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Generating Awareness and Sales with Location Based Advertising

Advertisers are always looking to improve the efficiency of their ad campaigns. Although targeting as many people as possible with your ads may seem tempting, in reality, it could mean you’re wasting a lot of budget on reaching low value prospects.

Did you know, 46 percent of all Google searches are seeking local information and 78 percent of these searches result in a purchase? A well planned local PPC strategy as part of your wider PPC strategy can help get your message in front of these people.

What is location-based advertising?

Location based advertising is a paid media strategy designed to target an audience based on their specific location. This is done by optimising your ad campaigns to drive traffic and awareness in certain areas.

Local advertising strategies can be effective no matter the size of your business, and particularly if you have multiple locations you want to target. These strategies provide your business with an opportunity to outperform competitors who aren’t acting on what their data tells them.

Using Google Analytics, you can see exactly what locations your traffic is coming from to target your ads and convert local traffic into sales, whether online or in person. For example, let’s say your data shows that the majority of your traffic or sales come from London and none from Newcastle. You can take this insight and invest your budget accordingly to get more from your campaigns.

Google Ads offers a range of options to suit specific business goals, meaning you can target users by location based on a number of factors:

  • Countries: Target entire countries where you sell your product or service. This is generally used by larger companies that operate in large geographical areas.
  • Specific areas within a country: Target regions, cities or even postal codes. This can be beneficial for businesses that only operate in a particular area of a country.
  • Multiple locations: Target a group of locations – up to 1,000 locations within one country.
  • Radius of location: Select a distance radius around a specific location. For example, if you own bricks-and-mortar stores or provide a delivery service within a certain radius.

Why use location-based advertising?

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a local advertising strategy. A geo-targeted PPC campaign can be a powerful tool to leverage. There are two key reasons why:

  • If you create your ad copy while considering location-specific aspects such as location-specific keywords or terms only locals understand, it will resonate with your audience much better. As such, your ad is likely to be more effective at capturing their attention.
  • If the ad appeals to a relevant audience, it will also be judged better in the eyes of Google. This can help improve your ad’s quality score which is one of the factors that influences the predicted CTR. In other words, the higher your quality score, the lower your CPC.

How to improve your location advertising campaigns

The right local PPC strategy can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Experimentation and testing may be needed to get it just right, but we’ve collated our top tips to help you start reaching your most engaged audience, wherever they may be located.

Sponsor content targeting locations

Make use of your content by sponsoring and targeting it towards people based on their location. When campaigns are segmented by location, you can direct spend to where it will generate the best result. If your business has had to temporarily closed its doors, you can still use this data to run remarketing ads when lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

Often, the best people to target are those who have already shown an interest in your brand. 78 percent of consumers actually believe personally appropriate ads enhance their purchase intent which is where local advertising and remarketing fit hand in hand. Remarketing allows you to stay connected with your audience even after they’ve left your website. Targeting individuals who have previously engaged with your brand, ads can be displayed while users browse other websites and online channels to increase purchase intent.  

Exclude locations to limit wasted spend

Just as local advertising strategies allow you to target specific areas, you can also exclude locations you don’t want to target. There is no reason to advertise in areas where your product or service is not available or where there is limited purchase intent.

Certain locations are not profitable based on the cost to advertise. Excluding these prevents budget waste and stops you from advertising to the wrong audience.  

Use mobile advertising to reach your audience  

Local advertising via mobile allows you to reach your audience as they browse on their smartphone. Using banner and video ads, you can set the geographic area you want to target, pushing out ads within your chosen location range. With a mobile campaign, you can tap into a growing audience with more than 84 percent of people browsing the internet using a handheld device. This helps reach people within a specific area or users looking to make a fast purchase.

Not as applicable with many of us currently confined to our homes, but mobile advertising is effective for targeting people when they’re out and about. You can use mobile ads to target people with relevant discounts and promotions for in-store use so they’re more inclined to make a trip to your store to spend. A tactic to consider for when we’re able to leave our homes more freely again.  

Use keywords with geo-locations

While geo-targeting can be an effective tool for local businesses, it doesn’t work for everyone. It often depends on how people are searching for your business. For some, it may be more appropriate to target locations with through keywords.

Consumer purchase intent is often indicated within search queries with their location included to help narrow down results. For example, “supermarket Harrogate” or “employment lawyers Leeds”. By including location-specific terms in your ads along with your keywords, you can specify your target audience to help remove unqualified traffic.

Consider your images and copy

According to Google, four in five consumers want to see ads customised to their local area. When using local advertising, it’s important to ensure your images and copy are relevant to the area you’re targeting.

Use language that is location-specific. For instance, in the South East ‘loaf’ is Cockney rhyming slang for head, whereas in other locations, it means bread. By leveraging local language and writing ads that resonate with that audience, you can make your ads more relevant and engaging.

In light of the current situation, we also urge businesses to update their ad copy with information on your response to the pandemic. If you are only running home deliveries, make this clear. If you’re offering a click and collect service or your store is still open, remind people to abide by social distancing rules.

Listen to your online community

During the pandemic, people are seeking connection more than ever. In fact, 60 percent of Gen Zers are spending longer on social media. Using these platforms to access and target local micro-communities with relevant content can help create positive brand association and raise awareness.

Brands that are able to respond to the crisis with support, advice and a sense of community can highlight their core values, placing them in a stronger position when lockdown is relaxed.  

Make the most of Google’s local ad tools

Google’s shopping features and local advertising tools make it easier to connect with your audience. Local Inventory Ads can be used to showcase your product and store information to nearby shoppers. This is an extremely useful tactic in the current climate to help consumers locate essential products nearby.

 When shoppers click this ad, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for your store called the local storefront. This storefront displays in-store availability, opening hours, directions, product details and more.

Retailers used to have to create their own local inventory feeds to run local inventory ads, however, Google launched a programme partnering with point-of-sale (POS) and inventory data providers. Merchants can now connect their data providers to Google who will do the rest.

Use affiliate location extensions

Affiliate location extensions are extensions on your search ads featuring affiliate brands who stock your products. For example, if you sell products to larger retail shops or other bricks-and-mortar stores, affiliate location extensions can drive leads with cheap clicks. If you don’t have a physical store, or it’s temporarily closed, you can still drive local sales to your products through your stockist’s online stores.

The same can be said for location extensions. Recent data shows that 76 percent of users who searched for a nearby service or product visited that local business within a day, with 28 percent of those visitors making a purchase. When users click on location extensions, they will be directed to Google Maps for quick and easy navigation. This is ideal for businesses who are still open and have a nearby community to support.

When you’re promoting a generic, nationwide advert, it’s easy to get lost in a campaign that does not appeal to your audiences’ wants. If you want to improve site conversions for your brand, it’s important to look at your data and assess whether investing in location-based advertising is right for you.

If you want to find out more of the benefits behind using local advertising techniques for location-based advertising, get in touch with our team of paid media experts.