Tying your PPC Strategy to your Physical Location

There are a lot of great new features to start tying your paid search strategy to your actual physical locations. We can break this out into a few recommendations, the first is leveraging ad extensions to highlight your physical locations and the second is to create a more robust Geo-targeting strategy.

The fastest method of advertising your physical locations would be to sign up for a Google places account and claim your business listing. Note: To make this process easier, use your AdWords log-in to create your Google Places Account. Once your business listing has been claimed and verified, you are then able to start optimizing your business listing for your important keywords through adding a detailed description. You are able to also add photos, videos and offers to assist with helping your business stand out on Google places. The better optimized from an SEO perspective your listing is, the better your opportunities to start appearing in the organic search results for searches with local-intent for your area(s). You can also encourage customers to add reviews to your Google places account which will add credibility to your listing. Ensure that all reviews, positive and negative, have been responded to ensure you are effectively monitoring and managing your online reputation.

So what does a Google places listing have to do with Paid Search? The answer lies in Location Ad Extensions. Based on a users search or IP address, AdWords will display a plus box under ads in the top paid search results and when expanded, display a map of nearby store locations.

Synchronizing your Google Places account and your AdWords account becomes extremely easy; even easier should you have used the same log-in for your Google AdWords account as your Google Places account. At the campaign-level in Google AdWords, you can click on the Ad extensions tab, under view choose “Location Extensions,” and add a new extension. You can then enter in the email address that you used for your Google Places account and should you have a custom map icon or logo, upload it. Your ads will now begin running with your location information displayed.

Another great option for tying your paid search strategy to your physical locations would be through the use of Offer Extensions. Offer Extensions can be used specifically or online or offline conversions. With the in-store redemption offer, users are taken to a Google-hosted landing page where they can print off the offer for in-store use. The number and sales value of the persons taking advantage of the offer can then be tracked and a campaign ROAS calculated.

It’s no surprise to anyone at this point in time that mobile is a vital part to your mobile strategy. Over 33% of mobile searches have a local search intention and therefore leveraging your locations in you Mobile Paid Search strategy simply just makes good sense.

As with desktop, location extensions are a great way to leverage your locations within the ad copy, but mobile also allows for us to be even more specific when it comes time to targeting by geography and also alter our bidding strategy. Hyperlocal business ads are the next level of location extensions by letting your customer know just how close they are to your business. Bidding strategies can be implemented to amplify your bids based on proximity to locations; bidding highest for persons located closer to your business and lower for those further away.

Click-to-Call Location Extensions on mobile-enabled campaigns are another great tactic to implement tie your paid search campaign to your physical locations. Click-to-call allows for users to simply call the location, rather than click through to a website. This option is especially effective for non-mobile optimized sites. It is recommended that a unique phone number be used and therefore sales/conversions can be tracked and an ROAS/cost per conversion calculated for the campaign. Click-to-call metrics are available for calculating the number and duration of calls, but sales or conversions would have to be measured using an offline resource or via a call tracking provider.

The final options for tying your paid search would be to create a specific campaign for each market you are serving and leveraging geo-targeting options and ad messaging to specifically promote the location. Mediative has leveraged this strategy for a major Canadian retailer where their competitors were moving into the market. The ad messaging was specifically crafted to emphasize their competitive advantage and the geo-targeting was specific to the radius surrounding their location from which their primary customers (per location) were located. The campaign was a strict brand and positioning campaign aimed at driving more traffic to the locations.

Stay tuned for our newest whitepaper, Google Places on the iPhone, to be released on January 27th