Adwords created $42.5 billion in revenue for Google in 2012. This online advertising program is open to both large and small businesses. Huge brands like Nike, Amazon, and Target have large budgets that allow them to spend millions each year in paid search advertising. But what about local businesses? Is there an opportunity to advertise through Google AdWords for John’s Audio Consults or Tom’s Landscaping Services? Yes, there is. Google has been making large strides in trying to meet the needs of the local business within paid search advertising. Local businesses don’t have the budget to do a lot of testing so every single penny counts. In order to maximize advertising spend, there are several PPC best practices local businesses should follow to make their online advertising as effective as possible.
AdWords is available not only in the US but all across the globe. But as a local business, advertising globally would be an incredible waste of money. So to effectively reach only your target audience, you want to adjust the geographic targeting to only your local area. This can be done at the campaign level under the settings tab. Since most shoppers will be checking for businesses within certain distances, you can target based on this information by either setting specific zip codes to show ads for or even setting a set radius around your business. So if you are a restaurant that sees people mainly from a 5 mile radius, you can specify that ads only show within a 5 mile radius of the restaurant.
AdWords provides additional lines of text that can be included with the standard text ad in search results. These are known as Ad Extensions. Ad Extensions are nice because they can supplement the main ad and take up additional ‘real estate’ in search results giving your ad an advantage over other ads that don’t have ad extensions. There are 3 Ad Extensions that can be specifically leveraged for local businesses:
Sitelinks – These lines of text can lead to other pages of the website that might be relevant to the main ad that is being shown. Common sitelinks can include about us pages, contact pages, order forms, or just about any other page that can encourage the searcher to click on the ad.
Phone extension - This line allows businesses to add their phone number along with the standard text ad. The phone number can either be displayed exclusively on PC or on both PC and mobile devices. Any local business that depends on phone calls will want to make sure to enable phone extensions for mobile devices. On mobile, the phone number is clickable so that it auto loads into the phone dialer.
Location extension - This extension is for the business address to appear with the main text ad. A Google Places account can be linked to this extension and used or the address can be manually added as well. Having location extensions is especially useful on mobile devices because clicking on the address will open the devices map app to get directions.
At it’s core, keywords are what really drives AdWords but taking advantage of the specific targeting and extensions available makes sure that every advertising dollar is not wasted and draws the traffic that you are looking for.