If you’re a Wine Store in Chicago, you don’t want to spend money on ads being showed to Miami residents. On the other hand if a Miami resident wants to buy a bottle of wine for a friend in Chicago, then you do want them to see your ad so they can buy in Chicago and save on freight costs.
How does this work? Google identifies a search phrase as “local“. It’s the realm of Local PPC and I’ll go through how you do this in Google Adwords by using geo-targeting, ad extensions, keywords, ad copy, and landing pages.
Google limits results to locations in several ways:
- if google.com is being used (not .co.uk etc)
- if a search query contains a recognizable zip code, city or region e.g. Chicago Wine Store
- the IP address, or in Google’s words “when possible, we determine the user’s general physical location based on their device location, which is usually based on their computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address”
- Google Search personalization: if you’ve told Google where you live (gmail?) then they’ll use this. You do know Google is tracking your searches right? 🙂
Multi-Branch and Franchise businesses
If you are part of a national network, e.g. a franchise, then you’ll want a national office to co-ordinate the respective sales areas. Otherwise you’ll not only increase costs through internet bid competition but you’ll also violate Google guidelines (overlapping areas).
The idea is to have strong national and local campaigns working simultaneously but you need clear rules for each branch.
An Ad Extension is where a standard text ad has a little something extra added to it by Google. In the case of the Location Extension it can be your business address “location extension”, or your phone number “phone extension”. It will be either below or above the Display URL.
To turn this on:
- go to one of your Adwords campaigns
- click on the Extensions tab (see image to the right)
- choose the Location extension the grey tab: Location, Phone, Product
- you have two choices manual entry or Google Places, I’d choose Google Places.
- fill in your email address and password for your Google Places account.
Assuming you have set Places up. To see how to start check out the video below.
I’d give your email address and password for your Google Places account. This will take your Places account address.
To enable your phone number to show at the bottom of an ad, just follow the Location instructions above. Instead of Location choose the Phone extension. Manually add in your phone number.
Note this will only show on mobile ads (it is expected to be easier to phone rather than browse and therefore more responsive for a smartphone customer).
Geographical targeting doesn’t always work. IP addresses are especially problematic. So I would also add new keyword phrases that attach all the towns and suburbs you service to your keywords e.g. Chicago to Wine Store as in “Wine Store Chicago” or “Wine Store 60611”
Don’t replace the generic ones, just add to your keyword list (advanced accounts should have local keyword phrase in their own Ad Group).
The usual practices apply with a local twist. The local twists are:
- Use your target town in your title (remember it will be bolded if it is part of the search query)
- Possibly put your town in the descriptions and Display URL as well – but that may be overdoing it
- Adding a phone number will also show you’re local (and appear in computer ads as well as mobile ads).
For example (location extension for computers):
Burgundy and Bordeaux Experts
Call 312-000-0000 now
11 Test St,Chicago
Note the Location extension above, “11 Test St, Chicago” is what Google adds in automatically.
Google will be making an algorithmic assessment as to how well your landing page ties into the search query phrase. As it’s a local query the landing page should also have Chicago Wine Store in the title tag and headline as well as having the store’s physical address and other contact details somewhere prominently.
Lastly, and a bit off topic as it’s not about local PPC, I’d also probably have a landing page with something like “Chicago Wine Store Top Tastings” with a call to action to ring now and book into the next one. Or some such thing that plays on your local expertise.
Facebook is well worth using given it’s geographical targeting – but that’s another post.
Usually this is done with Google Analytics where you track conversions. Again a topic outside of local PPC. One specific local tactic is to set up a new phone number (e.g. redirect a Skype number) so you can track how well your phone based ads are doing (as people are less likely to click).
Google dominates the internet advertising market. Bing (Microsoft and now Yahoo) has about 10-20% market share, so they are not worth setting up in a Local PPC campaign at first. Maybe later.
When I refer to PPC I really mean Google “Adwords” which is how Google brands it’s PPC advertising product.
Note this was post was correct as at 22 Feb 2011, Google changes the rules reasonably often so best to check Adwords Help if you’re reading this, say, 6 months from now.
Know of a successful local PPC wine campaign? Please comment below.