Local PPC Techniques for Effective Pay Per Click Campaigns

ppc-geo-targetingAll successful SEO or PPC marketing campaigns start with in-depth keyword research. This involved evaluating the competitiveness of the keyword, average traffic potential, competitive analysis, etc. But one thing often missed is evaluating the way your potential customer thinks. This insight can open new doors and opportunities for your account by building keyword lists that take advantage of their search habits combined with ad creative that speaks to these customers.

Consider this, anywhere from 30 to 40 percent (and probably more) of searches are local in nature. Users typing in a specific location, followed by the product or service desired. Further, of these searches, fully 75 percent are non-branded, meaning that customers are searching categorically. This is a clear opportunity for localized businesses to ‘think like their customer’ and build out keyword lists full of geo-specific terms.

The first step in building out this keyword list is to evaluate your seed keywords (ie. the keywords that most generally describe your product line or service, and are the most crucial to your success!). Next, add every geographic descriptor you can think of:

  • town or village
  • township
  • state
  • state + town
  • even the ZIP code

Don’t forget about that little word “in” when describing your location as well. This is often the way that your searchers look for you.

So, let’s see this in action for my favorite thai restaurant near my parent’s house in Virginia. Their geo-qualified keyword list around their primary seed keyword “thai restaurant” should include the following:

  • thai restaurant Gordonsville
  • thai restaurant Gordonsville Virginia
  • thai restaurant in Gordonsville in
  • thai restaurant Orange county
  • thai restaurant Orange county in
  • thai restaurant in Orange county in
  • thai restaurant 22942
  • thai restaurant in 22942
  • Gordonsville thai restaurant
  • Gordonsville in thai restaurant
  • Orange county thai restaurant
  • Orange county in thai restaurant
  • 22942 thai restaurant

Your list should be built out to this extent for every key term in your campaign, including “thai delivery”, “take-out thai”, “thai food delivery”, “thai dining”, and any other terms that people are using to find you.

Ad creative on geo-qualified keyword lists follows much the same pattern as your keyword lists. Utilize the location qualifier in your headlines to increase relevancy and quality score and, therefore, decrease cost-per-click. Where it is not possible, consider using a geo-specific root directory (whether it is a real directory, or for display URL purposes only) for the same reason.

What other geo-targeting tips do you have? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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