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Google Ads For Local Businesses: The Best Guide to Maximize Your Leads & Footfall

Google Ads For Local Businesses: The Best Guide to Maximize Your Leads & Footfall

There is nothing quite like seeing your local business flourish well, is it? But, it is increasingly hard for local brands to survive, given the dominance of online stores and their relentless advertisements. With Google Ads, however, local store owners can now fight fire with fire.

Using Local Ads, local store owners can now advertise their products and services to people who are searching for the same in your area or nearby. This is a special boon, especially for small business owners who can target customers in a specific geo-location and within specific radii to get the best results. Businesses can also use the help of Google Partner agencies like Oxedent to get the best possible returns on their marketing investments.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is an online advertising platform owned and operated by Google, the world’s largest search engine. It helps businesses to advertise and market their products to millions of search users across the internet.                                         

As you can notice in the aforementioned page, Google Ads are those that appear at the top (and also bottom) of the search engine pages. They look just like normal search results, except they have the word “Ad” written in front of their URL in green.

Google conducts over 3.5 billion searches every day, a volume which grows by a staggering 10% every year. As such, advertising your business directly to an audience this huge is sure to drive an avalanche of footfall to your local store if it is done right.

So what else sets Google Ads apart?

Apart from the sheer volume of people searching on Google, there are also several other statistics that are a testimony to the crazy numbers that Google Search gets. According to a study in 2019, 90% of all desktop searches are done via Google and 34% of “near me” searches are also done on Google. Now, this is a very insightful piece of information to local business owners, because it means they have an untapped market on Google Ads that they can exploit once they set up their Google My Business account and start appearing on “Near Me” search results.

How do Google Ads work?

Google Ads have a simple mechanism: they show up based on the search terms used. So if a user is searching for digital marketing agencies in Kolkata and uses the term “digital marketing agencies near me”, Google will show your ads(as shown in the previous picture) if you have bid on those terms. Besides these ads, Google will also show the list of digital marketing agencies enlisted near the user (as shown in the last picture).

Of course, there are several factors that Google considers before it shows your ads. The primary factor is that your bid will be compared against the bids of other advertisers. In addition to that, Google will also assign a Quality score for your page that will depend on the relevancy and quality of your landing page. Your Ad Quality Score depends on:

  • The click-through rate (CTR).
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group.
  • Landing page quality and relevance.
  • The relevance of your ad text.
  • Your historical AdWords account performance.
Google’s Ad Rank Algorithm. Image: Slideshare
                                                                                   Image: Slideshare

Example:

Suppose we have 2 out of 10 keyword quality score for a keyword “software development firm” and our competitor www.netguru.com has 8 out of 10 quality score for the same keyword. And www.netguru.com  is bidding $4 so there ad rank

www.netguru.com:

Ad Rank= 8*4 =32 and their ads showing on the #2 position of Google on the first page.

To achieve that #2 position we have to pay $16 as our quality score is only 2.

 

As you can see, if you just submit the highest bid on a keyword, it does not automatically mean that your ad will be shown on the Google Search Page.

 

Advantages of using Google Ads:

Google owns almost 79% of the search market share
                                                                                  Google owns almost 79% of the search market share

Apart from the plethora of customers, you can reach to, Google Ads also has some very distinguishable features that you can really use to set yourself out from the rest. Let us take a look at some of them:

1. Local searchers have active buying interest

People seeking a product on service on local search usually have an urgent need to get ahold of such services. According to studies, 50% of mobile users conducting local searches and 34% of desktop users conducting local searches end up visiting the local business within a day. This places extraordinary significance on how, when and to which users your ads show up because a good and timely advertisement could make all the difference between a sale and a miss-out.

Buying intent of people who use local search on Google. Image: searchenginewatch
                              Buying intent of people who use local search on Google. Image: searchenginewatch

Not just data, even common sense will say the same. For example, if a person is searching “grocery stores near me”, it is obvious that he or she is looking to buy fruits or vegetables at the nearest convenience or grocery store. So if you own a grocery store and you are keen to tap into this market, you can simply instruct Google to show your ad to everyone searching for grocery stores within a 6 km radius.

This feature is exactly what makes Google Ads so unique for local businesses. You can not only control who sees the ads but also control the geographical area across which your ad will be spread. This is an invaluable factor for businesses that are specifically looking to boost their sales by getting more footfalls.

2. Advertisers can pay per click(PPC)

Another revolutionary feature of Google Ads is that it employs the Pay per Click model. According to the PPC model, a user only pays when someone searches for the keyword you have placed your bid on and actually clicks on it.

Google Ads are all based on the PPC model
                                                       Google Ads are all based on the PPC model

With the PPC model in place, you can preset the amount of money you want to pay per click (your bid) and your maximum daily budget. This way, Google has changed the way advertisements are created by asking the user to pay only when someone has taken some action on your website or web front. It gives control back to the advertiser and helps him or her keep stringent control over their budget.

3. In-depth analysis and tracking ability

A massive plus point of Google Ads is the amount of data you can go through to figure out if a particular campaign is working for you or not. Such insights were unheard of in the traditional advertising world, where you have no idea unless a customer told you that they had come across your brand on a billboard or in a flier or via some other avenue.

