local PPC

How Google Ads Helps You Do Local PPC

Local PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is a staple in the small business digital marketing toolkit, providing them with an efficient way to drive traffic and generate leads. Among the myriad of platforms available, Google Ads stands out as the platform of choice, responsible for the vast majority of ad traffic. If you want to appear beneath relevant search queries, PPC ads are for you. But what makes Google Ads so special, and how does it help businesses build their reach and connect with motivated and engaged audiences in a buying mindset?

By far the most popular platform for PPC ads is Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), a service that allows advertisers to set up and manage a campaign in real time. Google Ads is completely free to set up: advertisers are only charged per click on their ads. This makes Google Ads and PPC more broadly one of the most easily accessible digital marketing platforms.

With over 8.5 billion searches conducted on Google every day, the space on those search engine results pages is some of the most valuable real estate for advertisers today. Google Ads puts your products and services in front of users who are already interested, searching for solutions, and ready to engage.

Local business PPC, particularly through Google Ads, offers a scalable model that grows with your success. Larger brands with better name recognition might pay more per click, but this doesn’t mean small businesses are at a disadvantage. In fact, with tactical planning, smaller businesses can compete effectively and gain a significant leg up.

While Google Ads offers access to a vast audience, it also provides a variety of tools to help you optimise your campaign to target very precise audiences. For businesses keen on local reach, this is where Google Ads shines, offering numerous ways to hone in on the exact customers you want to attract.

But what are the concrete benefits of local PPC? Read on to find out.

Keywords & Search

Keywords are the backbone of any local PPC management. They are the words and phrases that people type into search engines when looking for information, products, or services. Understanding and utilising the right keywords can make or break your Google Ads campaign.

Google Ads offers several keyword match types to help advertisers target their ideal searches:

  • Broad Match: Your ad will show for searches that include any word in your key phrase, in any order.
  • Phrase Match: Your ad will show for searches that include the exact phrase or close variations.
  • Exact Match: Your ad will show only for searches that exactly match your key phrase or close variations.
  • Negative Match: Your ad will not show for searches that include specific words you designate as negative keywords.

For example, if you want to run a limited campaign exclusively targeting people searching for “plumber Cambridge,” exact keywords would ensure your ads only appear for that precise search term.

Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can help you research terms and identify the volume of searches they’re getting on Google. Doing keyword research through this and other tools can help you build a reliable keyword list of terms you know are both relevant and generating search volume. You can also bid on specific keywords, prioritising particular ones to control your campaign’s focus and budget effectively.

Geo Targeted Marketing

Beyond just using keywords with locations in them, Google Ads allows you to directly target a specific geographic location in individual campaigns. This means your ads will only show to people searching from a designated area, which is a boon for local businesses. This provides a much more reliable stream of clicks and converters than display advertising or social media ads, where just about anyone can see your ad without looking for it.

Geotargeting helps you avoid the limitations of sticking to exclusively location-based keywords. You can include more general keywords without fear of attracting clicks from outside your service area. If you were worried about advertising on the keyword ‘solicitors near me’? Now you can, because you really are going to be near them! With this feature, everything from a brick-and-mortar shop to a solicitor can advertise exclusively in their local area

This feature is also useful for businesses with a national presence. You can run campaigns nationally or for individual cities, tailoring your ad copy to particular regions. This ensures your ads are relevant and appealing to specific local audiences. People from Birmingham might be more inclined to click on ad copy for ‘Glass Replacement Birmingham’ because they like the implication of it being rooted in the local markets. Small tweaks in ad wording can make all the difference!

Google Ads also allows you to specifically exclude locations, down to individual post codes and neighbourhoods. Working out of a big city like London? You can target exclusively the areas you know people will be able to reach you, without fear of catching expensive traffic from elsewhere.

Not only does this geographic targeting make PPC one of the best types of marketing for cost effectiveness, it also gives local businesses a huge leg up over national brands.

Demographic Targeting

Google typically maintains a profile on individual searchers, including details like their age, gender, interests, and frequent searches. This information allows advertisers to target a narrower demographic audience.

Google Ads offers several demographic targeting options, enabling you to hone in on your ideal customer base. If, for example, a clothing retailer knows their audience is typically women over the age of 50, they can specify this in their Google Ads settings. By excluding other demographics, advertisers can save money, as clicks from outside their target audience are less likely to convert.

Scheduling & Timetables

Google Ads provides all local PPC advertising campaigns with an ad schedule setting that you can tweak to suit the hours and times you’d like your ads to show throughout the week. Advertisers can also set end dates on their campaigns for limited-run promotions, such as holiday specials.

