Small businesses are the major focus right now for Social Media (think Foursquare) and SEO (Local One Box, FTW). In Paid Search, we tend to ignore the small, more local accounts. I have found that they can be the most fun and easiest to play with and test. This month, we are going over the three best tips for local businesses when running paid search advertising.
1. Sync Up to Your Local Business Account
Seems like a no brainer to some, but for some small business owners, you might not have seen this option yet, or know to ask for it from your agency/account manager.
This option allows an advertiser to list their location just below their paid search ads. This resonates well with local searchers looking specifically for local businesses and service providers.
AdWords: This is a campaign level setting just like geographic targeting, but you can set them by ad. Under “Bidding and Budget” is a section in “Settings” called “Ad extensions.” For step by step instructions, visit the source.
AdCenter: Not available yet. Cough
Yahoo: Yes, I am ignoring Yahoo. It’s going away and I rather dislike it. #movingon
2. Watch the Short Tail Keywords Closely
If you are bidding on a generic keyword such as “lasik surgery” in a locally targeted campaign, you will be competing against everyone else who has settings to appear in your set area. If you or your client is a local eye surgeon, you will be bidding against the local providers and those competitors nationally targeting keywords. These are national chains, information based sites, and suppliers. This can get costly, not only in Cost per Click, but also in Cost per Conversion.
Keep a close eye on these keywords, and if necessary, move them to a separate campaign so that it can be isolated from other more-targeted, better-performing key words. If needed, restrict it down to phrase and watch it for negative keywords. You might even have to take it down to exact match. If it gets to this, be sure you are focusing your landing page as well.
In the end, don’t sacrifice revenue for bad traffic. Make sure the traffic coming in is interested, check bounce rates as well as conversions.
3. Focus on the Location in Ads and Landing Pages
These people are pumped that you are near them, don’t mess up by making them enter their zip code to find their closest dealer. Have landing pages that are focused to the geography they come in from.
On top of that, test adding the city, region, or even neighborhood name in the ad. The more people feel like you are a part of their world, the more that trust goes up. This all equals higher conversions!