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Going Local With Your Pay Per Click Advertising

Aug 30, 2008
Sure the Internet and search engine advertising is a fantastic way to reach thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people with your product or service. From your home town to the far reaches of the world people could be searching for what you do or sell and finding your website through Google, Yahoo or MSN. But if you have a local dental practice, landscaping service or real estate office you probably don't need to reach that many people or people so far away.

In fact, if you are using some form of pay per click advertising such as Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing you could waste a high percentage of your budget by advertising to people who would be extremely unlikely to come in to your office or use your local service.

Examples of types of businesses who would need to localize their pay per click campaigns would be:

Medical Imaging Centers
Dental Practices
Real Estate Offices
A Local Shoe Store
Local Paving Company or Landscaping Service
Chimney Sweep
Piano Turner

All these types of businesses can do well with Internet Pay Per Click advertising if they make sure to use geographical targeting

With Google and Yahoo Pay Per Click services you can take advantage of geographical targeting in two distinct ways.

One way is to simply put the names of the cities or areas you serve as part of your search terms. When you do this be sure to put these terms in quotes. You'll also want to make sure you or your search engine promotion company makes a very complete list of the cities and areas you serve including zip codes. When you limit the area you advertise in you also obviously limit your potential clicks. The good news is that you will be getting very targeted visitors. There is no down side to this as long as you use enough terms and location to make sure you get enough visitors to make the advertising worth doing.

Here is an example of how such a campaign could be organized:

We do promotion for a small computer repair service that wants to operate only in a limited portion of the Los Angeles area. (This is only a sample and is not a replication of the entire campaign.) First we list the areas.

La Canada
La Crescenta
Eagle Rock
Mount Washington
Highland Park
(There will be many more zip codes.) We will also add "CA" and "California" to the cities in the list.

Then we list the terms. Are partial list could as follows:

Computer repair
Computer virus removal
Speed up your computer
Fix computer
Computer technician
Computer networking
Computer network installation

Then we merge these. Don't forget the quotes.

"burbank computer repair"
"computer repair Burbank"
"burbank ca computer repair"
"computer repair Burbank ca"
"Burbank California computer repair"
"computer repair Burbank California"

You get the idea. The more complete the list the more visitors your site will get. And with such targeted traffic, if you have a decent website, you are sure to get a good conversion rate.

The second way you can determine your geographical area, also called geo-targeting, is to set up how many miles around your location you want your ad to run. You can do this in Google by listing zip codes or cities or by drawing a circle on a map. Both Google and Yahoo give pretty clear instructions on how to set up Geo-Targeting. If you have a local business just make sure you take advantage of this feature. It will keep you from wasting your advertising budget while keeping you ad in front of your real potential customers or clients.
About the Author
Meridith Berk is one of the founders of UltimateSitePromotion.com one of the oldest and most respected Search Engine Optimizing and Pay Per Click Management firms on the Internet. To find out more about Local Pay Per Click Management you can visit her site at http://ultimatesitepromotion.com
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