What Is Local Pay-Per-Click Advertising?
Pay-Per-Click Advertising is often referred to by many names such as: Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Paid Search Marketing, Search Engine Ads, PPC Ads, Google Ads/Bing Ads, etc. Regardless of what you want to call it, Local PPC involves running paid search ads on the search engines (Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go) to show up for searches with local intent.
Where Do Local PPC Ads Appear?
Local search advertisements appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) across numerous platforms (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.). Top positions vary based on the search engine, but they are usually at the top of organic results. All PPC advertising are tagged with the word “ad.”
Local PPC ads may appear in the Google Maps app and the map pack on Google.
Key Statistics about Searchers and Local PPC Ads
- Text ads the most popular with 49% of users clicking them (Source: Search Engine Land)
- 36% of searches have local intent (Souce: Wordlead)
- PPC Ads Can Boost Brand Awareness 80% (Souce: Wordlead)
- More than 50 percent of people between the ages of 18–34 can’t differentiate between an ad and an organic result on Google (Source: Search Engine Land)
- 46% of clicks go to the top three paid ads in search results (Source: WebFX)
- 66% of buyer-intent keywords are paid clicks (Souce: Wordlead)
- 75% of users click on ads to find authentic and relevant information (Source: Curvearro)
- Google claims that for every $1 spent in their AdWords program, the business will receive $2 back in revenue, generating a very basic, but very respectable, 200% return on investment (ROI). (Souce: Wordlead)
- 70% of consumers say it’s important to include directions and a call button in ads (Source: Social Media Today)
How Much Does Local PPC Ads Cost?
As the name implies, pay-per-click advertising you pay per click. Therefore if someone clicks on your ad, then you get charged. Now costs vary by industry, keyword, location, and competition. It will also change throughout the time a campaign is running.
Benefits of Local PPC
Local PPC isn’t a “free” marketing strategy like local SEO or even local social media marketing; therefore, it does incur a cost and requires extensive knowledge of how to execute PPC campaigns, a decent budget, and, above all, planning! However, it can be one of the fastest and best ways to get found by new clients and grow your business.
Here are four reasons local PPC is a must for local marketing strategy.
Local PPC Is Built Around Quick Results
Local organic SEO strategies are incredibly advantageous to small businesses, but local SEO takes time (anywhere from six to nine months at least), and it requires a significant amount of effort to produce great content. With local SEM advertising, you can see immediate results in the form of your business name appearing on page one of the search results pages (SERPs).
Increase Your Business Rank on the SERPS With Local PPC Campaigns
There is a limited amount of real estate available for the top places in local organic SERPs. There is no doubt that there is a ton of content on the web nowadays, and with the number of competitors, it is challenging to reach the top of the SERPs.
If you’re a new or current small business looking to expand your online presence, local search advertising can put you in front of highly targeted customers without a ton of effort.
Drive Conversions with Local PPC
Another advantage of local PPC is that prospects who see your local search advertisements are more likely to hire you for your services or visit your shop. The most effective local PPC campaigns require choosing a geographic location and specific search queries to target.
As a result, you can be confident that most anyone who clicks on your ad is looking for your services in the exact location you’re targeting.
Local PPC Gives You Reporting and Analytics
When a prospective client clicks on your local PPC ad and visits your website, pay per click ad platforms like Google, Yahoo, and Bing allow you to collect data on each click, such as:
- Where that person is located
- How much time do they spend on your site
- What pages do they visit on your site
- What type of device were they using (mobile, tablet, desktop/laptop)
Using this data, searchers who click on your ad can be converted into leads for you to contact at a later date.
Specific and real-time tracking are significant advantages of local search advertising because they allow you to know exactly what you’re getting for every marketing dollar you spend and, as a result, generate more leads in the long run.
How to Create a Local PPC Strategy
Local Pay-Per-Click Advertising isn’t one of those marketing strategies you can just dive right into. It requires a healthy budget, expertise, and planning. For a successful local PPC strategy, here are the basics you need to know:
What Is Your Local PPC Goal
Before you begin any local marketing plan, it is critical to define your campaign's goals. When it comes to local search engine marketing, there are several goals to consider:
- Do you want more website clicks?
