Apr 22, 2010

SEO Tip #1. Local Search Engine Advertising

eLearning Series

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1. Local Search Engine Advertising

For businesses that serve specific geographic regions (i.e. Denver, Colorado), you can create search engine ads in Google and Yahoo that only appear to people in your area. How does this work? A search engine like Google uses a computer’s IP address and other information to discover where someone is searching (including city and state).

Why does Google care where a person is located?

Google’s mission is to give their end users the best search results possible. So, if I need someone to walk my dog in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, it does me little good to receive a paid search result from Arizona. This is a real example — my brother has a petsitting business, and I’ve used local Google search engine advertising to drive new clients to his organization. Thus Google (and the others) tries to match search results to the geographic location of the person searching.

 

How does Google make money?

Google gives businesses and organizations the ability to display paid advertisements (sponsored results) on search results pages. These ads are triggered by keywords you choose (more on this in a different strategy). You don’t have to pay for your ad to display; you pay Google only when someone clicks on your ad. The technical term is Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising. The more relevant your ad (more on this later), the less you have to pay for specific keywords, and the higher up you will appear in the sponsored advertising results. Local Search CPC Ads. In Google Adwords, you can create an advertising campaign that will target someone in a specific city or state. You can even specify a 5, 10 or 25 mile radius from a specific location (like your retail showroom or office). Below your local ad, Google will place the name of your local area (i.e. Denver, Colorado)… making it more likely that someone searching in your area will choose your organization vs. an out-of-town competitor.

Google screenshot showing geographic location

Local CPC Ads are usually a more cost effective option than a national search engine advertising campaign. As a general rule of thumb, the more geographically targeted and specific you can be, the less money you’ll need to pay to acquire new customers. And make sure you have conversion tracking code placed on your site, so you can measure and track how much you’re paying for each new customer via local search engine advertising.

If you are interested in Google’s update to Google Places read this article. Google Local

If you need any help with your online CPC campaign Customer Paradigms SEO team will efficiently organize and manage your CPC campaigns.