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How to Target for Local Paid Search: Local PPC

Let’s delve deeper into the world of local PPC.

Fatjon Kabashi

Head of Social Media

How to Target for Local Paid Search: Local PPC

Local PPC, often referred to as Pay-Per-Click advertising, encompasses a variety of terms, including Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Advertising, Paid Search Marketing, Google Ads, Bing Ads, and more. In essence, they all share a common goal: running paid search ads on top search engines to appear in local search results. Let’s delve deeper into the world of local PPC.

What Is Local PPC?

Local PPC revolves around running paid search ads to appear in search results with local intent. This means your business can show up when users in your geographic area search for relevant products or services. It’s a powerful tool for businesses looking to enhance their online visibility and attract local customers.

Where Do Local PPC Ads Appear?

Local PPC ads occupy prominent positions on search engine results pages (SERPs), ensuring visibility across various devices. These prime ad spots typically appear above organic search results and are clearly labeled as “ads.” Furthermore, local PPC ads can also feature in the Google Maps pack and within the Google Maps app, increasing their reach.

How Much Does Local PPC Cost?

The cost of local PPC hinges on the pay-per-click model, where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Factors influencing the cost-per-click (CPC) include industry, keywords, geographical location, and competition. Additionally, CPC can fluctuate throughout your campaign. Understanding these costs is vital for budgeting your local PPC campaign effectively.

Benefits of Local PPC

Local PPC, despite requiring a budget and planning, offers several compelling benefits:

  • Quick Results: Unlike the time-intensive nature of local SEO, local PPC yields immediate results. Your business can secure a prime position on search results pages, enhancing visibility.


  • Improved Search Engine Ranking: Gaining a top spot in organic search results can be challenging due to fierce competition and the vast amount of online content. Local search advertising offers an effective alternative for establishing an online presence.


  • Enhanced Conversion Rates: Local PPC targets users who are actively seeking your products or services within your specified geographical area. This laser-focused approach increases the likelihood of conversions.


  • Robust Reporting & Analytics: Local PPC platforms, like Google Ads, provide comprehensive data on user interactions with your ads. This real-time tracking empowers you to measure your campaign’s effectiveness and gather leads for future outreach. 

Crafting a Local PPC Strategy

Building a successful local PPC strategy necessitates careful planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:


  • Define Your Goal: Determine your campaign’s objective, whether it’s driving website clicks, generating leads, increasing sales, driving phone calls, or encouraging in-person visits.


  • Set a Budget: Establish a monthly budget based on industry standards, geographic reach, and your advertising goals.


  • Choose Keywords: Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify high-impact keywords relevant to your business. Aim for keywords with high search volume, low competition, and alignment with your CPC budget.


  • Craft Ad Copy: Write concise yet compelling ad copy that includes keyword-focused headlines, a visible URL, and a clear call to action. Conduct A/B testing to optimize your ad performance.
  • Ensure Landing Page Relevance: Ensure that your landing page aligns seamlessly with your ad copy to provide a cohesive user experience.


  • Launch and Analyze: Start your campaign and continuously monitor its performance. Analyze metrics such as clickthrough rate (CTR), ad relevance, cost per conversion, Quality Score, CPC, and conversion rate to refine your strategy.

Tips for Successful Local Search Ads

For an even more effective local PPC campaign, consider these tips.


Precision in Location Targeting

When mapping out your target locations, precision is paramount. Don’t merely cast a wide net; instead, be laser-focused. You have the option to employ zip codes or city names to define your service area. Equally important is the practice of excluding areas where potential customers are scarce. By honing in on specific locations, you’ll optimize your budget allocation, ensuring your ads are displayed exclusively to those who can benefit from your services.


Localized Keyword Mastery

Tailoring your PPC ad content to the local audience is a strategic move. Dive deep into the local lingo and preferences, for these nuances can make all the difference. Utilize tools like Google Trends to ascertain whether folks in your region favor “tennis shoes” over “sneakers,” for instance. Moreover, embedding your location in the ad, such as incorporating the city name into your title, helps deter uninterested parties from clicking on your ad, thus saving you precious ad spend. The use of hyper-local language is the key to triumph in the realm of local PPC.