By tweaking their timetables, advertisers can also set specific bids on specific times of day. If they notice that they typically generate a higher volume of enquiries over the afternoon from twelve o’clock until three o’clock, for example, they’re able to set a specific bid modifier to pay more for keywords at that time of day.

Timetables are particularly handy for lead generation. Businesses reliant on making sales calls and handling customer requests for quotes can ensure their ad schedule aligns with their office hours. This way, someone who converts through the ad will reach the next stage in the conversion process without delay.

Ad Extensions

Another aspect of Google Ads that isn’t often commented on for local businesses is the role ad extensions can play. Ad extensions are small additions to your core ad that can really help it shine. These include:

  • Location Extensions: These display your business address, a map to your location, or the distance to your business. This is incredibly useful for brick-and-mortar stores as it helps potential customers easily find and visit your location.
  • Call Extensions: These allow you to add a phone number to your ad, which is clickable on mobile devices. This is perfect for businesses that rely on phone calls for leads, such as service providers or restaurants.
  • Sitelink Extensions: These add additional links to your ad, directing users to specific pages on your website, such as a contact page, a special offer, or a product category. This can increase the chances of a user finding exactly what they’re looking for on your site.
  • Callout Extensions: These allow you to add short, descriptive text to your ad, highlighting key selling points such as “free delivery,” “24/7 customer support,” or “price match guarantee.” This helps to quickly convey the benefits of your business.
  • Review Extensions: These showcase positive reviews from third-party sources, adding credibility and trust to your ad. This can be particularly beneficial for local businesses that thrive on reputation and word-of-mouth.
  • Price Extensions: These show the prices of your products or services, helping to attract more qualified clicks from users who are interested in your offerings and aware of the cost.

Using ad extensions can make your ads more engaging and informative, providing potential customers with the information they need to make a decision. This not only improves the performance of your ads but also enhances the overall user experience.

Responsive Search Ads

Responsive Search Ads allow you to create an ad that adapts to show more text and more relevant messages to your customers. By entering multiple headlines and descriptions, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations to learn which perform best. This is especially useful for local businesses as it helps to create tailored messaging that resonates with local audiences.

Local Service Ads

Local Service Ads are designed specifically for service-based businesses like plumbers, electricians, or cleaners. These ads appear at the top of Google Search results and are a great way to connect with customers in your area who are looking for specific services. They also include a “Google Guaranteed” badge, which adds an extra layer of trust for potential customers.

Google My Business Integration

Integrating Google My Business (GMB) with your Google Ads account can significantly boost your local PPC efforts. GMB listings appear in local search results and on Google Maps, providing potential customers with essential information like your business address, phone number, and hours of operation. Linking GMB to your ads can enhance your local presence and improve ad relevance for nearby searches.

Ad Customisers

Ad customisers allow you to create dynamically updating ads that can include location-specific details, such as stock levels or local offers. This ensures that your ads are always relevant and up-to-date, which can drive higher engagement and conversion rates.

Local Inventory Ads

Local Inventory Ads showcase your products and indicate their availability at nearby stores. When users click on your ad, they can view your local storefront information, see the product that triggered the ad, and check out similar items. This is particularly effective for retailers looking to drive foot traffic to their physical stores.

Proximity Targeting

Proximity targeting lets you set a radius around your business location to display ads to users within a specific area. This ensures that your ads are shown to people who are most likely to visit your store, thereby maximising the relevance and impact of your campaigns.

Remarketing for Local Audiences

Remarketing allows you to target users who have previously interacted with your website or app. By setting up remarketing lists for local audiences, you can re-engage potential customers who are already familiar with your business and more likely to convert.

Store Visits Tracking

Google Ads offers store visits tracking, which estimates how many people visited your physical location after clicking on your ad. This is a valuable metric for local businesses as it helps to measure the offline impact of your online advertising efforts.

Automated Bidding Strategies

Automated bidding strategies like Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) and Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) can help optimise your bids to achieve specific goals. These strategies use machine learning to adjust your bids in real-time, ensuring you get the most value from your budget, especially in competitive local markets.

Need Help Managing Your Local PPC?

Navigating the complexities of local PPC campaigns can be challenging. Partnering with a local PPC agency can provide the expertise needed to maximise your campaign’s effectiveness. Professional oversight ensures your ads reach the right audience at the right time, helping you get the best return on investment. A local PPC company will help manage the day to day of your account and provide the expert analysis and tweaking you need to get ahead in the competitive digital marketing space.

Get proven PPC for local businesses with Measured Marketing – an accredited, Google partnered PPC agency on the Wirral here to help you maximise your return on investment. We’re ready to help you lay out winning local PPC strategies that deliver for your business at the top quality score.

We are based on Wirral, near Chester and Liverpool. With clients throughout the UK.