Jon Schepke, column writer for SearchEngineWatch.com, a website on all things Internet marketing and search engine related, informs us with four simple steps to maximize local search success for your company. According to new research, “Four out of five consumers say they want search ads to be customized to their city, ZIP code, or immediate surroundings.” Furthermore, four out of five consumers conduct local searches on search engines.
Today, most searches are being done on smartphones and tablets instead of desktop computers. While planning your company’s local marketing strategies, here’s a four step process to maximize your local search success.
Step 1: Make Search Ads Relevant to Context and Location
Google’s latest research on local search, conducted by Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased, and commissioned by Google concludes, “people expect search ads to be relevant to their context and location”. The study includes details on where consumers search for local information, how many consumers use ads with location information and how far they travel to visit a store after searching.
One quote from a post on Inside AdWords sums up what this means for advertisers:
In a constantly connected world, advertisers need to think not only about consumers’ intent, but also their context. Consumers are reaching out to brands whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them. Many advertisers still run broad national ads when consumers really want ads that are customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings. It’s more important than ever for advertisers to have an ad strategy that accounts for consumers’ context and location.
To be the most effective, local ad targeting requires marketers to extend the relevance of that targeting with equally relevant ad copy. Copy should be localized for each location and offer. This will extend the relevant experience and significantly boost click-through rate.
Step 2: Localize Landing Pages to Extend Relevance
Localizing ads with location targeting and hyperlocal copy can capture attention and generate clicks, but don’t drive that traffic to a homepage or an irrelevant landing page. Each localized ad campaign should pair up with localized landing pages that extend the localized experience.
Advertisers need to monitor the effectiveness of each and every landing page, test and adjust to ensure continued performance. When an ad with a high click-through rate fails to convert at high rates, this signals a problem. Marketers should either fix the landing page or rethink the ad.
Step 3: Localize Owned and Earned Media
Yes, advertisers should localize their ads. Brands with physical locations can do much more to feed consumers’ appetites for local by leveraging their local marketing advantage.
With a local owned and earned presence in place, clicks can be won, directed to relevant local landing pages and converted with great success just as with ads. While this represents a significant opportunity even for single location small businesses, large brands with hundreds of locations have a more robust opportunity.
Step 4: Leverage a Blended Cost Analysis
Whatever the end goal of a local marketing campaign, a blended approach to cost analysis enables marketers to blend the costs of conversions acquired through paid media with those acquired through owned and earned channels at lower costs. The resulting structure provides a new perspective for marketers and offers new ways to optimize converged local media marketing initiatives.
There’s no doubt that we need to localize search ads, just like Google’s new research suggests, but this is just the beginning of the equation for the motivated local marketer. Extending that local experience throughout the entire process should be your end goal of all local marketing campaigns.
A great way to organically enhance your local search results would be to make sure you have a Google+ and a Google Local profile, as well as a variety of other online directories. If your business would like to enhance its local internet marketing strategy, let us know! We’re here to help.
Read the full article by Jon Schepke.