An Introductory Guide to Local PPC

working on google ads

If your business wants to reach local customers, you’ll turn a lot of your attention to local SEO. You understand how beneficial this can be for growing your local presence, but you should split your focus between it and local PPC.

Most of you are already aware of the basics behind PPC. It stands for pay-per-click and refers to a method of digital advertising. Google Ads is typically used to display ads to online users, and you get charged when someone clicks on the ad.

Today, we’re taking this concept and applying it to local PPC for small businesses. We’ll explain the following:

  • How local PPC works
  • Why local PPC is crucial
  • How to create a local PPC strategy

How Local PPC Works

Local PPC follows the same underlying principle as normal PPC: your ads are shown, yet you only pay money when they’re clicked on. 

The fundamental difference is that local PPC focuses on customers within specific geographical locations. You target keywords and use geographical location data to ensure your ads are presented to the right people. 

For example, if your business is located in Manchester, you’ll be targeting local searches that include this location – e.g. best coffee shops in Manchester. At the same time, your ads will appear in searches for individuals who are currently sharing their location and are near your target area. 

Your local PPC ads will typically be present in three main search areas: 

  • Just above the organic results
  • At the top of the Google Map Pack (the small map shown when running local searches, usually highlighting a few local businesses)
  • Within Google Maps itself

Why Local PPC Is Crucial

Running a small business comes with many concerns, one of which is your inability to stand out from the crowd. You operate in a condensed environment with loads of other companies situated around you. Local PPC can help you gain the advantage you need, shining a massive light on your local business.

When you put together a local PPC strategy, you will see the following benefits:

Gain more brand awareness

The placement of local PPC Google Ads means they’re easily visible for all to see. As long as users don’t run an Ad Blocker, your ads will be the first things they notice. Even if this doesn’t lead to clicks right now, it still gets your name out there and boosts brand awareness.

Find your target market

A local ad will directly zero in on your target demographic. You ensure that the people in your local area know you exist and see your business as a valid option.

Less competition

With normal PPC or regular SEO, you’re competing with businesses across the country (and sometimes even the world). This means the adverts will be more expensive as more companies are competing for the same keywords. Local PPC differs in that you only compete with other local businesses. Nationwide companies are no longer an issue because they won’t bother spending money on ads for locations they don’t cater to. The decrease in competition makes your PPC budget go further while also increasing your chances of standing out.

Boost your conversions

Did you know that 78% of local searches lead to offline purchases? It’s a telling statistic that demonstrates the power of local search and local PPC. When a consumer conducts a local search, it usually means they’re already far down the customer journey. They know what they need, it’s just a case of finding where to get it. A well-placed local PPC ad can be all the help they need to figure out where to go. As a result, your conversion rate can skyrocket with a great strategy in place.

phone open on google maps on mobile

How To Create A Local PPC Strategy

Clearly, local PPC will provide some key benefits for your business. The next question is simple: how do you create a local PPC strategy? 

To start, you should already have a Google Ads account up and running. 

From here you can go into your dashboard and click on the Campaigns menu. There’s a big blue button to click that lets you Add A New Campaign. 

This will bring up a selection of Campaign options – we suggest choosing the Custom Campaign one as it then opens up a few other concepts. Here, you can click either the Search or Local options depending on your goals. If you want to drive traffic to your local business, then choose the latter. For clicks and leads via a website, opt for the former. 

After this, you will have the typical Google Ads Campaign dashboard that you may have already used for other non-local campaigns. There are some key things to keep in mind if you want your local strategy to work, which are:

  • Choosing a precise location – You need to be specific with your location as it ensures the right people find you. It will also mean you don’t get traffic from people outside of your target area. Remember, you pay per click, so you’ll waste money on untargeted leads if the location is too vague or large. 
  • Focusing on local keywords – When adding your keywords, make sure you focus on as many local elements as possible. Again, specific location information is key here, but also pay attention to the language used by locals. Conduct some keyword research to find specific phrases people may use in this particular area of the country. This helps you form your ads around the local dialogue.
  • Implement strong landing pages – You should always have a landing page for local ads, even if the aim is to get people to visit your physical location. Make the landing page reflect the ad copy. It should provide users with clear information that helps them make a decision. Ideally, the landing page should have your contact details and location information at the top for all to see. This helps people know how to get to you.

Many other elements go into crafting a local PPC strategy, but these tips will help you get off on the right foot. It’s a key aspect of digital marketing that helps your small business stand out and gain more traffic/customers. If you’d like to get the absolute most out of your local PPC campaigns, then we offer a free PPC audit to try. Our experts will analyse your current strategy and provide detailed guidance on where you can improve. Click on the link and fill in your details – we’ll get back to you ASAP.

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