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Drive Local Searchers to Stores with Local Search Marketing Tactics

| July 18, 2014 | Digital Payments

Shoppers are more connected to computers and devices than ever before and rely on them for finding information and directions to local businesses.

According to a May 2014 report by Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased, “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior,” four in five consumers use search
engines to find products, services or experiences nearby. They conduct local searches on the go, with 84% using search engines on their computer or tablet
and 88% on smartphones.

These statistics only confirm what we already suspect as business owners: Our customers are searching for real-time information about our products and
services.

The best way to capture these consumers is to be present where and when they are searching for a local business using search engines, apps, and more.

Paid Search Ads

Turn to Google Adwords and Bing Ads for paid ads that will appear in the consumer’s the search results. Both pay-per-click (PPC) platforms can be
self-managed or managed by hiring a professional PPC manager for larger budgets.

Using best practices for local ads will ensure you drive shoppers in stores:

  1. Geo-targeting: Target the ads to the location most applicable to the business. Remember, more granular ads may be most relevant, but
    they also reduce the volume and potential for the ads. Weigh the pros and cons of expanding the targeting a bit.
  2. Location extensions: Location extensions show the business address, phone number and a map marker with your ad text. On mobile, they
    include a link with directions to the business.
  3. Call extensions: Display your phone number with the ad. It can be directly dialed from a desktop, or consumers can click to call from
    mobile.
  4. Ad copy: Use the location, city, state or community name in the ad copy to capture more attention.

550_ppc-ad

Google Business

Google has just released Google My Business, an easy way to create profiles for Google Maps, Google+ and
search results.

Businesses will be able to access several products, all from one screen in Google.

  1. Reviews: Get access to reviews and capability to respond to reviews.
  2. Google+: Connect and share news, events, links and other important updates.
  3. Photos: Add photos of the business or offer a virtual tour.
  4. Google Analytics: Quick access directly to your Google Analytics dashboard.
  5. Manage: Information on-the-go with the Google My Business Android app and the iOS app, coming soon.

Yelp

Many users will turn to Yelp to find a local business. It is a website that provides local business listings and
reviews through desktop and mobile browsers or mobile apps. Users can locate, view and review local businesses on the mobile app with a few clicks. Yelp
has an extensive user base of approximately 132 million monthly unique visitors and over 57 million local reviews. Business owners can complete a profile
with descriptions and photos, as well as respond to consumer reviews. A profile is free for business owners.

To increase visibility, sign up to host a Yelp Deal, which allows shoppers to buy on Yelp before they get to the store. Yelp Deals are highlighted in
search results and on the mobile app. The website takes a percentage of the deal for its fee.

Ads on Yelp can also be purchased to increase visibility and gain a competitive edge. Yelp notes that local business advertising packages range from $300
to $2,200 per month, depending on how aggressively you want to attract customers. Each package includes a dashboard to track results in the program.

Increasing presence in local results can be as easy as the Google My Business one-stop setup or more complex with PPC campaigns using Adwords and Bing Ads.
Focusing on several tactics for the most comprehensive approach is likely to bring more shoppers into stores and increase new and repeat sales.

Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on hundreds of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients’ search campaigns across earned, owned, and other paid media. Lisa frequently lends her expertise to the search industry through organizational involvement, speaking, and writing. Lisa’s speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as private and public events. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search.

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