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How to Use Pay Per Click to Reach More Local Customers

A lot of attention lately for local small businesses has been focused on using Google Places and Maps to market to local customers. For local businesses Google Places and Maps as well as Bing Local and Yahoo Local is a great way to attract new business. Being at the top of local search results is beneficial to just about every local business but geographically it has its limits. Depending on where the company is located there may be a number of additional cities that a business might want to do business in but because they don’t have an actual physical location in these other cities they can’t get into the local search results. At least not without cheating to do it.

There is a solution though, Pay Per Click Marketing.

For those that don’t already know pay per click marketing allows businesses to appear in the search results for as many different terms as they like right on the first page and for a price right at the top of the page. There is no geographic limit. You can target just your city or the entire world if you want. Google’s Adwords program and to a lesser degree the Microsoft AdCenter program has made marketing to the masses possible for every business. For local companies that want to reach other nearby cities pay per click marketing has become an invaluable marketing tool.

Pay Per Click Marketing Can Bring Immediate Benefits

The beauty of pay per click marketing is that once you write the ads and fund the account your ads go live almost immediately. You can reach new markets and within days you’ll be able to see the results of your efforts. The downside is that if you don’t really know what you are doing you’ll probably end up wasting a lot of money. A lot of local businesses end up starting campaigns that are not set geographically and instead their message is broadcast to the whole world. For an e-commerce business this can be great but for a local business with a limited reach this is a huge waste. You might as be just write Google a blank check because you’ll never see a return on your investment. Proper geographic targeting is the key.

I’ll give you an example of a pay per click ad I saw recently that has definitely not been set geographically. My company Titan Web Marketing Solutions is located about 30 miles south of Nashville and one of our clients is a local roofing contractor. We manage a pay per click campaign for them that is set to reach out from their location about 50 miles in all directions. When we first started the campaign we researched the local competition to see what they were doing and I came across an ad for a Dallas TX roofing company. Their ad was clearly written with Dallas homeowners in mind yet the ad was being shown to people located in Tennessee. Out of curiosity I clicked the ad and was taken to that company’s website. A quick look at the website confirmed the company only operated in Dallas TX so whenever one of their ads was clicked on from anywhere else it was a waste of their marketing dollars. Obviously their geo targeting feature  has not been set correctly and it’s costing them money.

Of course I don’t know who is responsible for this particular mishap but typically it’s the business owners fault for running their ad campaign themselves without having enough training to do so. On occasion though I have seen where an seo agency will do such a thing either because they really don’t know what they are doing either or because they want to make their pay per click results look better then they might be on a regional basis so they intentionally set the geo targeting to a national level to get more clicks. It’s not ethical but it has been known to be done on occasion. And of course it only inflates the number of website visitors not the actual conversions you’ll receive.

The geographic targeting feature for both Adwords and AdCenter is extremely important for local companies so make sure you don’t overlook it.

If you’ve been thinking about using pay per click marketing to market your local business or are already using it but haven’t gotten the results you expected give us a call at 615-890-3600 or use the form to email us. Pay per click marketing works when it’s done right.  



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