According to new research by Google, “Four out of five consumers say they want search ads to be customized to their city, ZIP code or immediate surroundings.” This confirms the growing importance of location and local marketing.
Step 1: Make Your Search Ads Relevant to Context and Location
Google’s latest local search research, concludes, “people expect search ads to be relevant to their context and location.” The study also includes details on where consumers go to search for local information, how many consumers use ads that include location information and how far they travel to visit a store after searching. Very good information to know if you ask me. In the end, what this all means is that in a constantly connected world like what we have today, marketers need to think not just about a consumers’ intent, but also their context. Consumers are reaching out to brands whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them. They have the power. Many companies still run extremely broad, and extremely expensive, national ads when consumers really just want ads that are customized to their city or immediate area. Its It’s more important than ever for advertisers and marketers to have an marketing and ad strategy that takes consumers’ context and location into account. To be most effective, local ad targeting requires marketers to extend the relevance of that targeting with equally relevant ad copy. For all marketers who have worked in paid search this should be of no surprise since your PPC efforts required relevance between ad and landing pages for a lower CPC. This is just taking to the next step and making the ad relevant to a specific local. Copy should be localized for each location and offer and try to be creative with your copy. Don’t have your ad end up looking as though the location keyword was just heaped on last second or was dynamically inserted.What you want to do is to extend the relevant experience in as natural a way as possible and significantly increase click-through rate.
Step 2: Localize Landing Pages For Better Relevance
Localizing your ads with location targeting and local focused copy can capture attention and generate clicks, but don’t think of driving that traffic to your standard home page or an irrelevant landing page. Each localized search ad campaign should include localized landing pages that will extend the localized experience. As always, marketers need to monitor the effectiveness of each and every landing page, test and optimize to ensure continued and improved performance. When an ad with a high click-through rate fails to convert at high rates, this signals a problem that warrants a deeper look. Time to either fix the landing page or rethink the ad.
Step 3: Locally Owned and Earned Media
Advertisers and marketers should localize their ads, but the consumers’ desire to be catered to by location has implications that touch every aspect of the marketing mix. Brands with physical locations can do much more to feed consumers’ desire for local services by leveraging their local marketing advantage. With a local owned and earned presence in place, clicks can be gained, directed to local landing pages and converted with great success just as with ads. While this is a great opportunity even for a small businesses in a single location, large brands with hundreds or thousands of locations can also take advantage of this opportunity and many have used it to great success.
We need to localize search ads, just as Google’s new research suggests, but this is just the beginning for local marketing. Extending that local experience throughout the entire process should be the end goal of all local marketing campaigns.