If you could make your business visible to local shoppers at the exact moment they’re searching for the products or services you offer, would you be interested? Well, of course you would!
Google Ads certainly isn’t new and your business might even be running campaigns already.
However, we see the same Google Ads mistakes over and over again from local ad campaigns that waste budget and prevent the business from getting the best possible return on investment. Whether you’re brand new to Google Ads or been running them for years – these 6 expert tips will help you boost campaign performance and win your local market!
Own Your Brand
One of the biggest pieces of advice that we can provide to local businesses is that you ‘own’ your brand. It is a cost effective digital advertising strategy to bid on your own brand as the average cost-per-click will be much lower based on a company’s website content, brand name, and messaging. There’s a lot of debate around this topic but if you decide not to advertise for your own brand terms, you risk losing traffic to conquest campaigns from competitors. After all, the top of the search results page is dominated by up to 4 ads that receive around 10-15% of clicks from searchers. For what is often just a few cents per click you can make sure you’re getting maximum brand visibility.
Get Your Location Targeting Right
As a local business you should be paying close attention to how you geo-target your ads. If you’re in a heavily competitive industry consumers are less likely to travel long distances. Too often we see campaigns target an entire city or region when the best results are coming from a few postal codes or neighborhoods. Have you claimed your Google My Business listing? (A must for local businesses ). Utilizing location extensions to showcase your business address is another way to make your listing stand out and make clear to shoppers that you’re a convenient nearby option.
Know Your Competition
“Know thy enemy” is a saying derived from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and it couldn’t be more relevant to your local ad strategy. You can answer some important questions by reviewing important search terms to see what your competitors are doing. You can also find actionable data in the auction insights section of your Google Ads Dashboard.
- Does your ad copy differentiate you from competitors?
- Which keywords are they bidding on, how aggressively? Can you be more strategic?
- What do their landing pages look like? How do yours compare?
- Which ad extensions are they using? Can you gain a competitive advantage?
Develop a Remarketing Strategy
This is common with national companies, you’ve likely experienced business ads that seem to “stalk” you around the internet, and the same tactic can really pay off for local businesses as well. Potential customers might not have been ready to take action the first time they visited you but following up with the right message or offer at the right time can be an effective way to recover lost opportunities. Buyers typically go through a process of research and comparing before making a decision. A good remarketing strategy helps your business stay top of mind the whole way while communicating why you’re the right choice!
Improve Efficiency With Postal Codes & Ad Schedules
Breaking out your target market by postal code creates an opportunity to add a bid adjustment to specific neighborhoods that are more likely to convert based on historical data. Setting specific hours (even if it is the full day) for your ads to run also creates an opportunity to include a bid adjustment for a specific hour on a given day. For instance, you might notice from your historical data that during the lunch hour on Thursdays more searchers are clicking and converting. You could set higher bids during that period to ensure your ads are seen by the shoppers that are more likely to become customers or clients.
Never Stop Testing
The competitive landscape isn’t static so you can’t be either. Your audience will change over time and your competitors are always looking for new ways to gain an edge. The solution is to never stop testing ad strategies and measuring performance. It is important to review the metrics monthly to ensure you’re tracking the goals that matter to your business, and that your ad campaigns are reaching those objectives. A “set-it and forget-it” approach will surely result in diminishing returns over time.