Google Ads provide in-depth insights of your campaigns. Image:Seer
                      Google Ads provide in-depth insights into your campaigns. Image:Seer

In Google Ads, however, all that changes. You can check how many people clicked on your ads, how well the campaigns are doing, the demographics of the audience and so and so forth. All this data comes handy in determining which ad sets are doing well and which are not, so you can accordingly modify your campaigns and ensure that they get the best possible ROI.

4. Highlight positive reviews and gain trust with Google Guarantee

With Google Ads, businesses can highlight the reviews left by its customers to help earn the searcher’s trust. Using Local Service Ads, you can prominently display the responses and comments left by those who have used your product or service.

The Google Guarantee badge is a seal of authentication from Google
                                 The Google Guarantee badge is a seal of authentication from Google

Another huge aspect of enlisting your business on Local Ads is getting the Google Guarantee (available only in USA and Canada as of now). Searchers rely on Google and its recommendations to procure products and services; hence the Google Guarantee was developed to endorse brands that Google themselves assure the searcher of. Services and jobs booked through Google Guarantee are covered with a lifetime cap of 2000$ by Google itself.

5. You also get featured on Google Voice Search

With over 400 million devices powered by Google Assistant, it is expected that nearly 50% of all searches will be voice-searched by 2020.  It is a colossal market to tap into, especially considering the fact that 46% of all voice-search users look for a local business daily. With Local Service Ads, you can be assured of getting enlisted on relevant voice search ads.

 

Getting started: Claim your Google My Business Page

Google My Business(GMB) is a free offering by Google to help enlist your business on local search, maps and Google Plus. It helps business owners to easily manage the information about their business that they wish to display online.

Here’s an example of a GMB page that is well-maintained and features address, calling number, timings, etc:

Oxedent Google My Business Page
          

 

Some customer reviews have been posted as well:

 

Customer reviews help building up a brand’s trust
                                                                   Customer reviews help to build up a brand’s trust

 

You can also add pictures of your place of business on GMB, as shown here:

 

Pictures show the searcher what the business really looks like
                                 Pictures show the searcher what the business really looks like

Now that you know how to set up your local business on Google.

 

Tips to win more customer from Google Ads for Your Local Business

1. Ensure your contact information is present via local ad extensions:

Extensions are what make Google Ads the hot property that they are. If a user is searching for, say “local flower delivery” and your storefront does not appear on the list, you miss out a potential sale. Again, if they are searching for local flower deliveries and another storefront has their number listed but you do not, it is likely that you shall miss out on the sale as the user might give a call to the other store first. There are several ad extensions in place that give a more complete overview of your store, however, call, site link, and location extensions are the most popular and useful ones.

i. Call Extensions

With the dominance of local searches on mobile phones, more and more people are calling directly from Google searches. In fact, Google says that 70% of all mobile searches for a local business end with a phone call to the concerned business.

The purpose of the calls is usually to either procure more information about the business or to place an order. In short, call extensions are a great way to add real-time traffic.

According to Google’s help section, Call Extensions are as follows:

Call extensions make it easy for customers to call you directly from your ad and for you to better understand the value of your campaigns by measuring the phone calls that your ads generate.

Call extensions are a type of ad extension, an ad feature that allows advertisers to include additional information about their businesses and offering to their text ads. In the case of call extensions, this additional information is your business phone number.

How to setup Call Extensions?

To make call extensions, you need to have a Google Ad account first. Once you have provided your contact and payment details, you can create a campaign and set up its goals by selecting on which network you want to advertise: search, display, video or shopping.

Call Extension setup: Step 1

 

Call extension setup: Step 2

Once your campaign is set up with all the details, it is very easy to add a call extension. Click on the “Call extensions” from under the “Ad Extensions” tab and fill up the required information.

While filling up the information, the only point that you need to consider is:

  • Call-only Format: This refers to the fact that your phone number will be directly accessed by the users clicking on the ad and they can call you directly.
  • Call Tracking: This is a Google tracking mechanism in which the call to your number will be rerouted via a customed Google number so you can track the data in your Ads interface. You will be able to see how many phone calls you received from Google Ads, You can also see the duration of the call.

Call tracking in Google Ads

To sum it up, Call Extensions are invaluable for any local business but more so if you are looking to maximize your mobile impressions. In that case, it is recommended that you also use a PPC service, either the one set by Google or an external vendor to track the calls made.

ii.Location Extension

If you are running local ads, you have to include local extensions. Pretty obvious, isn’t it?

But a lot of local stores miss that data out while enlisting themselves or while running ads.

When it comes to the data, Google says that 76% of people who search for the location of stores near them visit them within the next 24 hours and 28% of them actually do business with the customers. Moreover, local searches are increasing by 130%  every year, so it becomes all the more imperative to have them enabled on your ads.

According to Google Help, location extensions are:

Google Ads location extensions allow you to show your business address, phone number, and a map marker along with your ad text. The locations are managed either through Google My Business Location Manager or the Google My Business API

How to set up location extensions?

