3 Best Practices for National Brands Starting Local Paid Search

Local Paid Search is a complex medium to execute against. For brands that are new to the local search arena, focus is key.

S TA RT  W I T H  G O O G L E
The search engine giant has 6 billion searches every day – completely dwarfing competitors such as Bing or Yahoo!  Search. Plus the  Google Display Network hits 90% of the internet, so there is really no need to look much further for vast and comprehensive coverage.

ALWAYS INCLUDE A LOCAL NUMBER AND ENABLE CLICK -TO-CALL
Searchers with local intent want to be able to locate information easily and immediately. If they have specific questions or are looking for a quote, they probably won’t be willing to jump through hoops to locate a local number. It’s also important to remember that people are now conducting many searches via mobile devices and aren’t always willing to copy and paste a number into their device – let alone take the time to write a number down. For these reasons,  enabling click-to-call for local numbers is vital.

One additional benefit to using a local number from Google (or other similar services) comes by way of heightened reporting capabilities. With Google’s call tracking numbers, you can essentially “borrow” a forwarding phone number for paid search use only which will allow you to track the payoff from your local paid search investment, and begin to attribute real sales to your local efforts.

LO C A L I Z E  Y O U R  L A N D I N G  P AG E S ,  K E Y W O R D S ,  A N D   C R E A T I V E
You simply must have a localized name, address, and phone information on your destination pages, and even better if you can pack them with local-specific content. Localized landing pages not only  increase conversions rates, but you’ll also see an increase in Quality Score – which is measurement of how relevant your ad is. This will lower your cost-per-click dramatically and ensure that you will be seen in the search results that you most desire.
From the keywords chosen to the ad text and display creative, providing local context will make your campaigns much more robust. Using Adwords Keyword Planner you can quickly and easily locate ideas and suggestions for relevant keyphrases that you might otherwise miss and can then liberally incorporate geo-modifiers. Trying out Google Trends will provide you with a glimpse into the search volume taking place in your key geographies, which should allow you to better shape your list.

It’s important to ask yourself if your ad creative is truly localized? Ensuring that it is indeed locally focused is key to providing real context. Context, which will always increase click-through rates and ultimately boost overall conversions simply by boosting the online researcher’s (i.e. prospective customer’s) confidence is vital. For best results your text ads should also include a localized or vanity URL, along with the city and state or neighborhood.

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