Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
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Are you considering local search engine advertising but not sure if it’s right for your business?
In 2015, a growing number of businesses are using this method to reach consumers, especially local ones, and are successfully generating new leads and conversions. So how do you get a piece of the action?
In this post we explain what search engine advertising is, how it works and give you the knowledge you need to use it effectively for your business.
How Search Engine Advertising Works
In today’s world the first thing a consumer will generally do when looking for a product or service is search online. They’ll open up their web browser (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) and search for keywords relating to their need.
Their chosen search engine will then show results and prominently display the most relevant ads in the sponsored section of the results page. From here the consumer will click on the result that best relates to their search, and visit the site of that business.
To promote your business in this way, you would pay the search engine a fee for each click on your ad. Simple, right? Well there is a little more to it if you want your business to be found.
Getting Found With Search Engine Ads
Effective search engine advertising will allow potential customers to discover your business, which then drives leads and conversions. Search engines use and evaluate many factors to determine which ads to show and where to place them within their search engine results page (SERP). For success in search engine advertising, you want your business to be listed prominently so it’s easily found. To make this happen, you need to understand the factors involved in SERP placement and know how to make search engine optimisation (SEO) work for you.
- Use the Right Keywords – Keywords are the words and phrases you select to help search engines match your business with the user’s search term. When they closely match the search term used, your business has a better chance of being found. When deciding on keywords, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and try and imagine how they would search for your product or service.
- Your Target Geographic Area – When you specify your location and a radius or metro that you are hoping to capture sales from, the search engine can then provide the user with results that are specific to their location. This is especially important if you have a bricks and mortar business and are hoping to drive traffic – you want to make the most of those consumers who are looking for someone local who can service their needs.
- The Importance of Your Landing Page –The landing page is the web page you designate to capture and convert traffic from your search ads. This is where consumers will end up when they click your ad, so it must make an impact. It should tell them what they want to know in an engaging way, and be set up so it’s easy for consumers to find your location and make contact.
- Make Your Text Ad Stand Out –If the user’s search term matches your keywords, the search engine will display your ad as a text-only listing on the SERP. For the user to click on your ad, they need to feel that your business is the best fit for their needs. You only have a few words available to prove this to them, so use them wisely.
- Your Bid Amount – In search engine advertising, you pay the search engine a fee for each click. The bid amount refers to the maximum cost per click you’re willing to pay for each click on your keyword in the search ad.
Get Leads, not Just Clicks
When a searcher clicks on your ad, they visit your landing page, which is where you will get the contacts and leads for your business. Landing pages usually contain more comprehensive information related to your ad and are designed to drive conversions such as calls, emails or form submissions so the potential customer can contact you and become a lead.
A prospect that has called, emailed or filled out a form on your site after clicking your ad, is referred to as a contact. A qualified lead, on the other hand, is a prospect that you have determined has a real interest in purchasing your product or service.
Driving Better Results
By using the analytics from search engines and from your website, you can see results that help you direct your marketing strategy and campaigns over time and drive better results from your advertising. Here are some important analytic terms to keep in mind:
- Click-through rates – This is shown as a ratio of the number of clicks on your ad compared to the number of times it was shown by the search engine.
- Cost per click – The actual price you pay per click on your search ad.
- Quality score – More specific to Google, this is a rating from 1-10 determined by the quality of your keywords, ad copy and landing page.
- Conversion rate – How many calls, emails or filled out forms you receive on your website compared to the number of visits.
Why Should Local Search Engine Ads Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy?
A recent report by search engine powerhouse Google, “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior,” has found compelling evidence showing that local search engine advertising is bringing local consumers to businesses that are implementing this strategy.
The study also found:
- 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information
- They search for store address, business hours, product availability and directions
- 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day
- 34% of consumers who conducted a local search on their computer or tablet visited a store within a day
- 18% of local searches on a smartphone lead to a purchase within a day compared to 7% for non-local searches
- 4 in 5 consumers want ads customised to their locality
- More than 60% of consumers have used location information they found in ads
And Finally… Don’t Forget Your SEO
To maximise your search engine ad, you want your SEO to be firing on a local level, as this leads to stronger SERP rankings. Casey Meraz at Moz.com has put together a comprehensive guide on local SEO, specifically geared towards bricks and mortar stores and businesses that already have a Google + business page/ community.
And let’s not forget the power of Facebook Local Awareness Ads. As most marketers are aware, Facebook can help marketers with smart local targeting by creating local awareness ads that promote to specific geographic zones. Here marketers can run sales promotions, employ coupons or simply advertise a local event. So if customers are within the demographic area you specify while using their Facebook app, rest assured those ads will be served.
If you have any questions or suggestions on search engine advertising post a comment – we’d love to hear from you!