Optimizing paid-search campaigns for local search and mobile devices goes hand in hand. In 2015, Google confirmed that more searches happen on mobile devices than on desktop. And according to BIA/Kelsey, local search volume is expected to more than double between 2014 and 2019.
Paid-search marketers have adjusted strategies for campaigns, landing pages, ad copy, ad extensions, and bids to accommodate the shift to mobile. This also impacts performance for local search, as Google research says that 50% of mobile users are most likely to visit after conducting a local search.
Optimizing paid-search campaigns for local search is a must for marketers looking to drive in-store visits and purchases as well as phone calls to a nearby location. Here are 6 tips on how to optimize your local paid-search campaigns in AdWords.
Implement Google My Business
Google My Business allows marketers to reach more customers in a relevant manner by providing a business profile, Google search listings, and Google Maps listings. Most importantly, it will show your customers the correct information based on their geographic location. Google My Business will also integrate directly with your location extensions in Google AdWords and show on the right side of a branded search, providing more real estate coverage for brand ownership.
Enable Location Extensions
As with the first tip, be sure to provide your customers with the location nearest to them at the time of their search. Customers can become frustrated quickly when they can’t find what they are looking for quickly on a mobile device, especially during a nearby location search. If you don’t provide them with accurate location information, you could miss out on a possible conversion. In Google AdWords, you’ll want to enable location extensions at the account level (this is where Google My Business comes in handy). If you have more than 10 locations, Google allows you to do a bulk upload of addresses and you can add filters at the Campaign and/or Ad Group levels.
Use Local Numbers for Your Call Extensions
Put your consumer hat on and think about which phone number you would likely click on if you could choose between a local area code near your current location or a toll-free number. Which number will callers be more inclined to dial when trying to reach a specific location?
If you guessed local, you are correct. Local numbers are 3x more likely to get clicked than toll free numbers. They indicate to customers that they will immediately be connected to the location they are trying to reach, and not a middleman.
Use Location-Centric Ad Copy
If you’ve already implemented the first 3 tips, then take your customization one step further by using call-to-action messaging specific to your customer journey. If you want customers to call or visit in-store, then make it clear in your ad copy. Don’t forget: it’s important to customize ad copy for mobile experiences compared to desktop. Customers are in a different mindset when they’re sitting in front of a computer versus being on the go with their smartphone.
Optimize Bids for Mobile
Currently, the only way to increase your bids for mobile devices in Google AdWords is to set a modifier of your desktop bid at the campaign level. Due to this limitation, it’s even more important to ensure you are tracking all conversion types at the campaign level. You’ll need to check that you have conversions broken out by type: converted click versus call conversions. Mobile is the most relevant device to show location and call extensions on, since consumers are in the mindset of getting information quickly. Ensure that you can understand how many conversions mobile devices are driving so you can optimize bids accordingly.
Use Broad Match Modifier Match Types
Don’t limit your account in terms of the query reach. When consumers are on the go, looking for a product, service, or location quickly, they use different queries. As an advertiser, you don’t want to miss out on those queries. My advice is to ensure that you’re using broad match modifier keyword types when building out your structure.
When it comes to local paid-search optimizations, it’s important to be diligent in monitoring campaigns for quality as well as quantity. I hope that all of the tips above will help you streamline and maximize the performance of your campaigns. I also urge marketers to continually report on their local paid-search campaigns to watch for performance trends so they can capitalize on this data and continually improve the effectiveness of their campaigns.