Every day, millions of people conduct Google searches in order to find local solutions to their problems. As a small business owner, it is extremely important to be able to reach the people that are looking for your services exactly when they need them. Thus, having a strong local presence in Google Ads is essential to grow your market.
Here are some tips to effectively use Google Ads to advertise your local business:
We live in an increasingly mobile world. Nowadays, pretty much everybody is online through their smartphone. This is very important because the way people search on their mobile device is significantly different than how they search on desktop. The one key difference that local advertisers should give high importance to is that mobile searches connect people to local businesses.
Not convinced? Here’s some data you might be interested in:
The “near me” search phrase, a strong indicator of purchase intent, has been one of the main focus points of research into mobile search behavior. Google has found that “near me” mobile searches containing some variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” have grown over 500% in the last few years.
What should local advertisers do to leverage this information? Make sure your bidding is competitive.
Use positive mobile bid modifiers in order to make sure that you are automatically bidding higher for those “near me” mobile searches with high purchase intent. A higher bid will give you a higher chance of winning a top ad position on the mobile search results page. Targeting a top ad position will increase your chances of reaching a potential customer, given that most people don’t scroll past the top results on a mobile device.
Use a Call-only Campaign
Depending on the nature of your business and the behavior of your clients, a Call-only campaign could potentially be a great fit for you.
If your business is an emergency service, sending your potential clients to your website is probably not the best idea when they need your help now. Other times, a potential client may want to speak with you before making a payment to hire your services. They are looking to do business with someone they can trust.
Call-only ads are a special type of ad format directed only at mobile devices. Unlike other ad formats, they do not send users to a website when they are clicked. Instead, they immediately start a phone call to the phone number on the ad. They also feature a call button.
An example of a Call-only ad.
It’s important to note that you should only be running your Call-only ads during your hours of operation. You don’t want to be showing your ads at times when you won’t be available to answer the phone not just because it’s a waste of your advertising budget, as you won’t be able to take advantage of the leads you receive when you’re not answering the phone, but also because it creates a negative perception of your business to those potential clients whose needs weren’t met when they needed you.
Google My Business
When a potential client does a local search query on Google, they are shown business listings that contain names, ratings, address, hours of operation, and phone numbers.
Having a good Google My Business listing increases your chances of success in your local market. An optimized listing that contains as much relevant information as possible makes it easy for Google to match your local business listing to the appropriate searches, which in turn increases your exposure.
Google My Business listings appear like this when a local search is conducted
Another way that you can leverage your Google My Business listing is by linking it with your Google Ads account. In doing so, you gain the ability to use location extensions in your account. Location extensions add very relevant information to your ads, such as:
The distance to your location and your city (mobile)
Your location’s street address (desktop)
A clickable “Call” button
a clickable access to a details page for your location—with information such as hours, phone number, photos, and directions
You get all of the above benefits when you use location extensions on your account at no additional cost! This gives you a competitive edge over other businesses that are not taking advantage of this useful feature.
Segment your Account by Location
Google Ads has a very useful functionality that allows you to target only the specific locations where you want your ads to show. Location targeting can be done at many different levels, but for advertisers focused on increasing their local presence, the most useful method of location targeting is radius targeting.
Here is what radius targeting looks like in the Google Ads platform.
Radius targeting allows advertisers to show ads only on a specific radius around their business. No local business is the same, so the most advantageous radius that each Google Ads account can target is not the same either. It all depends on your competition (how many similar shops are there in your area) and your customers (how far are your customers willing to travel in order to obtain your services).
Another way to segment your account by location is to use location-specific keywords. By having keywords that target location searches, you can group them into location ad groups and write more relevant ad copy to target this audience. You can utilize a function called dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) to automatically insert those location-specific keywords into the ad depending on where the search came from. This makes your ad a lot more relevant.
Local Service Ads (LSAs)
Local Service Ads are a special type of ad designed for local businesses in certain industries and regions. Their purpose is to show at the top of the search results page in order to provide instant solutions to clients with time sensitive problems.
Users that conduct these types of searches are not the type to take a lot of time evaluating their options because they usually need their problems solved ASAP (e.g. a bathroom flooding).
An Example of Local Service Ads
As you can see above, LSAs provide the following information: business name, rating, phone number, and hours of operation. They also come with a Google Guarantee stamp of approval!
The best part about LSAs is that when a user clicks on them, they are not taken directly to the website. Instead, Google prompts them to enter the service that they need and their zip code. This is how Google makes sure to match the user to the best service provider. Why is this good for you as an advertiser? Well, it’s only after a user completes those steps and then engages with your ad that you are charged. Therefore, advertisers don’t get charged by click, but by lead!
Here are the industries eligible to show LSAs today:
These are the regions where LSAs are currently able to show:
If your business is eligible to show LSAs, I encourage you to take advantage of this offering.
Reaching your local customers is more competitive than ever these days, but with the above tips, your Google Ads local advertising strategy will be ready to help you grow locally.
Work on implementing these suggestions on your campaigns today!