How to Localize Your Paid Search Campaigns

June 22, 2015 Olivia Mitchell

local PPC marketing

As a marketer selling your brand through local businesses, your marketing strategy should include tactics that partners can localize with their business information. Believe it or not, paid search (or PPC) advertising is no exception. Consider how search behavior works. People search for your brand, find some positive information about it, and say, “Great! I’m ready to buy this. Where can I find it?” This is the part when a localized PPC campaign makes all the difference. If people can’t find a nearby place to buy your brand, you’re losing customers to your competition.

Consumers love relevant messages, especially when they’re close to making a purchase. It makes sense, then, that national-local advertisers have seen a 70 percent lift on localized ads over generic ads. How do you get those results for your business? Here are three ways to localize your paid search campaigns.

1) Target Searchers in a Specific Geographic Region

Search engines know where you are when you’re looking for something online. By restricting your campaign to searches that originate from a specific region, you can ensure that only prospects and customers in that area will see your ad. This means that you won’t waste impressions -- and money -- on customers outside of your targeted area.

Imagine how many times a day someone searches for pizza delivery. If you own a chain of pizzerias in Santa Monica, you don’t need the pizza enthusiasts in Austin or Miami clicking on your ad. You also don’t want to bid against pizzerias in Austin or Miami for better ad placement. Ad networks like Google AdWords and Bing Ads allow you to show ads to select locations so you can be as targeted as you want.

2) Use Location-Specific Keywords in Your Campaigns

Include specific locations in your targeted keywords. Using our previous example, rather than just bidding on “pizza delivery,” you would bid on “Santa Monica pizza delivery.” This significantly increases your ad’s relevancy to the customer. In fact, mentioning a location in an ad or in search results can increase the likelihood of a searcher clicking on your ad by up to 200%.

Don’t get fixated on your network members’ exact locations. Do some of your customers extend into neighboring areas? Incorporate those areas into your keyword bids as well. It’s crucial that you know precisely how your customers refer to their area and the surrounding neighborhoods, towns, and cities. If that’s how they’re searching, that’s how you need to be advertising.

3) Enable Local Partners to Customize Your National PPC Ad Copy

Running a PPC campaign is enough work. If you work with a large number of local businesses, you’d have to account for plenty of location-specific keywords. That takes time that neither you nor your partners have. There’s an easier way to execute a PPC campaign on all of your partners’ behalf. You can run an automated local PPC program that takes your national copy and automatically tags it with your partners’ business information. What’s great about this method is that the localized copy doesn’t interfere with your national campaign. Once people search for your brand, they’ll get search results like the one shown below.

So which method is best for your brand and local partners? It’s likely you’ll use all three, but it’s how you use them that makes the difference. That ultimately depends on the goals of your brand and local businesses. If you see that one region is lagging in sales, you might choose to use target keywords and an automated program to bring more visibility to that area. Whatever the case may be, localized PPC campaigns are an important part of putting your brand in front of online searchers.

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Localized PPC campaigns are a great addition to your marketing strategy. Learn how to make your PPC activity suited for consumers’ local search behavior.

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