Local Business Advertising & Google Adwords

"I don't need the Internet to advertise - I'm a local business!"

Okay...

If you could spend £0.04 (or $0.05 in the US) and have a new customer - what would you do with your local business advertising budget?

I hope you would spend that money again and again!

Granted this is the ideal example and you are likely to pay much more then £0.04 per customer you acquire, BUT - herein lies the rub for local businesses:

An internet presence announces your business to the world.

When you are online, you have little control about where traffic is coming to you from (if you are not actively driving traffic that is), but what if you could make sure that people who lived in your area, who buy your goods and would make ideal customers could be targeted!

Google Adwords can help you target local people, not people from New Zealand if you live in the UK - but people close to you.

Pinpoint geographic targeting of prospects is an optimum use of your local business advertising budget.

Is it 100% foolproof?

Alas no, but it's a good start.

How do I do it?

Well the easiest way to do this is as follows:

Create a national campaign with your search terms and your location terms - eg: If you're a plumber in Poole then "plumber poole" would be a good keyword.

Create a geo-targeted campaign (this can be done in a couple of ways - I'll leave the nitty gritty details out for now) which means your ads are served to local people when they search for your keywords.

So in the plumber example if a local person types in "plumber" and doesn't mention anything else, your advert will be shown.

So goes the theory anyway.

Does it work all the time?

Like I said - Not always very well.

This is because Google uses IP addresses to determine location and this method is somewhat of a cleaver when a scalpel is required.

It all depends how diligent ISP's are when allocating IP addresses to their customers, the only way you can know is through empirical means.

What if the regional targeting is producing no results?

If this is the case then a national campaign with location terms included (as mentioned above) is your best bet.

If you were to run a national campaign on the same keywords without the location terms, you will be competing with other players who have a national presence for your particular product/service which could prove very expensive.

Your local business advertising budget spend should at the very least give Adwords and PPC advertising in general a tryout. Remember there are an infinite number of keywords in any target market.

Just because the big boys may have a stranglehold on the 'obvious' terms does not mean your market is saturated.

Tom O'Brien is a certified Google Adwords Professional and helps businesses maximise advertising ROI. For further tips on using Adwords effectively, visit: http://www.pdqprosp ects.com/services/GoogleAdwordsCampaignManagement.html

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