In a similar manner as that of call extensions, Location Extensions can be added under the Ad Extensions tab as well. You have to connect your Google My Business with Your Google Ads to enable location extensions. 

Now when a local extension has been added, users clicking on it will get to check out the address and the directions to your store in real-time on Google Maps.

To sum it up, irrespective of what kind of impressions you are looking or, having a local extension on your ads is mandatory if you are a local business looking to drive sales or generate traffic.

iii. Sitelink Extensions

Dynamic Sitelinks are Google’s way of modifying your ads to best suit the intent of the user’s search and their purpose. Previous search history, as well as the myriad of links on a website’s directory, are all taken into account to develop dynamic sitelinks.

Sitelink extensions
Sitelink extensions

How to set up sitelink extensions?

Just like call and location, you can add sitelinks in the “Ad Extension” tab.

Sitelink extensions
Sitelink extensions

Google only shows sitelinks when it thinks it might boost your ad’s chances, and it does not charge extra for it. It only charges when someone clicks on the ad to your site.

To sum it up, the Sitelinks extension should be tested and checked repeatedly. They should only be run if they are providing good results, or else they should be disabled and instead the user should focus on sitelinks that give him sureshot clicks.

2.Ensure correct and accurate location targeting

Another fantastic feature of Google Ads is the manner in which it lets advertisers target the location of their users. A local business will obviously, look to tap into the local market and not spread all over the state or the country and that is the kind of flexibility that Google Ads offers.

Take, for example, a flower delivery store that is located in a satellite township. The owners of the store would probably like ads to be shown in the township and maybe in some adjacent areas, but not to people who are living in the main city of which the township is a satellite. The reason is obvious, the city will have flower stores that are probably bigger and better equipped than the one in the township.

How to set up location targeting?

Inside Ads, choose each campaign, and then navigate to the “Settings” tab, then to “Locations.” Around the locations tab, you can target by region, city, or postal card, or even get grittier by clicking on the “Advanced Search” tab, and targeting by a particular radius.

Radius Targeting is another outstanding feature of Google Ads. Image:VerticalRail
         Radius Targeting is another outstanding feature of Google Ads. Image:Vertical Rail

It goes without saying that the massive upside of location targeting is that local stores can tap into hitherto untapped markets which can open new opportunities for them.

3. Negative Keywords are a downer, get rid of them

What is a negative keyword?

A  negative keyword is like an alarm reminder to Google, it tells the algorithms NOT TO show your ad when those keywords come up.

For example, if a person is searching for “Food Delivery Boy Job in Kolkata” he or she is obviously not searching for Food Delivery options in Kolkata. Similarly, when someone is searching for “food delivery in Kolkata”, he or she is looking for restaurants that serve and deliver foods online and not this:

Food Delivery In Kolkata gives a wide variety of results.
                                                        “Food Delivery In Kolkata” gives a wide variety of results

Thus, the onus is on the business owner to enlist keywords which they might feel will not help their business. You can just copy and paste the keywords in the “Negative Keywords” box to ensure that Google does not show your ads when these keywords come up.

 

4. Optimize your landing pages like hell

Remember how I told you that the Quality Score of your page goes a long way in determining where your ad ranks? Well, the optimization of your landing page goes a long way to determine how high your ad rank will be( more the ad rank, better the chances of a higher ranking ad).

Your Landing Page must be as impeccable as your ad.Image: yourDTP
                               Your Landing Page must be as impeccable as your ad.Image: yourDTP

If a user were to come across your ad and click on it, he or she might want to shuffle around your storefront or website more before going for a conversion. As such, it becomes critical to give them a good landing page experience to ensure that they find your site easy to use and thus, take some action on it.

Here are some pointers to develop a great landing page:

  1. Ensure it has a clear CTA i.e Call To Action
  2. Ensure that your headline and graphics draw the people’s attention
  3. Make sure the page and your website are mobile optimized.
  4. Keep your brand message direct and simple
  5. Keep social proof, that is links to your Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter channels etc.
  6. Spend your money on conversions and not clicks

Here is an example of an ideal landing page for the keyword “Digital Marketing course in Kolkata”

For local businesses, the focus should be on conversions and not clicks. Unlike other websites or brands, local business has the objective of closing sales or garnering leads or footfalls as soon as possible.

Keeping that objective in mind, local brands should be focused on a cost-per-conversion value, be it in the form of filling a form, booking an appointment or actually visiting the store via a call or location extension.

This perspective is key in determining which keywords are working for your ad and which are not, thus not only saving your money but also ensuring that more and more people get to know about your brand in and around your area.

In Conclusion,

It is high time that local businesses realize the potential of Google Ads and ventures into markets that were hitherto unexplored. With the right tricks and targeting, it is not difficult to convert website traffic into leads and eventually into sales. We at Oxedent helped 150+ local businesses generate leads and calls from Google Ads campaigns. We can setup and manage your Google Ads campaigns at an affordable monthly management fee, get your free consultation today!

Article by Abhranil Roy



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