- Do you want to generate more leads?
- Do you want to increase sales?
- Do you want to drive more phone calls?
- Do you want to drive more in-person visits?
Your local PPC campaign's goal will help you develop and inform your overall strategy, including budget, keywords, and ad copy.
Set Your Local PPC Budget
Because local PPC is based on paying for each click, it’s critical to set a monthly budget. You should base this on your industry, area, and the number of services you’re attempting to promote. Your budget will determine how much money you can spend on PPC advertisements per month, and your spending level may change from day to day.
Here’s an example of how to calculate your local PPC budget based on cost per click (CPC):
Assume that one client is worth $500 and that it takes ten leads to obtain one client. As a result, one lead is worth $50, which means you can’t spend more than $50 per lead in order to be profitable. Taking it a step further, if it takes ten clicks to generate one lead (one out of every ten people fill out the form), you can spend up to $5 each click.
While you can set budget thresholds, Google will eventually decide the actual CPC depending on your budget and the quality of your ad and landing page, as well as its click-through rate compared to competitors. Here is a graphic that illustrates how CPC is determined:
Scaling up to your daily budget is simple once you know how much you can pay each click.
Determine Your Local PPC Keywords
After you’ve determined your maximum cost per click (CPC), choosing the keywords you’ll use in your advertising is essential. The Google Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for doing this, and WordStream has a free keyword tool you can use as well.
To begin, establish a list of keywords relating to your products and services and utilize the Keyword Planner to expand your list and develop fresh ideas. Ideally, you’ll want to pick keywords with a high search volume, little competition and that fall within your maximum CPC budget.
If you’re working with a local digital marketing or advertising agency, they will determine the best keywords to use, so you don’t have to think about this too much.
Write Your PPC Ad Copy
It’s finally time to write to copy for your ad(s). A local PPC agency will take care of this for you if you work with them.
With PPC Ads, you only have two lines to work within. Keep your ad brief and to the point while displaying your unique value proposition (UVP). As with anything, it will take some trial and error to get it right. You or the agency will need to make several variations of each ad so you can run an A/B test to evaluate what works best.
The main factors to the best PPC ads are keyword headlines with actionable intent, a simple and visible URL, the ad copy itself, and using a clear call to action (CTA).
You will want to make sure your PPC ad copy entices searchers to click on your ad. If you are looking for some good tips, HubSpot has a great blog post titled "How to Create PPC Advertising People Will Actually Click."
Send Your Ads to a Relevant Landing Page
All local PPC ads should link to a page on your website; therefore, make sure the page is relevant to your ad copy. In other words, match your ad copy to the offer or message on your landing page. You or your agency may consider developing a dedicated and custom landing page for the ad campaign to help your PPC ads perform and convert better.
If you can’t build or don’t have any landing pages to which you can link, make sure the page on your website closely matches the language of your ad. For example, you don’t want an ad promoting oil change services to go to a page on your website talking about tires. As a result, a potential client will leave your site without taking any action, not to mention the wasted money you spent on the click.
Run Your Local PPC Ad
Once your ad has been developed, it is ready to go live, enabling you to begin collecting valuable data about its effectiveness, making adjustments, and, ultimately, generating leads. You can track factors like ad relevance, Quality Score, CPC, clickthrough rate (CTR), cost per conversion, and conversion rate.
As you spend more time evaluating and analyzing your ad, you’ll gather the data you need to make informed choices about your local search ads in the future.
Make Adjustments to Your Local PPC Campaign
After you’ve run your local search advertising for a while and begun to see results, you can make adjustments depending on what’s working and what’s not. It’s critical to keep refining and optimizing your local search ads depending on what is driving the clicks and conversions. This will allow you to make the most of your marketing spend while capturing local searchers and converting them into clients.
Working with a Local PPC Company
Local PPC is a complicated process as you need to set up an account in Google Ads, make your keyword selections, determine your budget allocation, and you have to stay on top of changing local search trends. As a result, many small businesses prefer to hire a local PPC agency to handle this.
How can you find the ideal digital marketing agency to handle your local PPC if you decide to hire one? To start with, you need to ask the right questions to ensure that you find the right fit and get the results you want.
