When it comes to local search, every city is unique. For SEO, there are, of course, the usual top sites on which to get listed, such as G+ Local, Bing Local, Yext, as well as unique local groups that help to highlight a local business, but what about local Google pay per click?
This advice is focused on Austin PPC, however many of the tips here can be modified to meet your goals in any major city. Local pay per click does often overlap between cities in so far as services and some conversion strategies that work, but local demographics, ppc competition, and your unique business absolutely must be taken into account if you want to get the most from your online PPC strategy.
Let’s look at two simple examples of how different local approaches can be the difference between success and failure.
Local PPC : Example
Business A & B both sell the same product, but business A focuses on cost, while business B focuses on quality. If both businesses were to advertise based on price alone in the same market, A would be attracting more of the right customers and find that more of the site visitors buy. Business B should position their ads based on the differentiators for their own business. You can always test other features, but play to your strengths, even if overall traffic is lower, it is often more sustainable in the long term leading to more actual purchases by happier customers looking for exactly what you offer.
Local PPC : Targeting
Area a business should target. Many people like to buy from a local business. They can visit in person and they know where to go if they feel that they have a problem. However, just how locally should you target your PPC ads? Because Google uses IPs to identify a users location, and IPs are often routed locally, the smaller the area that you target the less accurate the targeting becomes. For example, target the US and Google is about 98% accurate in is filter, however, if you target South Austin, you are often between 50 and 70% accuracy with your targeting (it is about the same level of accuracy for most major cities). I have found radius targeting from your location or location targeting (i.e. Austin and Round Rock) to be the best balance between relevancy and accuracy for a locally targeted business.
Local PPC: Don’t forget your local landing page!
As a local business advertising locally, you want to emphasize this right on the specific landing page. Remember, many people like to buy locally. Showing that you are a part of the community can be a differentiator when buyers are comparing their options:
- Local photos
- Trade Organizations
- Charity or Activities
Emphasizing your local-ness, especially in cities like Austin who pride themselves on their local business can be a great way to compete with the larger budgets of national corporations with more relevant clients who often become your biggest advocates themselves.
Because of the strong tech presence in Austin, local Austin PPC tends to be more competitive. More businesses are aware of the value of this traffic and the 10 ad positions Google shows on it’s first page of results. However this same ppc trend also means that more people in Austin are online when they search for products or services, making a success all the more valuable.