Agile Testing and Optimization

Local PPC campaigns provide the luxury of swift testing and optimization. Part of your local PPC strategy should be a readiness to adapt to immediate results. When an ad is outperforming or underperforming, swift adjustments are your best friend. Additionally, employing A/B testing can aid in determining which ad is more likely to thrive in your specific area.


Harnessing SEO Insights

If you’ve been diligently monitoring the health of your SEO efforts, you’ve likely identified your top-performing keywords. Leveraging these keywords in your local PPC campaign is a savvy move. Keywords that have proven successful in organic rankings can be integrated into your paid campaigns. Tools such as Google Search Console, SEMrush, or Ahrefs are your allies in uncovering these valuable keywords.


The Power of Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are a potent tool in enhancing your local PPC campaign. More details translate to superior ad performance and a more efficient allocation of your budget. Consider incorporating extensions like location or call extensions. These additions allow you to provide essential business information, such as your address and phone number. Call extensions even enable a clickable button for direct customer communication. Before enabling ad extensions, ensure that your Google My Business account is up to date, as local PPC platforms often pull data from this source.


Diversify Your PPC Platforms

Expand your reach by running local PPC ads on various platforms, such as social media networks and search engines. Employing multiple platforms broadens your online advertising horizon, increasing your chances of reaching a broader audience. Marketing automation tools like HubSpot Marketing Hub can streamline this process, enabling you to efficiently manage and monitor your PPC ads.


Elevate Your Landing Page

Your website or landing page is the digital gateway for your PPC ad visitors. It must be thoughtfully designed to facilitate seamless user experiences. Ensure that contact information is prominently displayed to minimize friction in the conversion process. Your copy and images should exude a sense of community, whether through local accolades, imagery, or keywords. Crafting an inviting and informative landing page is a pivotal aspect of a successful local PPC strategy.

Google Local Services Ads for Service-Based Businesses

While local PPC can benefit most businesses, service-based industries like locksmiths, plumbers, and garage door repair companies can leverage Google Local Services Ads (LSAs) for additional advantages.

What Are Google Local Services Ads?

LSAs are designed to connect users seeking services with verified service-based businesses. Unlike traditional PPC, LSAs operate on a pay-per-lead model, ensuring you only pay when you receive a qualified lead.

Eligible Businesses

LSAs are available to various industries, and eligibility varies by region. To determine if your business qualifies, visit the Google Ads platform.

Why Choose Google Local Services Ads?

LSAs provide additional credibility as they require businesses to undergo background checks and obtain the Google Guaranteed or Google Screened badge. This assurance helps build trust with potential customers, a vital aspect of service-based businesses.

Running Google Local Services Ads

  • Check Eligibility: Begin by verifying if your business is eligible for Google Local Services Ads in your area and industry. Google has specific criteria for eligibility, so ensure you meet these requirements.


  • Create Your Business Profile: Unlike your Google My Business profile or Google Ads account, LSAs require a separate business profile. Within this profile, you’ll set your weekly budget, business hours, service areas, and the types of jobs you offer. It’s also an opportunity to highlight unique aspects of your business, such as being family-owned or offering special discounts. Adding 2-5 highlights can help distinguish your business from competitors.


  • Provide License and Insurance Information: To earn the Google Guarantee badge, Google verifies your licensing and insurance details. Upload these documents within your profile, ensuring they meet industry-specific requirements.


  • Undergo Background Checks: Google typically requires an authorized representative of your business to undergo a background check. Depending on your industry, fieldworkers may also need to pass background checks. These checks enhance your credibility and trustworthiness.


  • Gather Positive Reviews: While not mandatory, reviews play a role in the visibility of your LSAs. A higher star rating and more positive reviews can improve your ad’s ranking and likelihood of being booked by potential customers.


  • Manage Leads: Once your LSAs are live, you can manage incoming leads through the Local Services Ads dashboard. You have the option to respond to customers, call them, or decline job requests.


Google Local Services Ads offer service-based businesses an effective way to reach local searchers and convert leads into customers. Their pay-per-lead model, combined with the Google Guarantee, instills trust and credibility in potential clients.

Final Thoughts

Local PPC, including Google Local Services Ads, is a valuable tool for businesses seeking to thrive in the digital age. It provides quick results, enhances search engine visibility, drives conversions, and offers robust reporting. By following a well-planned strategy and implementing best practices, businesses can tap into the power of local PPC to expand their customer base and grow their presence in the local market.

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