Top 7 Questions to Ask Your Local PPC Agency
It is critical that your local PPC campaign operates smoothly and maximizes its potential by asking the following seven key questions of any agency you plan to work with.
1. What Is Their Keyword Research Process?
Any good local PPC agency will most likely use Google’s Keyword Planner and diagnostic tools, but how do they build out your campaign’s keyword list? What criteria do they use to select data from Google? Are they using additional software to help determine keyword lists?
Don’t be afraid to ask for a comprehensive keyword list to evaluate before going live.
- Your awareness of how long and extensive your list is
- The types of keyword match types you’ve included
- How well they understand your business
- How well they know what your clients are looking for
2. What Will They Use for Negative Keywords?
As a refresher, negative keywords are a way of identifying keywords or phrases for which you DO NOT want your ad to appear. Incorporating negatives allows for the elimination of unqualified and unrelated traffic, ensuring that you are only targeting the most relevant individuals and traffic.
You should ensure that your local search agency incorporates this keyword strategy into your local PPC campaigns and is aware of the types of terms you do not want to appear for.
3. How Will You Measure Local PPC Success?
There are numerous metrics associated with local PPC campaigns, so it’s critical to communicate with your PPC agency to establish what makes the most sense for you to help quantify “success.”
The most frequent data points that teams look at are clicks, impressions, and clickthrough rate, but establishing your ROI may need you to delve deeper into the information.
Lead monitoring, including UTMs, phone call tracking, and website conversion tracking, can be valuable tools for tracking lead creation and new business.
4. What Is Your Ad Scheduling Strategy?
Ad scheduling, also known as ad delivery, is essential for any local PPC campaign. Understanding the differences in ad delivery methods and which tactic works best for your campaign can help you and the agency calculate how long your ideal budget will last and thus when and how your ad will serve impressions.
By default, your Google Ads will be visible whenever someone searches one of your keywords in your area. On the other hand, ad scheduling can be used to establish precise days and hours when your ad appears based on performance, a practice known as dayparting.
You can use ad scheduling to specify the hours or days of the week you want your advertisements to appear, as well as set adjustments to increase or lower your bids on specific times or days.
Ad scheduling can help you capitalize on what works best for your local PPC advertisements, so discuss this with your search marketing agency.
5. Where Will My Ad Link?
Although keywords and ad copy are crucial, landing pages have a greater impact on campaign results and conversion rates. Where do your PPC ads take you when you click on them? Where are we directing traffic?
You need to make sure to ask a prospective SEM agency whether they plan to link individual ads to different landing pages that correspond to your service offerings.
6. Will They Be Bidding on Brand Names or Your Competitors?
You understand your business operations better than anyone else, including variations of your company name and, more significantly, your competitors. Your ability to identify other small businesses in your area will be a valuable asset in your local PPC arsenal. If you work in a digitally competitive industry, you can incorporate your brand name and the names of your competitors into your keyword strategy.
Bidding on your competitors can be advantageous as it may position your ad and its stronger call-to-action above your competitor’s organic result. Furthermore, clicks for specific terms are often less expensive than clicks for more general industry terms. By bidding on the names of your competitors, you can improve your results and gain a competitive advantage for a fraction of the cost of your local search advertising budget.
Additionally, you can bid for your brand name if you see that competitors are already bidding on it or as a means to get your business ranked on Google’s first page while you work on your SEO.
7. Will They Sync up With Your Google Analytics?
First and foremost, if you aren’t already utilizing Google Analytics on your website, you should start! Google Analytics delivers essential metrics and web traffic statistics for your website to help you analyze site health, effectiveness, and user activity. You can also connect this information to your local PPC campaign allowing you to credit lead generation to your campaign and benchmark user engagement.
Clicks and clickthrough rate are important indicators in SEM, but what are users doing on your site once they click? How does your bounce rate, time-on-site, and pages-per-visit compare to the rest of your site traffic?
By asking these essential questions while looking for the right local PPC agency, you can help set your business up for long-term success and ensure your goals and expectations are matched with what your local digital marketing business can provide.