I have a few Google Alerts running so that I get emailed when there are new blog posts or news about select keywords. “Local online advertising” is one phrase I target with an alert. I set these up to find blog commenting opportunities, and to get ideas for articles.
This morning I found two new articles in my traps about “local online advertising,” one about using Google’s Display Network, and another about using Adwords Express. So I will discuss both of these options and add one more, Google AdWords.
Using Google’s Display Network To Target Local Customers
I had given up on Google’s Display Network (GDN). I wrote it off as a tool for big companies with huge budgets that wanted to build their brand. While at a local SEMNE event I was reintroduced to it and decided to try again.
As a regular user of Google’s AdWords pay-per-click, I thought to my self, I can make this work for me. The speaker at SEMNE said GDN had made significant improvements in the last three years. So I set up a new account with all the new ideas I picked up at the meet-up and got to work.
I was told that an excellent way to find web pages to place ads on was to run auto placement for a week. I was told to eliminate mobile in the settings and to use some negative keywords. I did all this and more.
But when I looked at the pages my ads were showing on I was disgusted. What a horrible waste of money. Undaunted I excluded those sites, changed up my keywords, and set up a few more exclusions. A few days later I looked again to see where my ads had been showing, and it was the same usual crap.
I don’t know about anyone else but if you’re new to the GDN, find your placements for your self by trolling the search engine listings. That’s what I’m doing now, although I don’t have enough web pages picked yet to drive significant traffic, this is an inexpensive way to drive targeted traffic.
The piece I read this morning was called “How to Make the World Wide Web More Local” written by Leslie Van Zee. She blogs about using GDN quite a bit. She recommended running banner ads in your local community and talked about general SEO in this piece.
Using Adwords Express For Local Paid Search
The next article I read this morning was by Michael Evans Titled: “Local Online Advertising: Adwords Express for Beginners.” In this piece, Michael talks about the benefits of Google AdWords Express (GAE).
I don’t care for any Google pay-per-click program where they are selecting keywords and managing my ad spend. I find them targeting too broad an audience for my taste. It is good, but the good is often the enemy of the best.
GAE is alright for beginners, but I would rather see them using Google’s regular AdWords program. Google will set up an AdWords campaign just as quickly as they set you up in their GAE program; both set-ups are free.
Using Google’s AdWords For Local Search | For Beginners
Go ahead and let Google set up a few campaigns for you on AdWords. Then Make these changes.
- Set your geographical location or have Google target a particular area. 15-25 miles around your office, this range is suitable for local businesses, or if you want you can choose just your state. This set-up will exclude anyone outside your selected local area.
- Set all keywords to exact match, you may not get as many clicks, but you won’t waste money. If your a local contractor you will want to add keywords like [general contractor], [general contractor yourtown], [general contractor yourtown yourstate], [general contractor yourstate], [residential contractor] Etc…Or whatever is relevant to your business. Beginners should stick to keyword phrases with two or more words.
- I recommend setting your ads to run only during hours you will answer the phone. If you can’t figure out how to do this, Google will help you.
Basically, with paid search, you can get the phone ringing right away with local inquiries. You just need to monitor your spending and make sure the web pages or keywords you are targeting are converting into customers. Drop campaigns that are not working and pour more money into those that make you the most profit.