Search engine marketing can be a powerful online marketing tool, but simply selecting the most competitive keywords and outbidding your competition isn’t always going to translate into more clicks. When you incorporate location targeting into your keyword choices, however, you can get more out of your online marketing efforts without over-extending your budget.
Budget Conscience Marketing
Smaller businesses can’t spend a small fortune on online marketing efforts. Location targeting is a relatively inexpensive way to generate more qualified traffic to your site. By taking advantage of location targeting, you are placing your efforts on customers within a specific geographic area. This translates to a higher conversion rate without wasting your marketing budget on traffic not likely to do more than casually click and take a quick peek at your site. Location targeting means that your keywords, site content, and ads are more relevant to local searches. This translates to a boost in your click through rate and higher quality score to possibly spike your average cost per clicks. Ways to successfully add location targeting to your AdWords campaigns include:
- Location Extensions – This method allows you to include your business address and phone number on your ads to boost your location targeting efforts. Location extensions are found on desktops with your address below the ad copy with a prompt that reveals a map of your location with your address and phone number. Consider adding location specific keywords to your text to further enhance your location targeting efforts.
Note: You are not charged for the map feature, but you are charged for links placed within the ad such as “click here for directions.”
- Automatic Method – This method automatically takes your address from your uploaded Google Places feed.
- Manual Method – For this method, you have to add your address yourself. This is best is you have multiple locations or do not use Google Places – although a Google Places feed can be uploaded via the AdWords Editor on the campaign tab. You can also bulk upload location extensions via the extensions tab.
If you select long-tail geo-targeted keyword terms – just a fancy term for using keywords based on geography – you can lower your cost per click in Google AdWords and enjoy more conversions.
How Location Targeting Can Boost Your Google AdWords Quality Score
To quickly review how the Google AdWords quality score works, you are assigned a score from 1 to 10. Ten is the best and one isn’t so good. If you are new to Google AdWords, you usually get a generous quality score, but that can fall fast when the quality of your clicks is compared to how your competitors are doing. This score is one of the main factors in determining how much you pay for ads, where your ads are placed, and how frequently your ads appear. Currently, Google does not heavily weight geographic relevance, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. By focusing on location targeting, you are driving more productive traffic to your site. The click-through rate (CTR) of each Adword and other Adwords in your group is heavily weighted in determining your quality score.
Using Keywords to Target Traffic By Location
If you want to lower your CPC, the best place to start is with the keywords you use to boost your search engine ranking. You want to get as specific as you can with keywords when it comes to including location. The keyword “health insurance” – for example – may generate a fair amount of clicks resulting in conversions, but “Miami health insurance” is likely to generate interest from people in the Miami area interested in health insurance. Notice that you have narrowed your target audience. Someone randomly searching for health insurance in Philadelphia isn’t likely to be interested in health insurance options available in Miami.
Short Tail vs. Long Tail Keywords
Short tail keywords are short, simple words or phrases. This is usually where you go for the most obvious keyword. If you’re selling door handles, “door handles” is a short tail keyword phrase. The most effective long-term strategy incorporates both short tail and long tail keywords. When focusing on location targeting however, you want to opt for long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are more specific in their description. Most long tail keywords are just extensions of short tail terms. A short tail keyword is limited to one or two words. A long tail keyword term doesn’t really have any length requirements.
Short Tail Keyword: “mountain bikes”
Long Tail Keyword: “mountain bikes for sale in Dallas, TX”
Making Long Tail Keywords Work for Your Business
In terms of geo-targeting, the focus needs to be on long tail keywords. Looking at traffic alone, more people are going to be searching for “mountain bikes” than “mountain bikes for sale in Dallas, TX.” Potential customers searching by location are more likely to seriously consider making a purchase compared to someone searching out of general curiosity. If you are getting more conversions, your Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is going to be lower.
By taking advantage of techniques such as the use of long tail keywords and geographic-based marketing, small businesses can complete with bigger businesses without the added expense. The key to achieving this goal is to lower your cost per click by generating traffic from potential consumers more likely to visit your site with the intent of making a purchase. It doesn’t take that much effort to add your business name, address and phone number to your ads. Combine that with adjusting your keywords so that a reference to location is included, and you have a powerful marketing technique likely to return more productive – and cost effective – results.