge you need right now. This article will focus primarily on local PPC, but if you’re interested in running international ads, Day Translations put out a great piece on multilingual targeting within Google Ads.
Now, let’s dive in. Here’s how to make your local PPC more effective in bringing in new income in 2021.
Be as Geographically Specific as Possible
You need to use geotargeting. PPC gives you the ability to control the audience you want to see your ads, so you want to use this the best you can. You want the audience you’re targeting to be as specific as possible. This means ensuring that you’re targeting the cities, towns, zip codes, and neighborhoods that will produce the best ROI for your business.
You aren’t limited to targeting only certain neighborhoods and zip codes, either. Google Ads gives you the option to create a custom radius of where you want to target. This is just one more way for you to have a little more control over who exactly your ads are hitting.
Likewise, you also want to be sure you aren’t targeting areas that won’t benefit you. Maybe you know that people in certain nearby areas are unlikely to use your products and services, so advertising to them could be wasting your time and money. To be sure that only your ideal audience is seeing your ads, start using negative geographic targets.
Seb Hall, Founder & CEO of Cloud Employee, agrees stating that “You can boost your local PPC in 2021 by implementing several processes such as by being as geographically specific as much as possible, exploring various PPC platforms, creating high-converting landing pages, utilizing Local PPC Ad Remarketing, trying out Google’s Local Services Ads, implementing Ad Extensions, and possibly more.”
Explore Different PPC Platforms
Don’t invest your entire PPC budget in just one platform. Google might be the most obvious place for your PPC ads, but it’s far from the only one. Although Google gets the most users, millions use Bing instead, and your audience could be there, too. Neglecting other search engines means missing out on people who might be perfect matches for your business.
Ryan Forshaw, Senior PPC Account Manager at Active Win Media LTD, “As we embark on 2021, ad platforms are becoming increasingly automated and, as algorithms are progressively more sophisticated, automation will play a bigger role in local PPC campaigns.”
You also can’t forget about running local ads on social media platforms, not just search engines. Facebook is still the most popular social media network. It gives you several ad platforms to choose from. Other platforms to consider are local ads on Instagram and YouTube.
Of course, just because you have options doesn’t mean you need to use every one. You might find that some platforms aren’t as useful for your business model, and those budgets might be better spent elsewhere. Even if some platforms don’t end up working for you, it’s better to know than to wonder if you’re missing out on a greater opportunity.
Create Effective Landing Pages
You don’t want your ads to direct users to just any page. Many businesses link their ads to their homepage or another page that already exists on their website, but you can do better than that.
For all of your local PPC ads, you need to create a landing page to go along with them. Ryan Scollon, a Freelance PPC Consultant, reiterated this stating that “One of the most under utilized tactics for Local PPC is location specific landing pages. Having unique ad messaging for each location is not enough to convince a user that you are a local business.” This gives you control over what users who click on your ads see, so you can give them the most relevant and useful content. These landing pages should be tailored to fit exactly what those interested in your ad need to see the most.
In addition to including content that matches your ad, you also want to add a bold and effective call to action. The right call to action gets a user’s attention and tells them exactly what you want to do next, such as calling your business or placing an order. With an effective landing page created just for certain users, you have a better chance of getting more and higher-quality conversions out of your ads.
When you’re creating landing pages for local PPC ads, you don’t want to forget your mobile users. There’s a good chance a decent number of the people clicking on your ad are doing so on a mobile device, so you don’t want to lose them with a landing page that isn’t mobile-friendly. This shouldn’t apply only to PPC landing pages, though. If your whole website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re already falling behind in 2021, but you knew that.
Utilize Local PPC Ad Remarketing
If someone visited your website and nothing came of it, you haven’t totally lost that person just yet. After someone visits your website, you can target them in the future with remarketing ads. This is something you can do on both Google and Bing.
Remarketing can be beneficial for targeting a few groups of specific users. If a user visits your site and doesn’t take any actions, remarketing can help remind them that you’re there to help give them what they need. If you sell products right on your website, you can use remarketing to target users who put something in their cart but left without buying anything.
Remarketing targets more than just the users who didn’t take a particular action. This can even be used for people who have already used your services or made a purchase. Using ad remarketing for past customers and clients can help ensure they return in the future.
As a local business, you want people to be familiar with you and what you offer. When it comes to making your local PPC as effective as possible, remarketing is an area you don’t want to miss.
Try Out Google’s Local Services Ads
One type of ad you should start putting some of your budget toward is Google’s local services ads. Local service ads aren’t an option for every small business, but for those who can use this, you don’t want to miss your chance. Businesses in many industries can use local services ads, such as plumbers, electricians, painters, lawn care professionals, pet care professionals, and event planners.
These ads differ from other ads you might use for your local business because, rather than pay per click, you’ll only pay for each lead you get directly through the ad. This is a huge benefit for businesses, as you’ll be putting your money toward high-quality leads who are closer to taking the next steps.
Businesses that show up as local service ads can also appear more trustworthy to users. To utilize local services ads as a business, Google needs to check out your business thoroughly to ensure you’re reliable. This requires you to submit to background checks and ensures you have the right insurance and licensing for your industry. Once this is done, your business will become Google Guaranteed, and users will know you’re a trusted local business that suits their needs.
Implement Ad Extensions
Any relevant, additional information you can include in your ads is going to be helpful. This is something you can utilize after you’ve claimed your Google My Business listing, which should include all of your business’s information, and linked it to your Google Ads account.
Extensions can make a big difference in how your ads perform, but not everyone knows how to use them. Local businesses that put in the extra effort to use ad extensions can position themselves ahead of the competition.
Several local extensions can help boost your local PPC campaign. Some extensions, like call or message ones, make it easier for users to contact your business. The extensions also allow users to do it right through the ad. However, extensions can also provide additional information about a business, such as showing current promotions, prices, and anything that makes your business unique.
It’s important to keep in mind that extensions aren’t guaranteed, and they might not always show up with your ads. However, ad extensions don’t cost you anything extra, so enabling them can only help you.
Test and Make Changes Often
The best way to get better at anything is to look at how you’re performing, which you need to do if you want to boost your local PPC. What works and what doesn’t can change frequently, so you need to stay on top of your local campaign. This might seem like a simple step, but you don’t want to overlook it because of that.
Over time, you’ll have to learn to adjust and change the way you do things, especially when the markets feel like they’re constantly shifting. While this can be a lot of work and requires you to monitor your local PPC closely, it’s the only way to stay successful at it.